First severe choking incedent: Hi everyone... - PSP Association

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First severe choking incedent


Hi everyone. I was overwhelmed with the support you all gave me with my first post, and here I am again for advice. Chris has had lots of coughing fits (sometimes they're nearly constant), but tonight he took a drink of Diet Coke and started choking. It was long and violent, and he's very sore from it. I gave him a Tessalon pearl for the coughing, but that takes a while to kick in. I gave him small bites of yogurt, with a couple of minutes between each bite. After the first one, he said it was helping, but it took a good 15 mintues for his throat to calm down. I have read that people with PSP have more difficulty with thin liquids than with thicker ones, like yogurt. Besides using a thickener, are there other thick liquids that you have found to be both easy to swallow and appetizing?

19 Replies

Oh my goodness. I misspelled "incident." I apologize for not proofreading my title!

Smoothies, you can put about anything in and blend it. I used to make some for dad with yogurt, fruit and powdered peanut butter. That's a bunch of protein and tasted pretty good.


I have seen powdered peanut butter in the store and couldn't imagine what it's for! That is a great idea.

The first drink my husband found easy to swallow when his coughing started was Rubicon Mango drink in cartons. I didn’t need to thicken it as it was thick enough to start with. I also made smoothies when he needed something even thicker.


I have been diagnosed with CBD and have found Sainsbury's smoothies

Helpful. Jo x

We don't have Sainsbury's here, but I do love their Christmas commercials. I'll look up an equivalent in the US. Thanks!

Apologies for texts awful layout. Jo

I'm only grammar police on myself. Twenty-nine years of teaching middle school Language Arts has made me overlook anyone else's. Besides, it was perfectly readable.

Hy Lilybramble:

These are our experiences:

•Persistent cough:

Use the syrup recommended by the physician. To avoid in the diet: coffee, carbonated beverages (or eliminate the gas by agitation before giving it to the patient), chocolate, orange or grapefruit juice, helps.

•Phlegm and choking:

The first thing is to remain calm during episodes of truly shocking coughs. The second is that a physician rules out an infection in the respiratory tract. (Fever is an indication usually either pneumonia or urinary tract infection (UTI) in PSP patients).

•It is not a big problem that the patient swallows his phlegm. For phlegm to be fluid, it is important to drink liquids. Steam inhalation from boiling waterin a bowl with a few drops of Eucalyptus essence and a small spoonful of Vicks Vaporub (Olbas Oil in U.K.) and a small spoonful of marine salt, with a towel covering head and bowl helps. (One to three times a day.) Medications like "Mucosan" (Ambroxol hydrochloride) twice a day or “Fluimicil Forte-600” (Acetilcisteine) one by day, help. Ask physician.

•In case of choking, raise both arms at shoulder height, breathe only through the nose intensely if posible. I not, inhale air intensely but not very fast through the mouth. Retain air a couple of seconds and then force the cough.

To avoid in the diet: coffee, carbonated beverages (or eliminate the gas by agitation before giving it to the patient), chocolate, orange or grapefruit juice, helps.

•There is a suction machine which helped a lot with the very sticky phlegm. We have NOT used it yet.

•A steam atomizer to keep the air in the room moist helped, too. (40% - 52% moist advisable.)

•The physiotherapists have exercises reinforcing trunk muscles to improve the cough response to choking.

•Avoid dairy products, especially before bedtime seems to avoid the increase in viscosity of phlegm.

•Raising around 20º the head of the bed also helps.

Prevent solids or regular liquids from reaching the lungs to avoid eventual “aspiration pneumonia,” (Besides falls, this is another very important risk.)

•Add thickeners (eg, Resource from Nestle, Thickit or CVS (in USA)) to drinks (soups, water, Aquarius orange or lemon or similar, etc.) till obtain a bit glutinous liquid. To drink, it is advisable to use a special cup (Ornamin 815) with the chin as near as possible to the chest.

•The food must be moderately doughy and in small pieces if solid.

•The speech therapist has insisted that she should not take meals that "deceive" the mechanism of swallowing that is damaged. The foods that “deceive” are those that have liquids and solids in the same bite (eg, some beans with soup or a soup with pasta).

•Check the patient is sitting fully upright to eat and try not to have distractions around while he is eating.

•Making a puree with a hand blender is always a solution, but it is preferable to crush with a fork until a homogeneous paste without liquid and so as not forget the function of chewing. What is not used is lost!

George only drink carbonated water, he can’t eat chocolate, oranges, melon, grapefruit, weird how everyone is so different with this bloody horrible illness xxxxxx

Good morning, choking more so with liquids, we give my brother smoothies, use thickener for coffee, soups, etc, found a product called Thick It, which we use to give him water, works great he never chokes now, Nettie


Your list is a good one,everyday unfortunately is going to be a challenge and all the experts in the world can't help as much as you.It is trail and error,what worked one day may not work the next day.My husband takes glycopýrrolate to help with drying up the sticky phlegm which is one of his biggest problem.

He drinks a lot of fruit flavored ( no sugar) carbonated water,walmart brand a dollar a litre in Canada. He will not do thickener.

Your doing the best you know how.

Welcome to the group no one wants to belong to.

Dee in BC

Lilybramble in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for that support: "you're doing the best you know how." I can't tell you how calming that is.

Hi Lilybramble,

Like Dee said - trial and error. My water has to be thickened... I'm good with carbonated beverages like beer (: or a good stout, I avoid pop or soda. Fruit smoothies with extra protein and a laxative powder are a staple on my menu.

Tim xx

Oh I am so sorry. It is so scarry when that happens and so distressing for you both. Mango juice is lovely and thick and tasty and Nigel also finds the milk shakes like Yazoo good. Good luck. Alison

Lilybramble in reply to AliBee1

Several people have suggested the mango juice. I'm going to get some--if Chris doesn't like it, my son will!

Thin liquids were the bane of Charles' existance and the professionals never seemed to understand.

Smoothies were good. At first he could do dairy ie: milkshakes and Boost, etc. Then we had to switch to sorbet smoothies which worked for awhile. Squeezable applesauce in those pouches helped with taking pills. It was a very bad situation. I miss him every day!


I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for the good ideas.

Great suggestions everyone! I did want to caution anyone with grapefruit juice as you are not supposed to take it with some medications or within a time period of taking them. Please check the warnings.

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