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Val123's avatar

Have you ever swallowed wrong, like just as you're taking a breath, and you suddenly start choking and your esophogus seizes up, clamps shut, so you can't breath at all and you really think you're going to die?

Asked by Val123 (12593 points ) January 22nd, 2010

Man, I do that every so often (like just now—I have tears gushing down my face!) and I really prepare to call for serious help (thinking, OMG. I can’t TALK! And I’m on a cell phone! How will they find me??) I just fight to stay calm until it passes, which can take what seems like forever, but is, in reality, maybe 45 seconds. I just can’t get air into my lungs.

Does this ever happen to you? It’s very scary.

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21 Answers

marinelife's avatar

This happened to my brother once and he fell ass over teakettle. When he momentarily passed out, his muscles relaxed and he could breathe again.

There is medicine available to treat the condition.

life_after_2012's avatar

yep! i know the feeling and boy is it scary, but im still here.

Val123's avatar

@Marina No no no! No drugs! I just wonder if it happens to anyone else. @life_after_2012 How often does it happen to you?

Austinlad's avatar

Yes! It’s awful. You just have to try to stay calm till it passes. Years ago, when I was in the hospital with plusery (fluid on the lungs), my lungs seized up and I could breathe AT ALL. One of the most frightening sensations I’ve ever had. The doctor forced an air mask on me and all was quickly well, but for 20 seconds that seemed like 30 minutes, I really thought I was going to die.

Facade's avatar

Last month :(

writemyselfaletter's avatar

Yes and has happened more than once. Only when I am with someone and eating and talking and then drinking something.

Val123's avatar

@writemyselfaletter Hail, I can just be swallowing saliva and it happens…..Kind of makes you want to drool instead.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes, every few years I have an asthma attack and it feels like what you describe along with a burning up feeling, ringing ears and a few times passing out. There was a day on a job where I wondered as I waited on a customer why I felt so hot all of a sudden and then my ears felt like they filled with water and it took me some time to figure out I couldn’t exhale. Down I went and I suppose hitting the ground shocked my body into releasing the muscle. That was scary.

Val123's avatar

No
Yup
It’s becoming The Thing! LOL!!!

Val123's avatar

@kyle94481 WAIT! You have the same avatar as @writemyselfaletter…. that’s cheating!!

Jewel's avatar

Yes, and it is very frightening! Like the others, the trick seems to be remaining calm which helps to allow the muscles to stop strangling me. I have heard that passing out will accomplish the same thing. This would mean it is impossible to die of it, although it sure feels possible!

Val123's avatar

@Jewel :) Yeah, stay calm. Everything in me is screaming, frantically, hysterically, “STAY CALM!!!”

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Val123: I don’t need anyone telling me to stay calm, I need them to come grab a hold of me, smack me on the back, shake me and then find a place to sit me down, head between my knees.

Val123's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I don’t see how any of that can help at all….?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@Val123: someone giving me a slap on the back, even the arm or a shake will distract my body from the spasm which is cutting off my breathing, I’d rather no pass out.

Jewel's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence, I would rather not pass out, too. But it almost never happens when anyone else is around to help me, and I don’t care how many times you slap me, I will still be focused on being strangled and fighting for breath. The effort of calming myself does the same thing for me as being slapped does for you. It re-focuses me and allows my body to relax enough to stop the spasm.
@Val123, Yes, staying calm is difficult. But you should be able to do it to a great degree. Especially with a little practice.

Val123's avatar

@Jewel I just hope I don’t wind up with a whole LOT of practice! And yeah…I would think people hitting me and stuff wouldn’t be conducive to staying calm…..I don’t think your esophagus would just quit seizing. If it did, well, I’d just slam myself to the floor REALLY hard!

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