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Bonehead klutz move almost killed me this morning!

PJ47's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Sep 2013

Hello all,

Was doing fine swallowing only 1 1/2 weeks of Rads left, eating my cream of wheat and enjoying it.  Thought I would start back taking my vitamins I had to stop for g-tube surgery, so popped a big fish oil capsule in my mouth and then the fun began....

Started to gag as it got stuck somewhere in my throat.  Tried water and choked on that it came flying out of my mouth, there was an awful gurgling  sucking air kind of sound in my wind pipe and I tried to throw up the pill and that did not work.  My sister in law came running down stairs naked from the shower hearing the wierd sounds, and offered to give me a Heimlick manuver.  I shook my head NO due to the new feeding tube that was right in harms way, pointed to the fish oil bottle and mimed what happened. 

Meanwhile, copious amounts of phlegem were coming out of my mouth, nose and eyes and I mimed call 911.  I then changed my mind thinking they would stick a tube down my "friable" throat and injure me even more or decide to do a trach.  

Eventually, it dislodged a bit so I could breathe better and now it hurts like hell to swallow.  I do not know if it still is partly there or just injured my esophagus during the sticking phase.  Able to eat ice cream and just had some slipery elm herbal tea.   I thought I was checking out ALA Mama Cass style only the healthy version (vitamin vs ham sandwich)!  LOL

I now smelllike  fish oil when I open my mouth, UGH.  Drove sister in law to airport and then saw my PCP who told me how he almost choked to death in the Doctors lounge at the hospital on a sandwich because the physician there did not know the Heimlick sign or how to do it.  He made me laugh and we both are glad to be here.  


Please do not try this at home,


longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

You touch  upon several good points.  First, during therapy, don't take chances with anything if swallowing is a problemLaughing  And second, if you can breathe around a stuck pill or capsule, it will eventually disolve and the problem will take care of itself.  Fishoil, ugh, Im sure that was fun.



CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4373
Joined: May 2012


I have to be methodical about swallowing  now, no more pie eating contests.

Funny or not, what Pat said happened to be with a Xylimelt for dry mouth.  I woke up with one stuck in my throat.  The caution on the package says some discomfort if it dislodges and gets stuck in throat or lungs.  They work so well I just don’t sleep as well without them.

Remember be extra careful going forward.  Swallow with intent and caution.

Keep swallowing,


Steve5's picture
Posts: 147
Joined: Oct 2013

Thanks for the info, I just picked up a flyer on the melts yesterday  but I am not going near them now - also the chemo nurse let me know to use mirilax I think it is that can be dissolved in water when I cannot swall anti constipation pills - really good sage advice - doing jaw and tongue exercises now as well daily since my jaw opening is not as wide as when it started - one of the nurses also recommmended a pain killer 30 minutes before eating if my throat gets sore -but I was thinking of using milk shakes they seem to numb my sores and any throat scrathness and makes it easier to swallow - just want to add anything that might be helpful



PJ47's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Sep 2013

Although I made light of this morning's choking episode, it was really frightening and I think you all who responded are correct.  We have to be very careful of what and how we take any pills or lozengers as our constrictors are not working like they once did.

My throat is still very sore and I think the capsule is still stuck but melting slowly.  I am hoping it will have moved down by tomorrow.  I can really smell the fishy smell in the G-tube area also. 

I plan on adding the fish oil to my smoothie tomorrow along with my flax seed oil. Got to keep lubricated.  Able to drink 64 0z of water but it hurt a lot.  Getting through the rad/mask was difficult and I just tried not to swallow.  Thank goodness the TOMO machine did not malfunction like yesterday when I was in the machine 45 minutes and it stuck.  They could not even move the gurney out.  Good thing I am not claustrophobic! 1 1/2 weeks left, am looking towards the light,




lornal's picture
Posts: 428
Joined: Sep 2013

1.5 weeks left!  Great! You'll be done my Christmas.  I remember I finished mine on Dec 22, 2007. 

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

PJ, what a wonderful Christmas gift to be done w/tx!!  so glad u can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Have a Merry Christmas and congrats on 1 week left.

God bless,


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

He cannot swallow any jell caps without this horible strangling. Some pilss do this too. The first time we went to the ER but pill desolved before triage was complete. He even choked on a bean in bean soup at Bob Evans one time. Anytime he chokes on something he will not eat it again.

PJ47's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Sep 2013

I take my lentil soup and puree it in the blender so I won't choke on it and lentils are so small.  But hey, I can still swallow and I am still here!



donfoo's picture
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 2012

Here's a little experiment to make clear how to proceed with caution with gelcaps. I accidentially dropped on into some water. Upon retrieving it, the melting had alredy begun into a big blog of sticky goo. I can only imagine if you have dry mouth and it got stuck and glued there and then more water to clear it just make it goo up completely. Gelcaps only for expert swallowers! Thanks for the post.

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