One of the Carter Swallowing Center patients’ success story was featured on CBS Channel 4 News at Noon on Monday.
Joanna started at the Carter Swallowing Center being unable to swallow any foods or liquids, including her much needed medication which she could not crush and put in her feeding tube. Her not being able to eat was made worse by the fact that she is a wonderful chef for whom eating and enjoying food is a huge part of her life. To say that she was motivated to improve her swallowing is an understatement.
Joanna came the Carter Swallowing Center to do therapy 3 times a week and did a home swallowing exercise program daily between sessions. In therapy we used VitalStim Therapy as well as sEMG biofeedback and had her practice swallowing with these devices to build back up the strength in her swallowing muscles. As she says in the news segment, she started to make progress right away and after 6 weeks of treatment she is now able to eat whatever she wants.
Joanna, whom I have come to know as someone who routinely makes lemonade from lemons, used her culinary skills along the way to create delicious dishes that were within the range of what she could safely swallow. In fact, she is currently working on a gourmet cookbook for patients with dysphagia. Stayed tuned for more info on when those tasty recipes become available!