Patty

Choking Anyone?

37 posts in this topic

Hi Peanut,

 

And everyone else too! Does the choking pick up in intensity at times and drop off unexpectedly? Last year was difficult, and as the muscle spasms in my body went crazy for a while, my throat went right along with it all. There's always a "stuck jellybean" sensation as I've mentioned several times, but at least food goes down easier once the body spasms ease up. Muscle relaxers help tremendously with it, but I don't know if they help everyone. Just a thought...

 

Best wishes to all,

Elehos

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I've been reading several message threads about choking as they have evolved. Now I have decided to put in my 5 cent's worth.

 

I've had diffuse scleroderma for over 10 years now. Some years ago I found I was becoming increasingly hoarse, and periodically suffered from coughing fits. Although I've had some lung fibrosis in the base of my lungs almost since the word "go", the coughing didn't appear to come from my lungs. Someone said it was like a hair in their throat, which pretty well explains it.

 

It was not till I had surgery in early 2004 for an unrelated condition, that something became apparent. When the anesthetist found she would be attending a scleroderma patient, she prepared for possible problems, and had another anesthetist and a helper. It was just as well she did! She had told me that she wanted to be able to give me a general anesthetic, as it would be nicer for me. If she couldn't it would be an epidural. So in case there were nasty things to be done she put me out first with a very strong sedative.

 

She came to see me after I had woken from the surgery, and told me that I had VERY difficult endo-tracheal intubation. She couldn't use the usual method of making an airway to my lungs, and eventually after much trying, had to use a fiber optic tube, which went round corners! (I knew that they'd had trouble as under my chin was sore for weeks, where obviously someone's thumb had been pulling on my chin!)

 

The reason for all this was as she said, my trachea (voicebox) had become "pulled up and tethered" as a result of the scleroderma! So I gather that this was somewhat blocking the straight path needed to my lungs. Because of this she recommended I get a Medic Alert bracelet with "difficult endo-tracheal intubation" on it. The surgeon also saw me afterwards, and remarked that I gave the anesthetist considerable problems! I was so lucky to have such a good anesthetist, who was also compassionate!

 

She said that this problem could definitely have a bearing on my coughing fits. If I had reflux, the coughing would be made worse by it. But as I seldom have had reflux or heartburn it probably wasn't that.

 

I have since found that post nasal drip (as Janey mentioned in another thread), was a big factor. Unfortunately one of my BP meds, Cardura, also known as Doxazosin, can cause rhinitis, (among other things!). Since I have been on it I always have fluid from my nose going down my throat, and at night it is usually the worst, particularly if I'm sleeping on my back. I often choke and cough for ages trying to clear my throat of this stuff! It feels as though it is stuck in the region of my trachea, and knowing what I now know about it, this is probably what is happening.

 

Like others have said, I also get other things stuck, which make me choke. Particularly dry stuff, or large pieces of meat. I really do suspect, with me anyway, that having my trachea in a different position, courtesy of scleroderma, is a big factor in my coughing/choking fits. I wonder how many of us actually have this problem without knowing about it? I certainly never suspected it until my surgery!

 

Warm hugs,

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wow Sherrill,

I'm so glad you shared. That is quite an experience.

Your story sounds familiar. I have postnasal drip for which I’m prescribed a steroid nose inhalier. My voice has been going in and out over the last several months. They say it’s a rare side effect of QVAR, a prednisone inhaler. With my choking and coughing fits, Hum… but what if it is my voice box? How might they check? It’s always good to rule things out.

 

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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Peanut,

 

I guess they'd have to have a look down your throat! :( I'm not sure if it would be evident with an endoscopy, but I did have two of those about 2001 I think it was. No one said then that it was hard to get down my throat :unsure: And of course I might not have had the problem then. But maybe it's only when they try to get into your lungs for an intubation, that it becomes evident? Ask your doctor next time you see him.

 

Warm hugs,

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<<The reason for all this was as she said, my trachea (voicebox) had become "pulled up and tethered" as a result of the scleroderma!>>

 

Hi, Everyone....WOW...I wonder if this is why Gareth doesn't have more than a whisper on most days?!?!? I will keep this in mind when I talk to his rheumatologist the next time.

 

Take care, Everyone.

Margaret

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Hi, I wonder how many have involvment in their upper throat like Sherrill. For some time now the opening to my throat has been narrowing but I thought I was imagining it. When I went to the Dr.s he said that it looked like my throat was being pulled down on one side, and it feel like it too. Some nights I find it hard to breath and have to put my head back so I can get more air in. Don't know what's causing it but I wish it would stop.

Hugs, Piper

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I'm a hard sleeper and I take sleeping pills, which knock me out cold. One night I woke up choking and coughing unable to breathe. I asked my husband if he heard me and why he didn’t wake up. He told me I choke/cough 2-3x a night. I guess I wake up if it's really, really bad. This scares me.

 

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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This would scare me, too, peanut. Not sure whether I would be more scared that I was choking and not knowing it, or because my husband allowed me to do it without waking me up. If you are going to be sleeping that soundly, I do hope you are taking all the other precautions: elevated bed, etc. Take care, please.


Warm wishes,

Jefa

 

Carrie Maddoux

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Carrie,
Here's the thing... before my diagnosis I NEVER EVER snored unless I was sick. After my diagnosis I've developed this wicked snore that drives my hubby to sleep on the couch. And with the fans and AC running at night (we live in the triple digit southwest) he doesn't always hear me. I'm not sure what to do. I'm thinking about getting a wedge pillow to elevate my head but I'm not sure it helps?

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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Well may as well jump on the 'choking 'wagon,I choke,cough alot too.I have even choked just by turning my head sideways! I don't always have to be eating something for it to happen and I hate it as I've had it so bad that I actually lose my breath and if husband not around I have to find a way to hit myself to get it back and its SCARY! I always have water everywhere I go even to church.Yeah its happened there too so its good to have my water handy! I choke on my own saliva too! I've had a barium swallow and starting coughing choking while they were doing it as I was sideways drinking the stuff out of the plastic cup.Said my esophagus was 'tight".Anyways I think a lot of us have this problem and its the old sd that caused it as well as other problems that crop up and throw us for a loop.I hope all of you are doing okay.I had all my tests done yesterday,barium enema(gross-uncomfortable),bone density chest x-rays and couldn't do the PFT as the nurse said I wasn't doing what she wanted so I told her that was all I could do.They will let me know either for my next visit or maybe sooner.Hugs to all and smiles too.Mary-La.

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Add me to the choking group too. I've choked on about everything listed so far (including "nothing"). I sometimes get my pills stuck and just have to hack them out. Along with the choking I 've had the cough, post nasal drip, laryngitis and EVEN the label "difficult to intubate" written at the top of my hospital chart. I'll ask my Dr about the "pulled up and tethered" description. He put me on allergy meds but they aren't really doing much.

 

I just want to say how much comfort I'm finding tonight, my first night on this forum. I tried a chat room over a year ago and got scared off by hearing about symptoms I didn't have. Now I'm happy (not in a mean way!) to hear I'm not alone. Even going to a great research institution doesn't guarantee your specialist has seen all the variations.

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choking on big air balls of nothing is frightening... i dislike those the most.

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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Sheri,

 

A BIG welcome to the Forums! I'm glad you found us, and I am sure you will find a great deal of help here.

 

I am interested that you also "have the label attached" of difficult to intubate! I will be interested to hear what your doctor has to say about the possibility of your trachea being "pulled up and tethered" the same as mine is. Maybe this an unheard of symptom as yet, and although existing has not been recognized?

 

I am also glad that you find the Forums comforting. Come here often!

 

Warm hugs,

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