A Hard Pill To Swallow

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.





22 Replies to “A Hard Pill To Swallow”

  1. My husband had that happen after two surgeries for Esophageal cancer. He had pneumonia and aspirated a food bit into his lung via a hole they made during surgery. He chose to leave us after suffering not being able to breathe in the hospital for a month. He was a strong man.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had acid reflux so bad that it burned my throat. Then when I swallowed, I felt scratching at the same spot all the time. So I had the swallowing test also. Through CT scan, found a diverticulum, but so small that was hard to operate on to remove it. Somehow I went to acupuncture for another health situation, he put me on alkaline rich diet. With that, it balanced my acid problem, eventually I don’t feel the irritation of the diverticulum unless I eat a lot of acidic food. My husband also had wallowing problem, but it has something to do with anxiety or nervous about certain thing. Pray that your situation will be resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you are getting the test you need! I have had problems with food stopping in my throat/upper chest. I often feel I am choking and have to drink something to basically plunge (like a toilet plunger) the food down. Sometimes it is so plugged that the drink won’t push it down. That is a horrible feeling! I have trouble swallowing pills as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mom has acid reflux, copd, stomach issues, and has had pneumonia a few times as well. She gets frustrated with the medical field as some of the doctors and nurses that she has seen vary in their diagnosis, prescriptions they want to put her on or take her off of. One Ultrasound tech actually told her that her lungs were bleeding and that she had only a few months to live maybe a year if she was lucky. Thank God literally, that she went back to her original pulmonologist and PCP, because this could’ve been a different story.
    Continue to stand strong and keep the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. She actually only did a quick test with about 4 food items and of course because attention was being brought to it I swallowed perfectly. So I am right back at square one with the doctors saying they can’t find anything wrong. I have learned certain things to and not to do which helps with eating and drinking. The best thing for my throat is a tea made of fresh ginger and thyme with some organic honey added. It tastes good and seems to ease the throat.

      Liked by 1 person

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