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Thread: Choking fear

  1. #1

    Exclamation Choking fear

    Hello,

    Im paraplegic, level t6.

    Years ago, I started choking frequently (like two, three or four times a year), few times it happened while eating, but more while drinking (sometimes while drinking water, once while drinking tea, one time while drinking wine and one other time while drinking beer) it happened also many times to chock with my own saliva..
    I noticed it is due to bloating, eating fast, talking while eating and/or posture. Anyway, Im taking care about this, like i eat small bytes, eat slowly, avoid to drink with my chin up....
    But my problem is that I have a fear now or kind of a phobia or panic, like each and every time I drink or take my medicaments, i feel I am panicking that im going to choke, like I keep the sip of water in my mouth for two, three, four sometimes 5 or even 10 seconds before swallowing it!!!! Has any body experienced this??
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 08-05-2018 at 05:16 PM. Reason: correct spelling in title

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by moor View Post
    Hello,

    Im paraplegic, level t6.

    Years ago, I started chocking frequently (like two, three or four times a year), few times it happened while eating, but more while drinking (sometimes while drinking water, once while drinking tea, one time while drinking wine and one other time while drinking beer) it happened also many times to chock with my own saliva..
    I noticed it is due to bloating, eating fast, talking while eating and/or posture. Anyway, Im taking care about this, like i eat small bytes, eat slowly, avoid to drink with my chin up....
    But my problem is that I have a fear now or kind of a phaubia or panic, like each and every time I drink or take my medicaments, i feel I am panicking that im going to chock, like I keep the sip of water in my mouth for two, three, four sometimes 5 or even 10 seconds before swallowing it!!!! Has any body experienced this??
    Did you begin having choking episodes before your spinal cord injury or did these episodes start after you sustained the spinal cord injury?

    At T6, you may be right on the cusp of having your injury level interfere with the function of swallowing and choking.

    Have you been examined for any physical conditions or had any surgeries that might contribute to swallowing disorders/choking/respiratory function? For instance, my tonsils were removed by a unskilled physician. He removed too much throat tissue when he removed my tonsils (removed at age 21) and ever since I have had trouble swallowing tablets and capsules and I have had to be quite careful when eating. Choking at c6/7 level of injury is scary and quite dangerous.

    There is a phobia called pseudo dysphasia that is defined as an irrational fear of swallowing/choking.

  3. #3
    I am a T6 for 35 years. Have the same problem with choking. Its why I never went back to scuba diving. I think of it as a good thing (not), cleans out the lungs and the snot out of my nose.

  4. #4
    I choked on a Twinkie 25+ years ago (post injury) that required the Heimlich maneuver to get it out. For around 3 months I barely ate due to the fear of choking (I lost about 15 pounds). Anyhow, I still have difficulty swallowing certain foods and drinks and positioning is key. But even given ideal circumstances, I still have a psychological factor that gets me scared at times.

    Coincidentally, I damn near choked to death on sinus drainage, twice in the last two nights. But that's from not having enough force to cough it up.

  5. #5
    Your level of SCI should not affect your swallowing but if you had a trach or were intubated before that could be an issue.
    Have your doctor feel your thyroid and your neck area to see if something is there. Consult ENT MD.
    You could also have a swallowing study. See a Speech Pathologist (that is who does the swallow study) if issues.
    1. sit up straight when you eat, out of bed if possible. 2. Cut in to small pieces. 3. Chew before swallowing and swallow again(double swallow) 4. double swallow then sip- sometimes slightly thick liquid like nectar is easier to swallow.

    CWO
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  6. #6
    I've had an issue with swallowing, nothing to do with food or drink. It felt like a lump in my throat and was due to anxiety.

  7. #7
    When I developed panic disorder years ago, my panic would overcome me a lot during eating. I’d feel as if I were choking when I truly wasn’t. There was no reason for it. I’d never had a choking experience, except when a child, but it didn’t have a lasting effect on me. When I took medicine to stop the panic, the choking apprehension went away.


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