Can't sip water

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Hello my lovely friends

I haven't been able to sip any water for a week now. I'm two weeks post treatment. I've tried cold water, warm water, sparkling water but nothing can get past the pesky thick saliva, not even streaming is helping. Any suggestions? I'm shoving everything down the PEG but would be nice to drink something! 

Thanks Dee Blush 

  • Hi Dee as long as you are getting water via your PEG, don't worry for now, things will improve, you are very early post treatment. Try just swooshing (if that's a word) water around you mouth then spit it out, it might refresh your mouth a bit. Things will get better with time. You could ask you GP for Difflam mouth wash, that works quite well. Any worries just ask, someone will always answer if they can.

    Regards Ray

  • Hi Dee!

    I could drink either but I found that sipping a tiny but of frozen water helped. I used to freeze a small bottle of water and tried tiny sips throughout the day. I eventually switched to frozen diet coke as at some point water tasted horrible. 

    However please do not worry as you as you have water through your peg you will hydrated. Things will improve promise ! Baby steps, loads of patience and remember to be kind to yourself. 

    We are here for you. 

    Best wishes.


  • Hi Ray swooshing is a great word! Which I have been doing just so my mouth isn't dry. The team said it all looked good when I saw them today and weren't that concerned but you know how you get when you go through this. Laughing

  • Hi Fab1 didn't think of frozen water I'll give that a go. Unfortunately my patience is rubbish under normal situations Laughing thanks 

  • Hi Dee we all know how unwell and worried, you feel at the moment, things will get better, your body has a lot of healing to do. Bit by bit with time you will feel and see things are getting better. We're all here to help when you need it.


  • Try Diet cola or ginger ale. If it's too bubbly just stir some of the fizz out


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

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  • Thanks Dani I'll get hubby to go get some Blush

  • Hi I'm the same as Dee.  How long does the post treatment healing take??  Trying to prepare myself x

  • Hi there’s no set time. We are all different I was orally drinking ensures weekv3 after treatment enough to get me through. By week  5 I had added poached eggs on well buttered toast. 4 months I managed a small tea plate of Christmas lunch loads of gravy. Took 15 month to put weight on I aimed for 2500 calories every day and 2-3 litres of water Treatment is brutal recovery is a marathon not a sprint is best advice. High calorie foods became the norm. Now I’m 5 years I can eat most things apart from  spicy but that’s just me. Blogbelow might help. 
    thunk outside the box I had 6 smaller meals spread out to start with rather than 3 a day. Sweet potatoes easier than normal ones meat takes longer slow cooker was a great help slow cooked lamb perfect. Beef chicken pork took longer to be able to eat. 

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help  

  • Hi Dee,

    As others have said, your PEG is your life saver and you will get all you nutrition, fluids and meds through that. But I totally understand the thick saliva/no swallowing nightmare. My hubby hated it!! He tried mouthwashes, ginger ale, fizzy water, sips of water, nebuliser - the lot - and although he felt in despair some days, he gradually, slowly, step by step got through it. Eventually the horrible thick, gooey saliva started to thin out and then he started to be able to swallow xx

    He finished his 6 weeks radiotherapy on 19th July and is now managing to eat a range of foods, different textures, mostly soft!!! He still has 1 or 2 feeds a day in his PEG but life is starting to get back slowly to some sort of normal.

    Keep going, it's early days and everyone is here for answers, support or just to let it all out too!!