UPDATE: I had the swallow study done, and the report stated that I indeed have swallowing problems, likely related to the radiation from 2005.

I attended some ENT prescribed swallowing physical therapy, which, although I didn't attend enough courses or act diligently enough in practicing and follow-through, didn't seem to really help much.

About a month ago I was at a back yard dinner party with family and friends and was talking, and enjoying a nice meal together when I tried to swallow and couldn't get a piece of chicken to go down and I couldn't breathe.

After a few seconds I panicked and started to get up and left the table to try to spit up the food and try to get some air.

I was able to get some very very minimal airflow around the stuck piece, it was shaped in a trapezoid and some slight air was able to go around the angled edges apparently.

But, my partner reported my lips we're turning blue and I was crying in distress.

He tried the "heimlich" type maneuver but it didn't "seem" to help. The host was calling 911 and I was feverishly trying to get the stuck piece out when with the very last ounce of air I had. I was abel to eject it out and across the back yard.

I was shaking and realized I was moments away from passing out and then asphyxiation.

Since then I've been much more careful, very very deliberate about my chewing, swallowing and food choices. I don't talk while eating and force myself to take very small (almost ridiculous) small bites of food, chew it like crazy and drink lots of water.

That event was the worst ever, I've had a few similar over the years and they seem to be getting more frequent - but this last one felt like I almost died.

There was no way an ambulance, EMTs or medical aid could have responded in time and the nearest hospital was several minutes away under the best circumstances.

So, I am now concerned about how much worse my condition will become. When will I need to get a tube again? (Had one during radiation, not fun, but it was ok, obviously LOVE food (I'm over 300 lbs now) (lost 120 during treatment).

Does any one ever get better? I'm otherwise healthy and very active (work 100 hours a week), sometimes very physical, but do need to eat better, and diet.

When this get's terrible can you still swallow smoothies, etc?

Is there anything I can do? Is a G-Tube the only option?

Radiation is the gift that keeps on giving.... Mayve didn't even need radiation it turns out.

I just don't know what to do. (Also, have carotid arteries that are not allowing blood to my brain, but that's another post).

All ideas are appreciated.






Michael | 45 Male | SCC | Right Tonsil | Dx'd: 06-10-05 | STAGE IV, T3N2bM0 | 3 Nodes Right Side | MRND & Radical Tonsillectomy 06/29/05 Dr Fee/Stanford | 8 weeks Radiation/Chemo started August 15th at Sloan-Kettering, NY | Treatment Ended: 09-27-05 | Cancer free at 10+ YEARS | Lingering After-Effects of Tx: Thyroid function is zero, good salivary function, terrible tinnitus, some scars & neck/face asymmetry, gastric reflux. 2017 swallowing challenges & radiation damage to carotid arteries.