Eosinophilic Esophagitis. It's nice to finally have a reason for my throat tightening problem, and to know it's not just in my head. But man do I wish I had found out before now, and in a less dramatic way than a trip to the ER.
(Background: I've been feeling like my throat was tightening for a while now. I mentioned it at my doctor when I was pregnant and she said it was part of my asthma and gave me an Albuterol inhaler, which didn't help. Then lately, it felt like it was a little hard to swallow. I'd have to gulp water to push my food down. I thought I was just eating too fast or something. I was going to make another doctor appointment and ask about it soon.)
So anyway, I was eating steak yesterday afternoon. I swallowed a bite but it just wouldn't go down. I started choking, throwing up, coughing, etc. And it still wouldn't go down, or up.
I could still breathe, but didn't feel like I was getting enough air. I didn't want to jump the gun and call 911, but my body was going into panic mode. I tried to stay as calm as possible so no one would panic. I asked my mom to watch the kids (she lives next door to me) and told Steven to drive me to the hospital. The 10 minute drive felt like forever and I was gagging the whole time.
So we get there, and they actually see me within like 5 minutes, which still felt like forever. But I was seen before any of the people already waiting there, so I can't complain. It was seriously obnoxious answering questions and getting my blood pressure taken though. I wanted to scream, I am choking! Someone do something.
I got taken to a room and received an IV of meds that were supposed to relax my esophagus. The whole time, I was seriously afraid I would choke to death if the food blockage moved at all. When I wasn't worrying about dying, I was worrying that Brynna was hungry. I knew we didn't have any breastmilk or formula and I didn't know if she would accept coconut milk, which I knew my mom was trying to give her. I was trying to stay as calm as possible because I already wasn't getting enough air so I couldn't afford to freak out.
The doctor told me to drink a cup of water to push it down. I tried, even though I was worried it was going to drown me, and threw it all up. I was pretty sure the blockage had gotten pushed up by that and I felt like I couldn't breathe and was dying, but eventually I was able to breathe again.
They then decided I would need surgery, an endoscopy I think it was. So I waited for that. I was seriously anguished at this point. I still felt like I was choking to death and my throat and stomach really hurt. But someone was choking on a hot dog so I had to wait a little bit longer. Steven also left at that point because my mom and aunt had brought the kids to the waiting room and I was worried about them. I knew I would feel better knowing that their dad was taking care of them.
Then I had to sign some release forms. All kinds of stupid forms, which took longer because I had to keep stopping to gag and spit into a throw up bag. I even had to sign a pregnancy release form. Seriously? I am definitely NOT pregnant!
So they FINALLY wheeled me to surgery and put something in my IV that made my head feel all prickly, then I fell asleep. I woke up 15 minutes later, although I felt like it had been like an hour. I was so relieved to not be choking, afraid of dying, worrying about Brynna being hungry, and thinking about my kids having to grow up without a mother. I was just so relaxed and happy to be alive.
The nurses were talking about how awful it was that they made me wait so long with something stuck in my throat, which made me feel a little better. At least someone cared, lol. Then my doctor came in and told me what he thought I had, which at the time sounded like eogdhgnfthjnthnjtfnrjrnjitis. (Actually, it kind of still does.) My mom came in and asked a million questions, which is what she does. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell us much, and said he'd be able to tell us more when we came back for a follow up in a week. (I guess my throat has to deal enough to get a camera put down there.)
So the nurse wheeled me outside. My awesome Aunt Jade was there watching Kaylee. Someone gave me Brynna, who I was able to nurse because everyone was kind enough to give me all breastfeeding-safe meds.
I felt fine, just tired and sore, but since they told me not to hold the baby while standing up, I had to accept some help from my mom and brother the rest of the night. I realized that I absolutely hate not being able to take care of my babies! (But of course I'm really grateful that I have people around to help me when I need it. :)
Steven went out and got me a bunch of liquids and mushy foods to live on until my throat heals because it's extremely swollen. I am never eating steak again. I don't even like steak, really. It was just that it was leftover and we didn't have much food because we were due to go food shopping. My great-grandfather actually died from choking on steak, from what I hear. I was just sure it was going to happen to me too.
I'm super thankful to be alive right now. If you have any weird symptoms, please go get them checked out. You might be afraid of the diagnosis or you might be really busy, but just go do it. You might regret it later if you don't!!