I had 2 choking episodes yesterday. Maybe choking isn’t the exact word because I really just swallowed wrong. The first one was mangos. Cut up in small pieces but slightly hard and very tart, just the way I like them. I swallowed wrong but it wasn’t the actual mango that was causing the problem. The tartness of the piece in my saliva is what I swallowed incorrectly. It caused me to cough, as it should, however I couldn’t move that tartness up and out. It caused me to continue to cough and cough and cough. I couldn’t really stop. It was another scary experience for what was probably a minute or two but felt significantly longer. I finally coughed whatever it was out. Another unexpected event. I put the mangos away after that and sipped my water. My airway isn’t blocked which is why I said choking might not be the right word. I just couldn’t really stop the coughing reflex. That is why breathing became difficult momentarily.
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, it happened again later when I was drinking a seltzer. I like inhaled while I was swallowing and again it went down the wrong way. Once again I started coughing trying to get whatever I swallowed out. I was having no luck. The coughing got both more intense and more frequent. I had someone here and I was able to spit out I needed warm water. That seems to help. I finally got whatever was still in my throat out. Then it takes me a few minutes to catch my breath again. It isn’t like a piece of food is blocking my airway, It is like phlegm is in my throat that I can neither swallowed or cough up. It results in this uncontrolled coughing that makes it difficult to get a breath. It feels like I’m choking because I can’t breathe.
How do you try to avoid this symptom? I can move things out of the way to avoid falls. I can take medication to help with spasticity. I can sleep when fatigue sets in. How do you train your diaphragm, chest and throat muscles to strengthen? How do you get yourself to be able to produce a more powerful and productive cough to move things out of your throat? Since my muscles are weakened, it takes me a lot to get that powerful cough. This is why bronchitis scares me to death. Instead I have these coughing fits as my body’s reflexs tries desperately to move things from my throat. It is not a fun experience especially when it happens twice in a day. As always, water is right next to me. Unfortunately, that is my best defense.