Monday, April 3, 2017
Thursday I drove back to Bay City for my appointment with the ENT doc. The speech therapist urged me to write down everything that we talked about, the two types of attacks, all the little quirks that interfere with my swallowing, like not being able to swallow pills larger than a cold capsule or finding it hard to clear my throat at times (though the latter might be due to dehydration so I am trying to make a conscious effort to drink more water every day) and not to let him rush the appointment.
The ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doc spent a decent amount of time so no real complaint about that but I don't think he listened to me or was taking me seriously and so far I am not that impressed. Supposedly he read the list I had written up before he came in but he kept confusing the two things and didn't seem to understand that a speech therapist would be conducting the barium swallow (wanted to know how long I had been seeing a speech therapist; I'm not), and made some comment that one of my neck vertebrae was small and did it hurt (no), seemed surprised that I did yoga regularly, decided that I had difficulty swallowing because I was tense and anxious (no, I don't suffer from anxiety or depression or stress and these episodes happen typically when I am relaxed and having fun, I mean really, how tense can I be in my sleep), that it was allergies (the events are not seasonal and no, no classic allergy symptoms though my sinuses do get clogged at times), told me it because I breathe through my mouth (uh, no). When the subject of breaking my nose at age three came up...how do you know that he asked (because it happened to me, because my parents took me to the doctor and had it checked periodically), talking about some other detail of my throat he asked me why I thought that was (if I knew that I wouldn't be here). There was more but you get the idea. He finally settled on my sinuses and told me to use a particular nasal rinse (saline solution) and a lubricating nasal gel (aloe vera in it) three times a day every day for the two and a half weeks (three times a day, every day? I kept asking, seems a little excessive to me) til my next appointment when he is going to stick a little camera down my nose and take a look see. Oh joy.
And this nasal rinse isn't just inhaling a mist. This is pouring two ounces of solution into one nostril until it runs out the other or your mouth and then 2 ounces through the other nostril. More seriously ooky stuff.
Oh yeah, and he ordered an x-ray of my sinuses which I am waiting for them to schedule.
The best thing I took away from this visit was when I asked him if I wasn't choking but suffocating from some spastic muscle, if I pass out will it relax and I'll be able to breathe? He hedged his bets, “90% of the time, yes”. Whether or not they figure out what's going on, and my money is on not, it doesn't look like this is going to kill me.
I wonder if the episodes would pass quicker if I just let myself pass out rather than struggling to breathe through them.