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Thread: Problems swallowing water

  1. #1
    Senior Member mj23's Avatar
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    Question Problems swallowing water

    I don't know if this should go here but I been having trouble swallowing water the past few days. I have no problem swallowing food, just water. I was able to chug a glass of water last week but i have noticed that Ive been chocking on water once and while for like the past 6 months. I could just take one drink but I can't chug a glass of water, koolaid, etc since 3 days gao. I read it could be acid reflex but I don't know. I also did have a treak cause I had a punchured lung but that was 8 years ago and I dont use anything to breath or any of that. Anyone know why this is?
    C-5, 6 SCI. Took about 6 months to walk. Walking full time. Without any assistance since Nov. 2003 and will make a full recovery

  2. #2
    Senior Member mj23's Avatar
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    could it also be mental?
    C-5, 6 SCI. Took about 6 months to walk. Walking full time. Without any assistance since Nov. 2003 and will make a full recovery

  3. #3
    Hello,
    If you are having choking with water, you should have this checked out immediately as fluid or food could be going into your lungs and can cause pneumonia. this could be the extreme, but it requires investigation.

    Often, this sudden change can be related to a neurologic problem, so I would not put it off. I would recommend seeing an ENT clinician who would refer you for a swallow evaluation.

    AAD

  4. #4
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    I have this happen to me a couple of times a year. I just seem to forget how to swallow. It is not an automatic action and it happens very suddenly. I constantly choke on spit and have to really concentrate on swallowing food and liquids.

    I try to swallow, but the mechanism just doesn't want to kick in. The food just sits in my mouth. It is very bizarre. Not wanting to choke on food and have a problem like choking, I simply stop eating foods that require a lot of chewing or could pose a choking hazard, like meat for example.

    It seems to go away on its own and I tend to think that there is a huge psychological component to it like you do Mj23. I just relax for a while and then try again later.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by skippy13 View Post
    I just seem to forget how to swallow...I try to swallow, but the mechanism just doesn't want to kick in...It seems to go away on its own and I tend to think that there is a huge psychological component to it like you do Mj23. I just relax for a while and then try again later.
    I have this happen, too. I will occasionally take a drink (with me it's confined to liquids, so far) and then suddenly stop like a deer in the headlights and think, "Now, what am I doing? What's next?" I wait for several seconds with the liquid in my mouth, and eventually my body remembers how to swallow again. It's very weird. When I realize that I've forgotten how to swallow, I get a little panicky and that makes it worse...for me, I don't think a psychological factor is what causes the forgetting, but it looms large when my brain finally gets it that it's happening again.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mj23's Avatar
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    It's just water, I could swallow food ok.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Hello,
    If you are having choking with water, you should have this checked out immediately as fluid or food could be going into your lungs and can cause pneumonia. this could be the extreme, but it requires investigation.

    Often, this sudden change can be related to a neurologic problem, so I would not put it off. I would recommend seeing an ENT clinician who would refer you for a swallow evaluation.

    AAD
    C-5, 6 SCI. Took about 6 months to walk. Walking full time. Without any assistance since Nov. 2003 and will make a full recovery

  7. #7
    Are you actually choking on the water, or is it that you cannot swallow without fear of choking? I mean, is it causing you to gag and cough as forcefully as you can?

    The reason I'm asking is because something similar happens to me where I'll have water in my mouth, but I'll be afraid to swallow and get anxious because it feels like if I do it's going to go down the wrong pipe. At this point I'll have to spit the water out or psych myself up to swallow (which isn't always possible). It's very embarrassing especially when I'm trying to take pills or out in public. Then after a while the feeling just goes away.

  8. #8
    I've had problems since the last surgery that went south and they put tubes down my throat. I don't remember having the test, but my daughter told me I did.

    It's funny, the only times I've had trouble is with saliva or my metamucil. I seem to be okay with water or other drinks. I've taught myself to drink the metamucil in stages and just add more water and just calm down and not worry about it. That has actually helped. It still happens, but not as often, and I just try to stay calm until I'm able to swallow.

    I just figured with me some damage might have been done.

  9. #9
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    David had to have a feeding tube put in due to his MS, he had trouble swallowing water too...but not food, he eventually got the tube taken out but they had him work back to baby food type textures to make sure it was getting to the right place before they would allow him any liquid first. I agree with the nurse - get it checked out quickly, this could be very serious. I dont want to scare you but you must already be concerned or you wouldn't be asking.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Donno's Avatar
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    First thing in the morning, I wake up and cath, take my temp, and take my meds and vitamins while long sitting in bed. Sometimes, my throat spasms (or maybe cramps - that's what it feels like) and doesn't want the water to go down. I don't choke or anything, but it is painful to complete the swallow. It happens every couple of weeks or so, but I can't remember it happening after the first drink of the day.
    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 24 years post injury

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