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Choking episodes.

Hi, I've had copd/chronic bronchitis since 2018. I am 66. I have a dread of choking on food/water/a crumb/anything..because it's so horrendous when it happens. Everyone gets "something down the wrong way" at times, but when you have copd and asthma too, it's traumatic. In my previous existence ie pre-copd, a choking fit was unpleasant but soon over. Now it's a whole other level. Wouldn't wish it on anyone.
There's the gripping pain that goes with it, across my whole chest and down my arms, the severe trembling/shaking from head to foot, the retching, the desperate cough that feels like I'm coughing my actual throat out, and sometimes the "thunderclap headache"....a pain like no other! and even after the worst has passed, I will cough badly for a couple of hours, and end up exhausted, wrung out. One time it happened on a long car journey. My poor partner!! I know he feels helpless and I can't even speak to him. All this for a crumb of food or sip of tea.
Scary enough when he is with me, but Ive had episodes when alone too. It feels like I'm going to die...I hate it. It's made me really fear eating in public. Anyone get the same as this?

  1. The link that I shared also talks about caring for those in nursing homes as well as sharing how it affects me. I seem to go in cycles and I'm not finding periods that I aspirate and what may cause it. Eating is when it happens the most, wearing my dentures when I'm eating can also affect me. Shortness of breath can also affect my swallowing, aspirating. I try to moisten when is too dry or avoiding it. If it's too moist, I will add something to add more firmness to my food. As my husband says, I talk when I eat. I'm working on that. Chew and swallow with thought, discussion before and after taking bite or swallow. My husband will often bring me something to drink, pat or rub my back. that can help to relax me, which helps me to get control of everything going on.
    You should discuss this with your doctor when you see him/her or make an appointment. Please let us know what you find out.

    1. hello! Thank you for sharing your photo, it's wonderful when we can see "you" and the others.
      I too aspirate. I did write an article about aspirations and my difficulties. The pain, the fear and all that you have mentioned go together when you aspirate. I'm sorry that you too struggle with this. ~Janet (author/site moderator)
      https://copd.net/living/choking-aspirations

      1. Janet, thankyou so much. Your reply at least assured me Im not alone in this. X

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