Old 11-07-2007, 02:39 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Thick Mucus/Saliva Problem

My mother has pseudobulbar ALS and has deteriorated to the point that she can no longer speak, move her lips or tongue, close her mouth, or swallow, and has a feeding tube. We are communicating with a dry-erase board. She recently has developed a problem with thick mucus which falls into her throat and blocks her breathing. She can't clear her throat or cough so it's very frightening for both of us. I have removed gelatinous hunks of mucus/saliva from her mouth with swabs and Q-tips but this is very difficult since it is slippery and stretches. She also gets almost dried hunks of mucus/saliva stuck on the roof of her mouth which she scrapes off with her thumbnail. Does anyone have a helpful hint or solution for this problem? Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:26 PM #2 (permalink)
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Hi- you should call your ALS clinic. She may need a cough assist machine. At the very least make sure she gets penty of fluids. Some folks swear that coke helps break up the mucus.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:06 PM #3 (permalink)
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If you can get it with a Q-Tip then her doctor or Respiratory Therapist should be prescribing a suction machine. Start calling them.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:14 PM #4 (permalink)
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Oh right: Suction, not caugh assist. I knew that, LOL. Thanks, Al. Cindy
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:50 AM #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. We got the suction machine yesterday. I didn't know a cough assist machine exhisted so that information will be useful in the future. And after reading other similar questions on site, I found a few other tactics that may help. Again, thanks!
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:12 PM #6 (permalink)
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My dad has the same form of ALS as your mother. My dad got a suction machine on 10/18/07 and the machine does really help. However my dad still has the problem just not as bad as before without the suction machine. You will be able to tell a difference!
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