Speech Therapy Success Story

Meet Betty Courtial. She was referred to Speech Therapy for a swallowing disorder.

What led you to Speech Therapy?

I was having some difficulties when eating and drinking. Serious choking and I’d had several episodes. I saw my doctor, and he sent me to Speech Therapy here at Memorial. 

What was your diagnosis?

Speech Therapy did a swallow test on me, and the tests indicated I had some weakness in muscles used when swallowing.

How did the swallow test work?

They had different thicknesses of barium and some of it had cookies in it. They would ask me to swallow, and then there would be a fluoroscope picture made. That’s what determined the weaknesses.

The speech therapist recommended Betty do some exercises, which have helped reverse her condition.

She would have me swallow hard, a series of 10 times. She also showed me an apparatus that I was able to order. To use it, I would bring my chin down and hold this apparatus tight. In doing that, it strengthened some muscles.

How has Speech Therapy helped change how you do things?

I think it made me more aware when I eat to slow down and swallow carefully. It strengthened those muscles, and I didn’t have that fear of choking. I think I’m more relaxed, and the exercises strengthened the area of my throat. 

What would you tell a friend about Speech Therapy at Memorial?

I would tell them that my experience with Memorial’s Speech Department was a very positive experience, and I resolved my issues. I could recommend them highly.