It's more than a week now that my mom had a stroke and although it was mild, a lot of her capabilities are still affected. As her chest x-ray showed Aspiration Pneumonia from the Emergency Room (ER), a naso-gastric tube (NGT) was inserted and nothing per orem (NPO) was allowed, meaning no food nor water can pass through her mouth. Unable to eat and drink, this NGT was neccessary for her nutrients and medications. Two days after, her rehabilitation was commenced.
Swallowing can be lost when having a stroke, this depending on where in the brain gets affected that controls this motor function.
Unfortunately for my mom, she was eating her favorite snacks when she had her stroke. Although she was speaking in complete sentences on arrival in ER, she was coughing when the nurse gave her Aspirin dose. Together, most probably, these brought this problem.
Aspiration Pneumonia can occur when food or water get to the lungs instead of the stomach. Causing an infection, this complicates hospital stay as a course of strong antibiotics is needed. As a nurse, my experience have exposed me to a lot of these complications. Babies, kids and the elderlies who have weak immune system have a high mortality rate of death from this also.
With this ongoing problem, assessment of her swallowing was commenced by the occupational therapist, a JELLY ACE was requested for us to prepare. With no food or water for 5 days, we were only allowed to wet her lips with water to encourage her swallowing reflex. Not only my mom but everyone was looking forward for this part of her assessment.
Although mashed, this was her first solid food for almost a week, a mashed strawberry jelly ace. She passed the cold and sour stimulations but she failed with this one.
Still being fed through her NG tube, I brought her home after more than a week in the hospital, my sister whose a nutritionist prepares her diet till she have regained her swallowing back. She will be needing a 3-days a week rehabilitation.
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