“Mechanical Soft Foods” is the name of my next collection of short stories.

Vallecula: August 12 AD – 22 January 41 AD; renowned for the hairstyle made famous by her name

Vallecula: August 12 AD – 22 January 41 AD; renowned for the hairstyle made famous by her name

No, it’s neither Dracula nor Caligula’s sister. Vallecula (specifically Epiglottic Vallecula) is the actual anatomical name for that place between my mouth and throat previously doffed with the affectionately demeaning term “gullet.” When the muscles around it/the epiglottis weaken it can trap bits of everything you eat using the same remarkable “flavor-saver” technology usually only found in a goatee. And today my epiglottic vallecula was recommended a diet of “Mechanical soft foods.”

[Here is where I might insert a dramatic sigh, were aspiration from said dramatic sigh not a possible strangler of me.]

Ok. So I may not need to go to apple sauce and soft vegetables right away… maybe it will help by following the other recommendations — I’ll take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly and drink water or thickened liquid (liquid thickeners are a thing and can be found at the drug store, apparently).

My best friend recently had cancer that has resulted in markedly worse problems for her than these. I was thinking more of her today than I was of myself. Not that eating medical pudding in front of an x-ray machine wasn’t exciting, but truly — where simple acts like “swallowing” are concerned, I know I can look to her for information and support.

1098418_10151794079898910_1009425254_nThursday, more PT. My first visit last week was so positive that I have since been doing the daily homework exercises and I’m excited to go back.

Friday, my neurologist. I know at least one medication will be denied it’s ABC’s Bachelor’s red rose and sent off the island… or something like that? I really don’t watch that much reality TV.* In more literal phrasiology, I’ll be switching from Gilenya to Tecfidera. So far, there have been no side effects from the Ampyra, but I’m less than a week in.

It feels like winning the (a?) lottery to go to this many health professionals in such a close chronological proximity. It won’t feel like that when the bills arrive, but not getting the best care I can is less viable an option the more I feel this stupid disease progressing. Therefore, the lottery euphemism stands.



*Except for Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. Don’t you judge me.

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