I’m at a point where it’s time to get some help getting my throat and mouth back in shape after chemo and radiation. If you’ve been following my journey you know that I was diagnosed in August with an HPV-related head and neck cancer. I had surgery to remove some of the cancer and radiation to blast the rest into oblivion. My next stop on the road to recovery is the physical therapist to help me deal with speech and swallowing issues.
Here’s the first video from today as I waited to see the physical therapist at the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services in Castle Shannon.
Physical therapist, Karen Losego, taught me to do and how they’ll help build up strength in my throat and neck muscles. They will help me talk more clearly again and eat food without feeling like I’m choking on it or having it go up my nose. That’s for real stuff and I’m not alone in this struggle.
(Photo above: Karen Losego, PT, feels for tightened skin and muscles in my neck and throat)
In this next video you’ll see some of the exercises Karen showed me, including a very funny looking one with tongue depressors that really works.
So I learned quite a bit from my visit with Karen. I was doing some improvised stretches on my own with my mouth and jaw. She taught me the right way to do it and gave me several different routines to accomplish different goals. I have my daily exercises to do for now, then I’m back in two weeks for a follow up and possibly some tougher exercises to continue my recovery.
(Photo above: Karen Losego, PT, measures the range of motion for my head and neck)
The goal of sharing my journey with you all is to educate, inspire and encourage you and others along your own journeys. We all have our struggles and our own daily challenges, mind just happened to be cancer.
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