Bronchial/esophageal spasms? Asthma? 
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 Bronchial/esophageal spasms? Asthma?

A few minutes ago I did one of those lovely swallowing miscues
on a slug of water.  The ensuing horrible gasping and wheezing
sounds caused three or four people to come running over.  It
was intensely embarrassing as these worried people hovered
over me and I fought for breath like a fish in a rowboat.

This has happened twice before at work, and both times it was
just as someone came by, more or less surprising me just as
I was swallowing.  This time I know I was distracted by
something else, a new thought, but now I don't remember what
it was.  

It seems I "forget" how to do it; I will have a gulp of liquid
poised at the back of my mouth, and I just can't get the
mechanism to work.  When this happens the adrenalin gets going
because I think I'm going to do a spasm.  My heartbeat goes
up way high, and I become extremely anxious.  

These little episodes last 15 to 20 seconds, and they leave
me shaking and sweating.  I am unable to talk for about a
minute after.  The real problem is not really the frequency
of the attacks, which I would put at three or four a year,
but the anxiety accompanying drinking.  I have not had any
problems with solid">food (as a matter of fact, the best way
for me to take a pill is with bread or crackers).

This has been a problem for about five years now.  Drinking is
now a conscious effort.  I remember as a kid I would chug down a
drink, practically pouring it down.  Now, I must measure my sips
carefully, manoeuvre the liquid to the right area with my tongue
and time the swallow perfectly.  I also must be sitting upright;
drinking from a fountain is impossible.  My sips must be so tiny
it's not worth the time.  More difficult are carbonated drinks,
dry wines, and tea.  I have the least trouble with milk and fruit

I am thinking these attacks are related to times of stress;  they
started appearing during a time after my mother died and I was
experiencing panic attacks.  My GP did not seem overly concerned
with the problem;  he claims it is probably an esophegeal spasm
and that I just have to ride out the twenty seconds.

Now, I don't expect medical advice from the net but I am curious
to know if there are others out there who know what I'm talking
about, and what they do about it.

-- gk

Tue, 01 Aug 1995 05:53:31 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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