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Eating and Drinking w/paralyzed vocal chord

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Good morning,

So my father has stage IV nsclc and he has a tumor pressing on a nerve that has caused one vocal chord to paralyze. It makes drinking liquids really challenging. He easily chokes, and cannot speak. In the last two weeks, I'd say he has lost around 10 pounds. My dad is 6 foot 4 and he's down to around 100 pounds. He told me the other day all he had eaten was ice chips and apple sauce. I'm scared for him. I offer to make him smoothies and any food of his choice, I tell him I will pick up whatever he wants. He told me nothing sounds good and when it does, by the time he tries to eat, it makes him nauseated. He takes nausea medication and he understands he has to eat, but he isn't. The other day I walked into his house while he was asleep and I thought he had passed. I'm just so worried all the time that I can't sleep. What can I do to help him? He's so weak and not being able to drink liquids really takes a toll on his energy. I know he feels nauseous, but I want to shake him and tell him if he doesn't eat he won't be here anymore. I know he knows that but I'm scared and I know he is too. Any words of wisdom?

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Good Morning!

I had to respond to this immediately, because my boyfriend has the same exact problem!

What has worked for us:

  • Giving him 6 meals- smaller portions seem less overwhelming
  • Play relaxing music to create a comfortable environment 
  • Stick to dishes that they truly love on the days that they loose appetite
  • Make the food anyways when they refuse, just give them a small portion and encourage them slowly to eat
  • Juice 3'xs a day- Kale/Spinach/Dandelions/Cucumber/Lemon/ Green Apples
  • Taking cannibis to increase appetite
  • Create an easy eating schedule and stick with it 
  • Making a variety of puree soups so that it's easier to eat without choking


  • Zofran has really helped my boyfriend with the nausea feel better

I have made that a couple of times, it was easy and delicious.

I really hope this helps you. You're not alone in this! You will figure it out. 



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