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Fear of Choking and Salty Taste #199541
11-30-2019 03:11 PM
11-30-2019 03:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 148
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Dizz_zzey Offline OP
"OCF across the pond"
Dizz_zzey  Offline OP
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A few weeks ago I was trying to eat something when I sneezed mid-swallow and started to choke. My husband had to help me, but it seems that I have now developed a fear of choking and can't seem to get past eating small quantities of yoghurt (smooth) every few days.

I'm loathe to try to eat anything on my own or out in public. It's so disheartening. I'm hoping it'll go in time.


F 39 x-smoker, rare drink
T4aN1/N2bM0 SCC L lateral tongue &10mm into R
Diagnosed May 20th '19
Pembro trial 5th July '19 2 doses pre-surg 15 post surg
R.I.G fitted 9th Aug '19
Surgery 13th Aug '19 glossectomy neck dissection RFFR
33 doses RT 17th Sept '19
2x cispltin
Re: Fear of Choking and Salty Taste [Re: Dizz_zzey] #199586
12-10-2019 07:14 AM
12-10-2019 07:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 5
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PNWgirl Offline
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PNWgirl  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2019
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I think I may be able to relate a bit. I've been heimliched several times. I live alone now and am really cautious about what I put in my mouth. It was with the expectations set by my physicians that let me believe my reality would be better than this. So, I've asked my physicians to stand by their word(s) just as I must. And, therefore I put them on notice that I expect more creativity and curiosity in my case to help overcome physical or emotional/mental obstacles for daily life. I didn't want to take action at all being a late arrival to the party being stage iv scc hard palate, maxilla, sinus, neck bisection. But, they ensured a better life-style outcome. No clean margins and the usual protocol which has debilitating effects. I now put the 'titanium' screws to them and tighten each time they recommend another procedure or medication. So sorry you are going through this. I see a psychologist weekly to help overcome some of my fears and it has been helpful - but only when I do the homework.

Last edited by PNWgirl; 12-10-2019 07:15 AM.

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Re: Fear of Choking and Salty Taste [Re: Dizz_zzey] #199592
12-11-2019 11:33 AM
12-11-2019 11:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,264
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PaulB Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
PaulB  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,264
NYC
Dizz_zzey,

It’s probably not, but I suggest seeing your ENT for a possible recurrence. That’s the first thing they usually check for with pain, difficult swallowing, etc. is a recurrence. After evaluation and or testing, if its not, they may recommend one day to have your throat stretched, but that’s after you have testing done from your treatment as it may effect the PET scan images if you have that being done. They may also refer you too a SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist, who can show you exercises to do and possibly eating certain foods, I forget if they can, recommend foods? I think they do as I’ve been to several. If not, you can see a dietician or see one anyway.

There are books on easy to eat, easy to swallow foods. They have foods and recipes to help you. There are several on the market and may even be for free? There are a few web sites too like dysphagia association. .

I usually mentioned any difficulties to all my doctors; ENT, RO and Medical Oncologist. Between those three the situation was usually resolved or at least watched more closely!

In the meantime, continue as your doing not to choke or even try not eating alone. Everyone should be trained in choking victims and recommend training in CPR one day for everyone. I got food stick several times, which I usually can hack up, but once it was blocking my airway. I was going to fall atop the chair edge to simulate the Heimlich manuever, if they still use that term (abdominal thrusts). It came out before I had to. Another way is to do a belly flop on the floor while turning your head and arching it upwards with your feet.

Good luck


10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxo Cisp 5-FU, 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Wks
06/11 30 HBO
08/11 RND PNI
06/12 SND PNI LVI
08/12 RND Pec Flap IORT 12 Gy
10/12 25 IMRT 50Gy 6 Wks Taxo Erbitux
10/13 SND
10/13 TBO/Angiograph
10/13 RND Carotid Remove IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Protons 50Gy 6 Wks Carbo
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fib Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
06/17 Heart Attack Stent
02/19 Finally Cancer Free Took 10 yrs






Re: Fear of Choking and Salty Taste [Re: PaulB] #199593
12-11-2019 03:54 PM
12-11-2019 03:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 148
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Dizz_zzey Offline OP
"OCF across the pond"
Dizz_zzey  Offline OP
"OCF across the pond"
Senior Member (100+ posts)
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 148
Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply.
I'm in the UK and part of out care package under the NHS is to not only see the Head & Neck team (your ENT team) regularly - I see mine every week, but to also see a SLT (Speech, Language, Therapy team) who also include a dietician. I have seen all of them over the last couple of weeks. My throat is OK, it was just a bit sensitive from coughing. I had a few times where I had coughed so hard to clear mucus, that I made my throat sore on top of the sores that I haf from rads.

I've got exercises to do and have been asked to continue eating yoghurt and try some other foods, but when someone is with me whilst I'm still healing. I'm lucky that both my husbandand I are trained first aiders, so know how to assist someone who's choking (and also to remain calm if your the one who's choking)

I just need to take it slow and steady. smile


F 39 x-smoker, rare drink
T4aN1/N2bM0 SCC L lateral tongue &10mm into R
Diagnosed May 20th '19
Pembro trial 5th July '19 2 doses pre-surg 15 post surg
R.I.G fitted 9th Aug '19
Surgery 13th Aug '19 glossectomy neck dissection RFFR
33 doses RT 17th Sept '19
2x cispltin
Re: Fear of Choking and Salty Taste [Re: Dizz_zzey] #199594
12-11-2019 04:48 PM
12-11-2019 04:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,264
NYC
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PaulB Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
PaulB  Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,264
NYC
That’s great! You’re ahead of the game as best you can. I can see coughing hard to aggravate any situation more! I’m glad you and your husband are trained in first aid. Not too many people are. Although I advocate calling emergency responders, seeing a doctor, I had to do CPR several times while Emergency Service was called.

Take care, and good luck in keeping moving forward!


10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxo Cisp 5-FU, 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Wks
06/11 30 HBO
08/11 RND PNI
06/12 SND PNI LVI
08/12 RND Pec Flap IORT 12 Gy
10/12 25 IMRT 50Gy 6 Wks Taxo Erbitux
10/13 SND
10/13 TBO/Angiograph
10/13 RND Carotid Remove IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Protons 50Gy 6 Wks Carbo
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fib Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
06/17 Heart Attack Stent
02/19 Finally Cancer Free Took 10 yrs







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