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Thick Mucus/Saliva Problem

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Priushugger

New member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
2
Diagnosis
06/2006
Country
US
State
Michigan
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!
 

CindyM

Extremely helpful member
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
3,543
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
US
State
New England
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.
 

Al

Legendary member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
If you can get it with a Q-Tip then her doctor or Respiratory Therapist should be prescribing a suction machine. Start calling them.
AL.
 

CindyM

Extremely helpful member
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3,543
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Learn about ALS
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Oh right: Suction, not caugh assist. I knew that, LOL. Thanks, Al. Cindy
 

Priushugger

New member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
2
Diagnosis
06/2006
Country
US
State
Michigan
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!
 

Amanda529

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
20
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
US
State
OH
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!
Amanda
 
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