One of the less useful things I inherited from my father was a susceptability to getting food stuck in my throat. Usually I can get it out again, but on Monday evening I got a piece of chicken caught down there and could not budge it.
It is a horrible and undescribable sensation. I made a couple of phone calls to family and friends, and after everything else had been tried a friend took me to the hospital later that evening. I have always known that some day I’d probably wind up in hospital with this condition, because my father went through the same in his time.
Unfortunately they couldn’t do anything until morning, so I spent Monday night being extremely uncomfortable and not sleeping — try to imagine fifteen hours or so of not being able to swallow anything, even your own saliva. (Also, I was attached to a drip in order to keep my fluids up, so I had a sore arm as well.)
Eventually the time came for the upper endoscopy. I was not conscious for this, and I woke up in the recovery ward when it was all over. Currently I am in the process of recovering from the effects of the anaesthetic (nausea, etc), and on a diet of soft foods for the next little while.
Here is a choice quotation from the upper endoscopy report, so that any readers who know something about medicine can be fully informed:
OESOPHAGUS: there was food bolus at 25cm ab oral. This was pushed with mild resistance to the stomach. Moderate oesophagitis (? Oeosinophilic) was present. The squamo-columnar mucosal junction (x-line) was at 40 cm. No rings or sticture seen. Small hiatus hernia.
STOMACH: The stomach was normal.
DUODENUM: Mild patchy erythematous bulbar duodenitis was noted.
A follow-up appointment has been made for January.
In my follow-up appointment of 27 January 2009, I learned the results of the biopsy and that a diagnosis of eosinophilic oesophagitis was confirmed (a diagnosis that didn’t exist in my father’s day). I’ve been prescribed medication for that, and for the acid problems they found.
Here’s a photograph of the prescription, minus identifying information and so forth. I’ve been warned about thrush as a side-effect if I don’t rinse my mouth well enough.