jmgoyder

wings and things

Dysphagia and dying

Over the last few days, Anthony has been unable to swallow food in the usual way and has been spitting it out. I knew that one day this might happen; I knew that dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) was a symptom of advanced Parkinson’s disease but I didn’t know it could happen so suddenly.

How can it be that last week he could eat a whole block of chocolate and this week he is spitting it out? Anthony loves food! I thought/hoped that it was just about him forgetting how to eat but, since seeing the speech pathologist today, we now know that dysphagia has arrived. From now on, his food will have to be semi-vitamised; otherwise he will choke or aspirate food/drinks.

So I guess we have now entered yet another new phase. No more tasty treats of the usual kind. It’s the food thing that makes me so sad but, as usual, Ants has accepted that this is the best idea.

Anthony has been so sleepy over the last few days that I keep feeling his pulse to see if he is still alive! I am in a constant state of high-alert in case he dies outside my watch; terrified but also prepared for his death.

At the same time, I am also prepared for a prolonged period of his suffering that I will have to witness. Anthony has already lost his ability to speak coherently, or above a whisper, and I hate that I have to speak on his behalf, but what else can I do?

Our chocolate days are over.

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