the speech/swallow therapist

She is doctor Kathy Lazarus of Beth Israel Head & Neck Oncology.  Keeping all the mouth, tongue, throat parts moving properly during radiation is key to post radiation functioning, she tells me.  But first, she needs to baseline me.

First test is chewing a piece of gauze for two minutes to measure saliva content.  As she weighs my soaked gauze ball that I spit into the cup, she tells me that I’m her record.  She’s never had anyone over 9 grams of saliva in two minutes.  She says it’s good.  I’m glad something is good.

Next is tongue strength.  Not so good.  My tongue is weak she says, considerably.  And, probably due to the tumor on the base.  I do some voice stuff, a,e,i.o,u type stuff into a recorder for later.

This meeting is mostly about exercises I’ll need to due during radiation.  All about 2 second reps, in sets of 5.  Need to work out the tongue and adam’s apple at least 15 minutes, twice per day.

Then she asks me how often I go out to eat.  Never I say, this is New York and I’m bootstrapping it doc.  Starting over with new home spun businesses hasn’t resulted in net positive cash flow just yet.  Soon I hope, after the radiation.

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