One subject that’s seriously tough to swallow

My father has an appointment with the gastroenterologist. He says he’s having trouble swallowing some foods, especially cheeseburgers, which are a favorite of his.

Difficulty swallowing is not new for my father. When he was in his early 70s, my parents frequently visited my sister in New Hampshire. On those visits, my father would have difficulty getting his food down during mealtime.

It happened so often that my sister’s son and daughter, ages 4 and 8, would call the kitchen chair my father sat in “Grampy’s choke chair.” The moniker was hilarious to them but probably not so funny to my father.

At that time my father’s diagnosis was dysphasia—difficulty swallowing due to acid reflux.

A time to honor those who care

Our community is full of them.

They often go unnoticed by friends and neighbors. Their role is not known to their employer. For many, their doctor is unaware of their situation.

They walk among us, shop among us, work among us—yet we don’t see them for what they are: family caregivers.

As you look around your workplace, your neighborhood or your doctor’s waiting room, you might be surprised to learn that one in five people around you are caring for an aging parent, a spouse, an elderly family member or friend with a chronic, debilitating or serious health condition.

“It’s not surprising that many of us don’t see these people in that light because most of the time