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choking ,trouble swallowing - reassurance sought

(27 Posts)
gingeroots Wed 20-Feb-13 11:20:05

Taking 20mg omeprazole last 6 weeks ,previously ranatadine .

Problem getting worse ,food gets stuck ,throat seems to spasm and food wont go up or down .

Went to A&E Monday night but managed to bring up some food on way there and some more eventually while waiting so left - horrendously crowded - without being seen .

Made emergency appt with GP for Tuesday but had to cancel because elderly mother had crisis .

Have GP appt for Monday but just hoping someone can reassure me until then .

I think I'm most scared of not being able to breathe ,so far I can ,so that's ok isn't it ?

Trying to keep myself safe - think eating macaroni cheese one segment at a time ,drinking honey and water to soothe throat ( sore after mega session on Monday ) . Have doubled omeprazole dose - says you can on enclosed leaflet .

Any advice or tips from people who also suffer ?

prettyanddainty Wed 20-Feb-13 12:30:37

Hi ginger I understand how you feel, eventhough i didn't experience food getting stuck, i did get that horrible feeling of not being able to swallow the food, it seemed as if my throat had frozen while i was trying to swallow. I was so paranoid about eating and drinking, anyway when i went to the dr, he gave me 30mg lanzoprazole 2x a day. It is alot better now, but i do still get that horrible feeling sometimes not that bad though.

mrsmobbs Wed 20-Feb-13 17:43:58

Hi have been taking esomeprazole 40mg daily for over 5 years now as nothing else was strong enough, do occasionally get that feeling of needing to burp to clear throat but went to docs and nothing wrong. I always take my tabs first thing before breakfast and that works better, the only other symptoms you may start to get is a funny tummy and loose stools but better that than acid. Hope doc puts your mind a rest

gingeroots Wed 20-Feb-13 18:00:00

Thanks pretty and mrsmobbs .

Yes - that feeling that you need to burp and can't - sounds so trivial but when you're in the grip of a spasm ,it doesn't feel like that !

It seems to me that I have two things going on - food getting stuck and the throat going in to spasm .
I've woken in the night with the spasm thing ( that does make it hard to breathe ,sounds like whooping cough a bit ) when I've not been eating !
And the food not going down .

Maybe the extra omeprazole will sort it .

Guess what - I can usually get chocolate down ( though not a cream filled chocolate ) .
Wouldn't you know it !

prettyanddainty Wed 20-Feb-13 19:13:01

ginger let us know how your appoitment goes, your gp may send you for a test. My Dr was going to send me for a barium swallow if the lanzoprazole didn't work, but hopefully another tablet will do the trick for you.

Yotamsrazor Wed 20-Feb-13 20:20:45

Is it possible you have an allergy do you think? I'm just wondering about what you're saying about feeling as if you can't get your , and the whooping cough type sound. Does it sound like a wheeze? If so, could you have some inflamation of the oesophagus caused by something you're allergic to, that is causing the spasms when trying to swallow?

I should imagine chocolate would go down ok as it melts to a liquid so goes down smoothly. It might be worth keeping a list of what you're eating/drinking (or trying to eat and drink) and what reactions you are getting over the following few hours. Hope all goes ok for you on Mon.

Yotamsrazor Wed 20-Feb-13 20:21:26

'as if you can't get your breath'. that should say.

funambulist Wed 20-Feb-13 20:27:48

Having difficulty swallowing is what GPs regard as a "red flag" symptom. You really need to be seen by a doctor asap to make sure that it's not something serious. A friend of mine had similar symptoms and whilst, in the end, it turned out to be something manageable, it took quite a while to rule out some much more serious possibilities. Please do go to your GP.

gingeroots Wed 20-Feb-13 20:51:45

razor I don't know about the allergy ; it's a very rapid reaction ,maybe there's something in that .

To me it's as if there's something about the texture or combination of choc and mint that triggers a sudden response .
But I do feel two seperate things are going on ,the spasm can happen when I haven't eaten ( maybe reflux irritating the throat ? ) and then there's the newer symptom of food getting stuck .

I'm so scared funambulist I'll be at the GP's on Monday .
( will be a second visit ,since the first and the omeprazole it's defintely getting worse )

Yotamsrazor Wed 20-Feb-13 22:09:33

And also wondering about possibility of hiatus hernia? I know you're worried, so there's no use saying "Don't worry", but it does sound like it could be something hernia/allergic/inflammatory - which are v manageable. Also stress will make anything spasmy worse, so that won't be helping while you are in this limbo-ey stage.

Have you googled eosophageal spasms? It sounds like what might be happening (*disclaimer..I'm not a doctor..I have these spasms) They are scary but not actually life threatening. There are meds which help, so defo see your gp!

gingeroots Wed 06-Mar-13 15:40:23

Just posting to get in touch with reality .

Had endoscopy this morning ,despite so called sedation and throat spray it didn't go well .

Consultant spoke to self and partner afterwards .
Says yes hiatus hernia ,says did you know why you were fast tracked ,did GP mention cancer .
Says narrowing, says CAT scan next week to ( pause for breaths here ) to see if it's spread ....
Says cancel scan if biospys negative .

Consultant very unsmiling .
So suppose waiting game for results .
Don't really believe its cancer .

Any posts gratefully received .

Walnutcakelover Wed 06-Mar-13 16:49:47

ginger sorry to hear that, it must have been awful for you. Did the Dr say what treatment they were going to give you for a hiatus hernia? What makes them think you might have cancer (dumb question)

Elibean Wed 06-Mar-13 19:25:10

Ginger, sounds like a really shocking time for you this morning. Yes, it does sound like a waiting game - and hard that the Consultant didn't really say much, and just sort of threw out worst case scenario like that. Not much of a bedside manner, by the sound of it.

I suppose the good thing is that you're now being seen, being taken seriously, and will be looked after asap - he's right to book the scan as if it were cancer, because you can unbook a scan, but you don't want to delay having one by waiting on the biopsy results before taking action iyswim.

Tightly crossed fingers for best possible news in next few days, and for the waiting - which is often the worst part of anything health related.

gingeroots Wed 06-Mar-13 20:46:55

Thank you cakelover and Elibean

Bit calmer now ,tending towards thinking the consultant is a self important s**t - he was outrageously rude and patronising to the other staff .

Demanding a biro ( with his back to the people he was speaking to ) and rejecting with great disdain the gel pen that was proffered .
Making the staff taste/try the throat spray before he used it on me .
And well done student nurse who told him ( he kept asking them what it was like ) that it was reminiscent of wee and bananas !

Completely ridiculous of him to have expected GP to have suggested cancer to me .
Thinking that his doom laden speech to me was all part of his self aggrandisement - look at me I deal with life and death issues .

Walnutcakelover Wed 06-Mar-13 21:05:08

ginger He sounds like a right s**t. I really hate when they do that, why cant they just be nice and sympathetic, after all it's the patient that is feeling awful. They make you feel like you can't ask them questions, how awful.

Inaminutenow Wed 06-Mar-13 21:06:09

Hi ginger, good luck with everything and fingers crossed its nothing serious! My DH is also in the middle of tests at the moment...

thekingfisher Wed 06-Mar-13 21:12:10

Gingerroots, my dh has a variety of oesophageal issues, when he gets a bad reflux attack he often feels like he has something stuck a dn can't swallow and starts 'choking' this is to do With the acid coming up and irritating the oseophagus.

Hopefully the biopsy comes back fine but there are other causes to your symptoms but clearly important to discount other potentially more serious things first

Hth

Walnutcakelover Wed 06-Mar-13 21:12:24

Fingers crossed for you both ginger and inaminute, let us know the outcome if you want.x

It may be worth putting a complaint in about this consultant chap. It sounds like his (bedside) manner needs some work!

Hope all turns out well for you x

Yotamsrazor Thu 07-Mar-13 00:39:27

There seems to be a trend for spelling out ALL possible scenarios before testing is complete. This I reckon is so you can't turn round at a later point and say you weren't warned it could be something serious. I know at least 3 people over the last year who have been in your position - ie being scared witless almost from the word go, by consultants coming out with possible lung cancer, asbestosis, bile duct cancer! None of them turned out to have any of these things. I think it's totally irresponsible for worry people senseless on the basis that at least they know ALL the possible diagnoses.

I think the most likely thing is that you have the hiatus hernia (v maneagable) with thickened tissue further up from inflammation caused by the acid flowing back up the oesophagus. Sadly I think some consultant surgeons have a bit of a God complex. It's not at all uncommon.

Please try to relax as much as you possibly can (easy to say I know). You are not alone in receiving a potentially worrying diagnosis based on nothing other than hospitals having to cover their arses. I've seen friends in the most dreadful anxiety states of late, all having received brusque and ill-considered and ultimately unfounded warnings.

gingeroots Thu 07-Mar-13 08:39:48

Thank you everyone .

Yotamsrazor and kingfisher your descriptions are what I think .

The only description I can remember him giving when he spoke to us was that " there is some narrowing " .

He was just so doom laden but ....totally out of order to be talking about cat scans to "see if it's spread " .

Though I understand your point elibean.

Your posts make me feel better ,thank you again for replying .

Inaminute - thinking of you .My partner really doesn't handle stuff like this well .Which In a way is good as I have the motivation to act as normally and cheerfully as possible .
Did they tell you when you'd get your results ?

gingeroots Thu 07-Mar-13 11:00:00

Sorry to post again ,time on my hands today and being self indulgent .

I didn't realise that GP had referred me on a special 2 week fast track ,used if cancer suspected .

Consultant cross I think because GP hadn't told me this .

I kind of feel that there was an element of " right ,if GP is going to use this fast tracking ,then I'll put fear of God into her so that she realises that this important resource should only be used if things are serious "

gingeroots Thu 07-Mar-13 11:00:53

fear of God into patient ,not GP

thekingfisher Thu 07-Mar-13 12:02:52

Clearly its a worrying time. It may very well be something serious in which case it is now 'in the system' so to speak but its also quite possible that its something far less sinister. There are lots of issues with reflux and associate scarring for example can cause thickening...

Holding you hand anyway, its horrible waiting x

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