I remember hearing a lot about the Salivary Glands: the upper ones in the cheeks should not be affected by radiation… but the lower ones will suffer from the micro atomic blasts. The pros said saliva would get thick and nasty, and it did. They mentioned that swallowing could become difficult. It sure did for me… I was glad the day the Notorious P E G showed up. There was always this weird feeling in the back of my mouth, right where the mouth seems to transition into the throat. This one soft spot that saliva gravitated towards and would not let go of.
This same soft spot became very sensitive to the notion of swallowing, coughing, and yawning. It was like the gatekeeper that would let nothing pass through uncontested. This gate guard is the soft palate and I do not remember anyone mentioning how it would be affected. It is an impressive component of the Ear, Nose, and Throat system that is involved in directing food down the correct tube in the throat as well as keeping the nasal and oral cavities separated and operating correctly.
I felt this solitary soft spot in my mouth and assumed it was a sore that opened up and would not go away. However, both doctors checked my mouth and did not see anything on the soft palate that warranted concern or action. I went about with this weird feeling, not knowing what it was for a long time.
The weird feeling (I think) was created by mucous the soft palate secretes. Perhaps the radiation affected it and its ability to secrete mucous. I am assuming there is a mucous that covers or lines the soft palate which explains why it feels wet when all the saliva has dried up.
For me, it was this weird feeling I could not explain or understand; just something to live with until the side effects subside.
As the healing continues, I discover and appreciate the soft palate’s role and interaction with the tongue when chewing, drinking, and swallowing. I certainly KNOW the soft palate is in total control of the gag reflex! There were two weeks when it was not about to let anything pass through my mouth to my throat.
Today… healing is going strong. I am eating soups and soft foods, and drinking coffee, teas, and water cuz the soft palate is letting food and drink pass through unchallenged.