Four or so years ago I wrote a blog post about EDS and drinking and felt it was time for an update!
What are the issues with EDS and drinking…
- you may not be able to swallow or have a limited swallow. In my case I can drink some things and not others. Generally when people can’t swallow liquids very well they are advised to try thicker drinks. In my case this concept is reversed, I can’t drink thick drinks but can do water and squash and thin liquids. I also can’t drink anything with sugar in. No idea why this is the case but wanted to mention in case it helps someone else identify a pattern in their own swallowing.
- you may not be able to lift a drinking vessel
- you may not be able to open a bottle with your hands or a sports cap with your teeth
- you may have a tendency to spill or drop drinks
- you may need to drink more than the average person to manage POTS
What are the solutions?
Contigo Autoseal are still my go to for hot drinks and I still haven’t had a problem with the flask mentioned in my first post about this subject! They have a couple of designs so it’s worth having a think about what will be best for you. I find the ones without handles easier but the ones with handles do have locks for added security. The button you press to open the mouth bit is fairly easy to press but not so easy it’ll get pressed in your bag. You can also get a replacement lid if you ever need to so you won’t need to throw the whole thing away.
Note of caution: your drink will stay hot for hours. If you want to be able to drink it soon, add some cold water!
Straw wise, you’ve now got a range of options which is amazing! There is lots of advice out there now in response to the straw bans but I find this from @rollwthepunches particularly helpful:
Hopefully it will help you think through your options. Personally I use metal straws for cold drinks and I have a little pouch that I take out with one in so my bag doesn’t get wet after use. I also take out straws which are made of plastic designed for hot drinks, a bit like these from Serephina’s Kitchen. Note, don’t use the metal ones for hot drinks!!!
I’ve tried glass straws and liked them for drinking wine – it felt classier than using plastic or metal – but my carers ended up breaking them all. All of these can be hard to clean if you have hand issues so do consider that as well. Some can go in the dishwasher and this might be something to think about if you don’t have someone who can help you clean them.
When it comes to cold drinks, I get through ridiculous amounts of squash and diet fizzy drinks in a day. I’m talking 5 to 6 litres a day. Obviously this means I don’t leave the house without a bottle and that bottle is one from Hydrate for Health. It pops in the side pocket of my wheelchair bag and the long straw means it reaches round the chair and clips onto my coat or skirt or whatever. Without it, I’d be asking my carers to open a drink every two seconds… I also use it overnight. It hooks onto the trolley by my bed and means I can easily drink when in bed. I can even drink laying down, all I have to do is move my arm! You can also buy replacement bits which is great – I have two bottles and have had them for years now but from time to time I need a new clip or straw and I like that I can get them separately.
At the other end of the size spectrum I have a Contingo Autoseal water bottle which is a mere 300ml and has been to Cambodia and back with me. When I was on the plane, I got it refilled with water and hence didn’t have to bother with plastic cups. I have absolutely no issues with it and, like my flask, have had it for a number of years now!
During the day I like to drink fizzy drinks and the hydrate for health doesn’t really work for that so I use those plastic cups with lids and straws. You can find them in bargain home stores and have grown in popularity over the last few years so are fairly easy to find. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look at this one from amazon but note that you can normally get them for less than £3.
Safe Sip drink covers can another great product and can be used on wine glasses! They are easy to use and small enough to carry with you if you’re going out. Pop them in a little pouch with your straw!