Food lodged in Esophagus?


Q: I'm sorry I couldn't find the correct category. Perhaps it would be considered "choking" or "swallowing problems".

Here is my situation: For as long as I can remember, I have a problem that occurs once or twice a week that previously never concerned me much. I would be eating, and I felt a sensation that felt like the food was stuck in my throat. It is not blocking my windpipe, and my breathing is uninterrupted, but it is lower down, blocking my stomach, and causes pain. My solution always has been to take a drink of something. This then creates, for a moment, a more extreme amount of pain, before subsiding as I felt a sensation that "seemed" like the food was being forced down by the liquid. I never knew if these events are actually happening as I feel them, but this is how I describe it best. If I am unable to get liquid to drink, the pain increases until finally subsiding slowly a half an hour to an hour later. I never read too much into this, and never told anyone about it.

However, last week, something happened that has never happened before. I was eating rice at a restaurant, and had the familiar sensation of it being "stuck" in my throat. I promptly drank some water to push it down. At first, everything was normal, the pain magnified immensely as it always does, but instead of the immediate relief and swallow that I usually feel, I felt it "kick back" almost. The water did not go down, but instead stayed in my throat, blocked by the rice.

This was a problem because, for the first time, I could not breath! I was choking on the water, which level was high enough, I suppose, to block my trachea. I gasped for air, coughed and stood up with my hands at my throat. Someone briefly assisted to try and help me cough it up, and the water eventually came out. The rice, however, did not, and neither did anything in my stomach. I tried drinking again several more times, cold and warm water, and every time I would begin to choke and cease breathing. The pain was very, very intense; a 9 out of 10 at least.

Eventually I just tried to catch my breath, but (as we swallow saliva all of the time), my saliva begun to back up, and was getting close to stopping my breathing again. Spitting it up was necessary. Eventually, I retired to the restroom to try and vomit, but was unable. Eventually, I believe with walking around and time, the time gradually subsided, and I could sip water without too much back up.

So, now I am a little more nervous. I can't imagine what is wrong, what to ask, or what treatment could help, if it even needs help. This is not a problem that only occurs if I eat too fast or too much. I rarely do either of those.

I appreciate your attention if I still have it. I'm sorry this was so long, I just wanted to be thorough, and didn't want to say, "I get stuff stuck in my throat, what do I do?" Any advice?


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