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Tracheostomy

Hi has any one here had to have a tracheostomy fitted?? How did you cope was you able to talk eat??

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I couldn’t talk at first,

If your tracheostomy tube has a cuff, the nurse will ensure the cuff is deflated during meal times. This will make it easier to swallow. If you have a speaking valve by deflating the cuff you can speak too - small bursts at first. I then had a pasamura(?) valve which increased volume - just as I got used to trachy - they took it out.

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Apparently, I found it difficult to speak but with regard eating I have no memory recall.

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Hi, I remember when I finally did come round and I was trying so hard to tell my visitors that I had a sore throat and that's why I couldn't speak, that's what I actually thought. I didn't realise for ages. I also remember not being aloud even a teaspoon of water and I was soooo thirsty! I remember being very frustrated and 'dreamt' a lot about it... ! It feels like the slowest progress ever right now but when you least expect it things start progressing faster. Xxx

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Hello. I really struggled with the talking bit with my trachy and gave up and resorted to writing which was easier for me. I think I’d have got past the squeak if I’d persevered but it was too much. The Doctors made me eat though. It is possible but it’s really difficult as it’s so uncomfortable. It’s like trying to eat with a walnut stuffed down your throat. I did get used to it eventually. It’s just one of those awkward things that takes practice. I found the whole experience of the trachy quite distressing. I don’t know if it was in my head but I could feel it all the way down all the time. Not very nice.

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I had a trachy for about two weeks after I was extubated. I was in ICU at the time and wasn't allowed food or drink. Like Lexie I was so desperate for water and had drug induced dreams about drinking and bottled water. After about ten days I had a speaking valve fitted to the trachy for short periods; the nurses said it was so good to hear my voice.

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that was my experience too, I wasn't allowed food or water so didn't experience any difficulty with eating or drinking which other posts here refer to. But when I did have a speaking valve and was told to say something, I remember hardly recognising my own voice. It was strange and a bit scary.

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God reading your post and a whole heap of memories flooded back. Everytime the nurses opened a freezer near me I was daydreaming of the ice I could see and in my head asking for just one piece lol I had to use a child's book to communicate because I couldn't write so I had to point to words or letters to inform them what I wanted and as others wasn't allowed to eat either it felt like a blur probably because of the drugs I was full off x

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I found the plus side of having a trachy was the moment when I was eventually allowed a sip of tea. A fantastic experience (I'm British).

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When I was eventually allowed to drink some water I was disappointed to find it tasted bitter! It took my tastebuds quite some time to return to normal.

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Hi Leanne,

I was fitted with a trachy for some time and was fed by a naso-gastric tube (up the nose). You can't talk as your voice box is above the tube incision. I can't remember feeling thirsty, I was drugged up to the eyeballs. What I found VERY distressing was the clearing of fluids from the tube and lungs as your gag response kicks in, unable to cough but desperate to do so.

I was fitted with a speech valve which was a great relief (I do like to chat!), before I could only mouth words.

All the best, it will get better

Ian P

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