haven't been able to swallow in 3 months...

Posted , 9 users are following.

One day in february I got this feeling out of nowhere that i couldn't swallow at all. I've been having throat troubles since July but they were never *really* unbearable. It started with burning in my throat (GERD), weird crackling/sizzling noises coming from my throat, and my swallowing just feeling abnormal but I didn't pay much attention to it because I felt like I could deal with it & i could still eat. It was just annoying. I took heartburn meds and they helped with the burning but not the gurgling noises & the weird sensation when swallowing. 

So it's only gotten worse since then. In January I choked on a lot on foods, I could still eat afterwards though I just had to be careful what I ate. Then one day mid-feb, it was a normal day and i had eaten fine, I tried to eat a sandwich but I just couldn't. I don't really know how to describe it but my saliva felt weird, like it wasn't coming out right? My entire mouth just didn't feel right. And I just couldn't swallow. So I've been living off of breakfast essentials drinks, yogurt, flan, milkshakes, soup broth, and this spanish oatmeal that's basically just milk tbh called maizena for the past 3 months.

But I've gotten worse. It's hard for me to even drink water, I've choked badly on it a couple times too. I feel weak all the time and I'm just constantly starving and I've lost 30 pounds. The noises are worse now too and I literally can't even swallow my own spit. It feels like my esophagus is shrinking and it just feels really small and like nothing's going down. I really don't know why this happening.

I've been to a GI and ENT, did a swallow study but i couldn't actually swallow anything so it didn't show anything useful, i still have to do a barium swallow but i'm scared of choking & then of course my doctor's want me to do an endoscopy but im absolutley terrified of being sedated so I'm just living like this. idk what to do. I just want to eat food. I wish I wasn't scared and didn't have anxiety about the stupid endoscopy. Actually I just wish there was an xray or CT scan or something that could show my esophagus bc honestly why isn't there one by now??? that's besides the point tho anyway does anyone have this problem/what do you think it is/what did you do about it/how do you live like this bc it's so hard and I'm only 18 and don't wanna spend my whole life not eating food and constanlty choking on my own saliva/wow that's a lot of questions but please help 

0 likes, 33 replies

33 Replies

  • Posted

    You don't want to be sedated because you're afraid of losing control and I tend to be that way, myself, so I understand.  But when it comes down to it, the endoscopy is so much easier than those  radiological tests.  You don't feel a thing and don't have to swallow any nasty-tasting liquid.  You don't need to swallow at all. I'm sure the entire procedure doesn't take long at all.  Anyway, what seems like no more than a minute later, you wake up feeling just fine.  I have had several so I know the drill.  I urge you most sincerely to listen to your doctor and have the endoscopy.  You can't go on like you are doing and need some answers.   Sweetie, a big part of life is about facing our fears.  Tests of all kinds, not just the medical ones, come our way at intervals and they never stop. 

    • Posted

      It's not the actual procedure I'm scared of, it's being put to sleep... I don't want to be sedated or knocked out at all. And no doctor i've been to does it awake for some reason. I've been having undiagnosed symptoms all over my body since July and I've gone to a ton of doctors who don't listen and don't help so I guess it could be because I've p much given up on doctors and don't trust them. I feel like with my luck they'll probably mess my throat up even more and still not find anything. It's happened before with other tests I've done. I just don't trust them anymore. And either way, being knocked out isn't something I've ever wanted to do and if I had to do it I figured it'd be when i was like 60.... Life is just going so horribly right now lmao i feel like i have no options i'll probably just die from my throat closing up or choking on my own spit. I don't see myself getting put to sleep for an endoscopy at allll. I'll probably do the transnasal esophagoscopy thing....idk 

  • Posted

    In order to diagnose achalasia you will need that barium swallow test and an esophageal manometry. Not all hospitals do all that. There is no sedation involved other than some numbing agent. It's not pleasant but it will tell you what's happening. Try to stay calm. I've found stress can be a trigger for this condition. Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Posted

      What was your experience doing these things awake? Any side effects? How bad is/was your difficulty swallowing and did you choke/gag on anything during the manometry? That's the only thing I'm scared of. Also had a bad experience with my throat being numbed in July so I'm kinda scared of that esp now that my throat is so bad. Thanks for the info! I might still try the barium swallow before i do anything else 

  • Posted


    I wouldn't worry too much about the sedative if the doc recommends it; you probably wont even know you have had it. I didn't, I just came around thinking 'that was quick'... Given you are clearly very nervous, the sedative will likely help. 

    Nervousness, anxiety and stress make my condition worse without doubt. There are lots of things to try and calm things down- magnesium/VB combo works for me; but most importantly trying to be kind to myself and trying to switch off from the anxiety. Maybe a favourite film or something. Small things can help in small ways; and like most hardships we have all faced, they most often pass so we can try and take confidence from that... You will find lots of good advice and support from this group; so stay in touch!! 

    Wishing you calmness and good health,


    • Posted

      It's the sedative that gives me anxiety tho haha. And when people tell me I won't remember/feel anything it makes me more scared and worried. I'm just really afraid of being put to sleep for some reason...thanks the for advice, i'm trying to stay as calm as I can with all this even tho its really hard

  • Posted

    You really do need to have these tests to get a proper


    You don't have to have sedation for the endoscopy if you don't want to.

    I had this done a couple of weeks ago and because I had difficulty with

    the sedation in the past I had it done without and felt better for it.

    The whole procedure only last 10 minutes.

    But I have to correct previous comments in that you do need to swallow

    to help the camera go down but only when it first goes in.

    Trouble with the sedation is you don't remember what is going on but

    you are awake and respond to commands which is why people think

    they are asleep.

    please do try and overcome your fears and have these tests done, it

    is only then you can really start to get help with whatever is causing

    your problems.

    • Posted

      What sort of difficulty did you have with the sedation, specifically?  I am wondering, as I never had any.  Anyway, the endoscopy is warranted and is suggested prior to a esophagal manometry to rule out a mechanical or inflammatory source of the dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing.  In the case of this patient, who can barely swallow at all and is full of anxiety, it would seem to me that the sedation is the best choice.  The patient should discuss it with the physician, making all concerns known.  I, due to my ongoing GI problems, underwent the endoscopy without sedation, as well at some point.  In my opinion, it amounts to one of the worst upper GI tests when done in that manner.
    • Posted

      I was awake for my manometry test and from what I understand you have to swallow several times and swallow little sips of water to see how I was swallowing . Well that how they found my achslasia . Have the test done . Its not as bad as all the pain in chest . I also found out at that time I have narrow nasel passage in my nose . Always wonder why allergies bother me so bad 😉 save me another doc seeing! I'm having the surgery cause cat this point I can't Harley Eat, and what I can it getting old. I been trying to say soft type foods only yo get to where I want things I ate once before mostly when I have to cook for my husband regular meals. I hope to be able to eat food once more !

    • Posted

      The last two endoscopy's I had with sedation

      I put up a fight and kept trying to pull the camera out

      before they even got to the stomach.

      Apparently it got too dangerous for them to carry on and I ended up withdrawing consent.

      And the upsetting thing for me was the fact I had no idea

      I had done this.

      This time I had no sedation and it was fine.

      Must say I would rather have dozens of them done over the

      monometry test, I had a horrendous time which wasn't helped

      by the consultant doing it being snappy.

      I swallowed the water but couldn't hold it for the 40 seconds

      he wanted me to.

      I am just praying I don't get sent for another one.

    • Posted

      Yeah it gets really old eating the same things all the time rolleyes do you have any reccommendations? I've mostly been living off of iquids and yogurt type foods. I miss regular food a lot....lol. It's honestly the worst seeing everyone else eat when I can't. How bad was your difficulty swallowing and what was your experince with the manometry, did you choke or feel like you couldn't breathe or anything? That's the main thing I'm afriad of... Thanks! 

    • Posted

      How was it having your endoscopy awake? Did you feel like you were choking or anything? I saw you say that the manometry was worse than the endoscopy, what was your experience, did anything bad happen? Thanks for the advice i'm trying to find a doctor who will do one of these tests awake

    • Posted

      I was asleep for my endoscopy and was awake for the other they did numb my nose it was like an obsitcle in my throat want to just swallow swallow swallow . aw not its s not near as bad as the pain I have now !
  • Posted

    The doctors do need to do an endoscopy to make sure that there is nothing physical that is causing the problem.   I was very anxious about the first endoscopy that I had, but they have me a sedative and I did not feel anything.   If you are nervous and tense I think it is likely that the sedative will be better than the throat spray they offer.

    ​Meanwhile, although this a physical ailment, try some form of relaxation therapy  as this can be really helpful in reducing the symptoms for some people.   Try eating little and often and give it time to progress down into your stomach between mouthfuls.   Do not try and eat too much at once, and do not try and wash food down with water.   Try and keep up nutrition with special drinks.


    ​Some of what you experience might be reflux from your stomach, or it might be regurgitation of undigested food that has not reached your stomach.   Mention the possibility of achalasia to the doctors so that they do not assume that you are suffering from an eating disorder.

    • Posted

      I do remember now having an endoscopy where I was partially sedated years ago.  [I have had a number of them over time.] I think that's what you all mean.  But the GI physician  I have been going to where I presently live put me under completely--and that"s what I was referring to.  He did not give me another option. They put a device in your mouth to keep it open, put something in your veins, and that is the last you know until you wake up in another room.  Whatever the anesthesia was it wore off quite fast. The doctor decided to stretch my esophagus while I was under and told me so when I awoke.  I assume he does his endoscopies in that manner and he can't be the only one.  I did okay with the other endoscopies, partial sedation and throat spray [although I wouldn't recommend it], but the original poster might have the option of being rendered unconscious.

    • Posted

      The thing I'm anxious about is not feeling anyting though. I don't want to feel like I'm dead. Or have any complicated side effects or feel worse bc that's been my experience w most doctors sadly rolleyes I'll look into relaxation therapy and yeah I've basically been living off of nutrition drinks. Funny you mention the eating disorder thing, I noticed today on my swallow study results that they put "possible anoxeria" and I freaked out. Like how can they say that? I'd never choose to not eat I'd do anything to be able to eat again but just because they can't find the cause they want to say that...it's so stupid. Anyway, thanks for the advice/comment! 

    • Posted

      Did your esophagaus feel better after they stretched it? Did you have achalasia or something else? I've been doing a lot of research and there's so many things that cause difficulty swallowing idek what mine could be. I definitely would not ever agree to be completely unconscious though...

    • Posted

      Your thick foamy saliva could possibly be a result of not drinking enough liquid.  You may be getting dehydrated.  Even though you say it's difficult for you to swallow, you can't stop drinking and must try to get down something with nutrients--those canned shakes that Alan suggested.  Are you avoiding the doctor now on account of not be able to deal with doing the endoscopy?  You would never agree to be completely unconscious?  Oh, I don't know... never say never.  What if, heaven forbid, you were in an auto accident and needed a life-saving operation?   Would you say to the surgeon, "Doc, just give me a shot of whiskey and a bullet to bite on.  I swear I can take the pain and won't go into shock!"  Only kidding, honey.  You don't need to be completely knocked out for the endoscopy.  Just be put into "a happy place" by the moderate sedation or have your throat numbed to kill the gag reflex.  Almost.  I know your fear.  I was young once, too, back in the 19th Century.  I had to have a biopsy on a little lump in my breast [turned out to be just a tiny fatty tumor, benign, didn't even leave a scar] and I was frightened of being put under ,too.  I begged the surgeon to just use a local anesthetic and he said, "Okay".  It went fine and afterward I thanked him for humoring me.  His answer was "I did it because you're a woman and have a woman's endurance."   Well, I'm still a woman but not so fearful anymore.  To quote Dr. Mehmet Oz [of television fame]: "By the way, for minimally invasive surgeries, you have about the same chance of dying from the anesthesia as you do from a haircut, which is about the same chance of dying from the embarrassment after a bad haircut.?"  And an endoscopy isn't even a surgery. 

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