Hi Serenade, did they show you the movie of your swallowing? Both times that i had that test they showed me what was happening and explained it all to me. From what I remember when you swallow the air passage to your lungs is closed and everything goes into your stomach but with Bulbar ALS the flap (sorry, I don't remember the name for it) does not fully close and thin liquids like water, juice, milk and (oh darn) beer can get past it into the lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia. Thicker liquids don't tend to get past the flap. The last time I had a test about a year ago they also gave me the honey consistency recommendation. I was told that the only thing that I should be trying to drink un-thickened was water and even that only after I had thoroughly washed and brushed my mouth out so there were no left over food particles. The theory is if you aspirate pure water then there is not as much risk of pneumonia. I have installed bar type faucets in my house which allows me to drink water again because when I am bent over the water that I slurp out of the running water just seems to go down the right way not the wrong way like when \i try to drink out of a glass or bottle.
Since my last swallowing test I have gotten a PEG and the whole swallowing issue is for the most part bypassed. I still manage to force some food down my throat every day but it is a struggle and it really wears me out. So my recommendations are don't put off the PEG, eat very carefully and keep your mouth clean. And don't put off the PEG, it is easier to maintain weight than regain it. Oh, and don't put off the PEG.
Something else as far as thickener is concerned, the crap (Thicken-up, etc) that they tell you to use to thicken foods has no food value at all. There are things like potato flour that work just as well and do have food value. Just my personal opinion.