Welcome to our Chewless Challenge!

29 Jan

Welcome to our Chewless Challenge!

Here is a little background into why we’re subjecting ourselves to a week with no solid food!

As some of you may know, Speech and Language Therapists not only work with people who have communication difficulties but also those who have difficulties eating and drinking. Difficulties with swallowing are known as dysphagia, and can affect people with a wide range of conditions. For example:

  • Stroke
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Parkinsons
  • Head Injury
  • Dementia
  • Progressive conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Congenital Malformations e.g. babies born with structural abnormalities affecting their ability to eat and drink
  • Reflux
Dysphagia can affect all stages of the eating and drinking process, right from chewing the food, to it entering your stomach.  It can mean that people may have to make changes to what and how they eat so they do not risk food entering their lungs which can lead to malnutrition, pneumonia or even death. Changes can involve thickening fluids, pureeing food or in extreme cases being entirely tube fed.
How would you feel… if you could never swallow again? If you could never have a custard cream with your cup of tea? If you could never drink water straight from the tap? If you could never bite into an apple? If you couldn’t eat what your friends could at a restaurant? If you always had to eat through a straw?
For someone living with dysphagia these ‘what ifs’ may be reality and the recommendations a Speech and Language Therapist make can have a potentially massive effect on people’s social lives, self esteem and  enjoyment of food.
This is why, as future Speech and Language Therapists (fingers crossed), we have set ourselves the challenge of eating only pureed food (i.e. something that doesn’t need chewing) for 1 week to experience what life might be like for someone with swallowing difficulties and to raise money for SCOPE.  We’re hoping to raise over £200, so please please sponsor us here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChewlessChallenge

Our challenge will commence on the 9th of February so check back then to find out how we’re getting on!

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