Actually, it is a hard anything to swallow in the most literal sense.
In 1992 I was severely injured, fracturing my lumbar in 3 places and several other injuries including a collapsed lung which led to pneumonia. I was kept in an induced coma for several days to make sure I didn’t move while the back and hip were healing. When they removed the intubation tubes my throat was swollen and it left scar tissue there.
I had surgery to remove the scar tissue a few months later. I was not allowed to talk for a few weeks but when I could, I sounded like me again instead of my version of the Godfather! This lasted for several years.
I can not really say when things started going wrong again, but I know it was at least before my Dad came to live with us in 2009. I was having problems swallowing food and pills but didn’t think a lot of it.
That was until Dad went through several bouts of pneumonia in the hospital and they diagnosed him with dysphagia. They said he was suffering from aspirating pneumonia which is caused by food and other items being swallowed into the lungs. It is a very aggressive pneumonia and is what eventually took my Dad’s life.
I went through tests but the specialist I had totally disregarded the dysphagia diagnosis and said I had acid reflux. Since I am used to doctors not taking me seriously I let it go for several years. I hadn’t been seeing my GP because I didn’t need to and if I did need help I went locally as she is about an hour’s drive away. When I did see her she was very concerned about my very gravelly voice. She decided to send me back to the ENT who helped me with my vertigo.
I was a little nervous but he took me very seriously. When he scoped my throat he said that there is a piece of bone or something which is catching items. YAY!!!!! My Hubby saw it too! DOUBLE YAY!!!!! So yes, I do choke on pills, food, water, air!
I got a call today from the lab that will do a more thorough swallow test (I remember Dad having it) and the tech asked a lot of questions. She asked if my voice sounded rough all the time (yes), what kind of foods can/can’t I eat, have I lost weight, if I have pneumonia often, etc. They will be putting me on the waiting list which will be about 4 – 5 weeks to get the scan done.
This is one of three major health concerns that my GP acknowledged and has sent me to specialists for. And the specialists this time are listening to me. In the world of invisible illness, that is big.
I do believe that my faith has a lot to do with this sudden turnaround of medical help, just like it has everything to do with everything in my life. One day I just threw my hands up in the air and said, “God, I can’t do this on my own, I need you to take over”. And every time I say that He does.