Tough Pills to Swallow

2013-12-17 pillsCAREGIVING:  One part of Kathy’s Huntington’s Disease that is a constant battle is choking and swallowing problems. Actually Aspiration Pneumonia is the most common complication that results in death in late stage HD. Patients get a fatal infection from unintentionally inhaling a piece of food. ¹  Kathy is still middle stage (more or less) but it is still scary. The biggest problem seems to come with pills and supplements. I am constantly trying different liquids. Or applesauce. Or yogurt. I add thickener (special corn starch) to juice. I crush them. I buy chewable, suckable, drinkable supplements and meds you can open up and sprinkle the contents on to food. There is no one answer, though. Some days it goes well. Other days it is difficult. It is usually easier most mornings, so I stuff more into her at breakfast. Before bedtime she is tired and as hard as she tries sometimes I just give up. I make sure she takes the meds. It’s the supplements that I let her skip at night. And now that they are saying multivitamins aren’t worth it, I’m probably going to have her skip that since it was one of her problem pills. They still recommend special CoQ10 (the big red ones) and Super DHA fish oil for HD. I made salmon tonight so I didn’t give her the fish oil at dinner. Today was a good day though. No choking.

 

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