throat

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Postby marymo on June 22nd, 2004, 3:23 pm

JG -

So, you pretty much described those symptoms to a tee.. but I cough too.. especially after I eat. You? Also - any tightening in the chest area at all?

Thanks for the great response! It is very cool that people here are so helpful.

Tomorrow I go for a video swallow test - they put barium on food and then I eat it. They watch on an x-ray machine to make sure that everything is working properly. The doc did mention that it might be a spasm in some GI muscle, but I can't remember the name of it.
My cousin is actually the 2nd best GI doc in Illinois, so I'll have him check the results.
I will keep ya updated - I appreciate the confidence.. I'm printing your response and bringing it home with me. I plan on sleeping with it under my pillow - maybe it will sink in! :wink:

Where are you from?
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Postby garym on June 22nd, 2004, 4:08 pm

Mary,

I had the barium swallow test last year. It didn't include food, but rather a thick liquid (kinda like maalox) and then they had me swallow some barium pills. They did it standing, flat on my back, and with my head below my feet. There's nothing to it. Quick and painless!

Good luck,

Gary
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Postby marymo on June 22nd, 2004, 4:18 pm

Thanks Gary! For sure will let you guys know what's up!

I'm at work right now - bet ya couldn't tell with all the posts!
I don't think the job would be too happy with me right now!
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Postby puggriffey on June 22nd, 2004, 4:33 pm

Marymo-

No, I don't typically cough or have tightening in the chest per se, but with this whole spectrum of things we are talking about there are SO many variations and little subtleties that make each persons' situation a little different. That said, I could easily imagine myself coughing when I was worked up about things, and the chest tightness sounds like it fits too.

It sounds like you are pursuing the right course. A cough and chest tightness definitely seems to lean toward some sort of GERD category or possible esophegeal issue. It is common for GERD sufferers, for example, to experience all sorts of throat, neck, upper abdominal discomfort, etc., and the tests you are getting ready to do will help zero you right in on the root cause of your problems if it is GI related. The spastic muscle(s) you were referring to are likely the valve and muscles at lower end of the esophageal tract (the sphincter (sp?)) that control how food/acid/etc. stay put (or don't) in your GI tract. When it is not working properly, you can experience significant heartburn, reflux, and regurgitation - often while you sleep and without you noticing the "classic" heartburn feel/symptoms. The acid can irritate (and eventually, long term, damage if left untreated) the throat, wear down tooth enamel, etc. so you will want to find out if this is related to that type of pattern. It sure sounds good to have such a qualified physician in your immediate family - what a bonus!! However, if this exam does not turn up anything specific, please don't get panicked...this may VERY WELL be stress/anxiety induced, and all of those physical symptoms and problems you are experiencing may not be related to anything clinical at all. Just remember, even those us nervous nellies always want to find a definite solution to feel better, it is a GOOD thing to have everything turn up negative, and you ARE stressed after all right? It'll all make more sense for you soon.

Remember too that even though I am just one person giving you first-hand perspective on this because I have the time and patience to clack it all out (get a life and get away from the computer JG!! :)), there are MANY of us going through the exact same thing. You are young, you are not suffering from a fatal illness, and this too shall pass (what a great phrase - where have I heard that before?). Most importantly, be careful not to get those nasty paper cuts when you sleep on your e-mails, no? : )

To answer your question, I am from just outside of Washington DC. My hometown is in southern MN.

I hope you find peace of mind, and can relax real soon. PLEASE eat. Take time to give your body and mind a break - smile a LOT - you'll be fine.

JG
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Postby dsiple on June 23rd, 2004, 9:54 am

I had the barium swallow about 4 or 5 months ago--piece of cake--all totally normal. I still feel like I have to swallow extra hard sometimes to get food down and occasionally cough while eating--doesn't bother me anymore, but scares the crap out of my wife. I also get that lump in the throat feeling once in a while, but other than that still twitchin' and feelin' great--just finally finished the drywall in our downstairs bathroom.

Regards,
Duane
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Postby marymo on June 23rd, 2004, 11:12 am

Hey everyone!
Great day here in Chicago! Sunny and warm! I love it..

Had the test this morning. They made me eat 3 different things of all different consistencies and then watched on the x rat machine. Obviously I don't have the results back yet, however I talked to the nurse afterward and she said that usually what they look for when they do this test is barium left in the esphogus when eating which would signify that the muscles weren't working properly.
She saw NOTHING wrong... eveyrthing was makin it's way down the pipe as it should.
Anyone else ever feel just STUPID when the test results keep coming back a okay? I know I'm relieved, but when I talk to my family about it, it's kinda hard to believe especially since the symptoms are so across the board and nothing really points to any kind of pattern, except for BFS of course.
By the way still feel like things aren't going down right, but I did eat a McGriddle this morning. I know not the most nutritional thing in the world,but it was mighty tasty.
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Postby amy_twitch on June 23rd, 2004, 11:46 am

Hi Marymo,
I've been following your posts...and I definitely think you are just like the rest of us.....VERY anxiety prone.

You're 25, right? I'm 30, and I've been to the ER two times now because of anxiety type symptoms....first time thought I was having a heart attack....second time, felt like I was going to pass out any second.

You're right, I felt really stupid (especially in hind-sight) for going to extreme measures....HOWEVER, that said, this last year was the first time in my life that I started getting physical symptoms from anxiety. Nothing changed in my personality after 30 years...but these physical symptoms just started showing up (I've had them all...light headedness, chest tightness, esophageal spasms, of course this twitching, and lots of other symptoms). Once these symptoms started up, my anxiety spiraled out of control. It took me a while to find very sympathetic doctors (who themselves had experienced anxiety bouts)....instead of the lame docs who just roll their eyes at you.

I suspect you are in a very heavy bout of anxiety right now, whether you mentally recognize it or not. I couldn't convince myself that anxiety was causing most of my physical problems for the LONGEST time....but finally I did it....and I am all the better for it.

When anxiety rears it's ugly head, it can take a while to recognize, simply because we want to believe something is actually physically wrong with our bodies. I equated anxiety with people who have constant panic attacks and phobias...not what I had considered normal occasional 'anxious' feelings from various sources in our lives...everyone feels anxious from time-to-time, right. True anxiety comes about, often, when you don't even realize it. You think you're in control of your emotions, but your body suddenly starts backfiring on you. It's so hard to comprehend, but it happens and now I totally understand it and can recognize it.

I totally agree with puggriffey's post to you earlier. Knowledge is the best power you can have...so do what it takes for you to stay calm and have the knowledge you need and know that it's benign. Also, regarding the stupidity feelings...don't beat yourself up. It's all part of the process of getting reassurance. Next step for you is learning to better understand anxiety so that you don't need to seek reassurance as often...you will already have it within yourself.

I just had to post to let you know how much I relate to your situation (as I'm sure all of us on this board do). My life was going along fine, so I thought....great husband, two great kids, new house etc...). Then one day last year, everything went haywire with my body. I have been on this journey ever since. While the twitching is still rampant in my body...I no longer suffer from all the other anxiety symptoms I was having. Anxiety runs in my family, and now I understand that I too am very prone to it's grasp.

I truly hope you feel better soon. When my twitching started, my anxiety level hit it's worst, and I suspect that's what's happening to you. Your physical symptoms are causing so much worry that you're in a vicious cycle, and your body is taking the beating. Such is anxiety!! Learn as much as you can about it, and get yourself at peace with it. You might never get rid of it....but you'll be able to combat it, I assure you!

Best wishes!

Amy
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Postby YYYYT on June 23rd, 2004, 9:34 pm

yes, I had reflux-related swallowing problems a few months back. Let me tell you that it can get a lot worse than a lump in the throat feeling
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Postby marymo on June 24th, 2004, 11:29 am

great to hear! Thanks yyyt
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