Vim & Vigor - Winter 2009 - North Mississippi - (Page 52)

swallowing becomes easier with vitalstim treatment digest this hen most of us sit down to a meal, we don’t think twice about swallowing our food and drinks. However, that’s not the case for patients like Peggy Bigham, who suffered a stroke in April. When Bigham came home to Pheba, Miss., from the hospital, she couldn’t swallow anything; she had to get her nutrition from a feeding tube. Fortunately, she was referred to North Mississippi Medical Center Home Health where speech-language pathologist Rhonda Lewis, of the Pontotoc branch office, knew that a treatment they offer, called VitalStim, could help. VitalStim uses electrical impulses to stimulate deep muscle tissue to help strengthen the areas that control swallowing. After just weeks of treatment, Bigham had a follow-up video swallow study done and was able to start drinking liquids and pureed foods, a huge step forward in her recovery. W Initially Bigham’s oral meal was given during the therapy visit with the use of VitalStim and under the direction of Lewis. And although her primary nutrition continues to be delivered through a feeding tube, Bigham now enjoys one meal a day with her family and friends. making progress “We’re still working with Mrs. Bigham so that in the future, we will be able to progress her pureed diet to a regular one,” Lewis says. Swallowing problems can be caused by stroke, brain injury and Parkinson’s disease, among other things. In the past, the only option to treat this problem was doing swallowing exercises. “Using VitalStim while doing the exercises speeds up recovery time substantially,” Lewis says. In addition to treating swallowing problems, VitalStim can help with facial weakness as well. “Sometimes stroke patients will have weakness in their faces that causes a droop on one side,” Lewis explains. “We can put VitalStim on the face and work on strengthening those muscles. This stimulates muscle tissue in a way that exercise alone can’t do.” While Lewis admits that the treatment isn’t always comfortable, she says she’s never had a patient quit because of the way the treatments what to look for Dysphagia, or trouble swallowing, has symptoms that include: • Coughing, choking, strangling on foods and liquids before, during and after swallowing • Feeling of food being stuck in throat • Pain during swallowing • Recurring chest infections • Onset of pneumonia of unknown origin • Holding food or liquid in the mouth before initiating swallow • Multiple swallows NMMC Home Health has nine speech-language patholo• Pocketing food gists on staff, all of whom are trained in VitalStim therapy. • Food or liquid entering the nasal passages For more information on VitalStim or other services offered by • Wet, gurgly vocal quality NMMC Home Health, call 800-THE DESK (800-843-3375), or visit • Spilling food from the mouth • Drooling start today go vim & vigor · winte r 2 009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2009 - North Mississippi

Vim & Vigor - Winter 2009 - North Mississippi
Opening Thoughts
Our Newest Addition
Diabetes Check
Model Behavior
Is it a Sign?
Your Heart: The Owner's Manual
Independence Days
Sidney Poitier
The Right Stuff
Watch and Learn
Up to Speed
Shining Stars
Back in Action
Digest This
Healthy Bites
Catch the Spirit

Vim & Vigor - Winter 2009 - North Mississippi