Many years ago I was having problems swallowing so the doctor stretched my throat. Things went well for me for a few years and then my throat had to be stretched again. When the third occasion came that it needed stretching the doctor talked to me seriously about what might happen and the bleeding that could occur and I chose not to get my throat stretched for the third time. I had therapy from a speech pathologist and my throat got better for a good many years. Again I began having problems and had therapy and it didn’t help a lot.

Please understand, I’m leaving a lot of details out. Trust that I have explored every option offered to me by doctors in Jonesboro and Little Rock.

Fast forward to now. I had a swallow study that showed my throat does not work. I am aspirating what I eat and drink. Ihe doctors are amazed that I’m not having chronic pneumonia. So they decided it was time to do something. I saw doctors in Jonesboro, had swallow studies, and other things done. I was sent to Little Rock and saw Doctor Tulanay who is director of the ENT center at UAMS. She said I needed a feeding tube immediately. She thinks there are things that she may be able to do to help my throat but they are “iffy” so she wanted the feeding tube in place before she tried any of the “iffy” things. One option is Botox. It either works or makes it worse so she wanted the feeding tube in place before she tried it in case it didn’t work and made it worse. The other thing is I have had two major surgeries on my cervical spine and have had a bone graft the first time and a titanium plate inserted the second time so I have all this hardware in my neck that complicates things plus all the scar tissue. Doctor Tulanay and I talked about doing surgery on the neck but she’s not sure that it would be successful because of the hardware and the scar tissue.

I’m not getting enough nutrition my blood work shows. So they are very concerned because I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the last two years. If I go another year like the last two I will be severely underweight. That would be a first for me.

Now we’ve come to the placement of the feeding tube.

Yesterday I went in for the procedure and the GI doctor put the light down my throat into my stomach. This is how they know where to place the tube. The light shows through the stomach and guides them as they place the tube, Unfortunately, because of all the scar tissue and the mesh screen that was implanted when I had hernia repair, the light didn’t show through. If you can’t see the light you can’t be guided by the light and all of you preachers should pick that phrase up because I think it would preach.

What’s next? I have no idea. I will talk to my doctors and be guided by their suggestions. Trust me, this has been a long journey and I really believe my doctors know what they’re doing.

Thank you all for your concern. Thank you even more for those prayers. Keep them coming.

Just remember, if you can’t see the light you can’t be guided by the light. I love each one of you.