Monday, March 29, 2010

Hard to Swallow

Ok, so here is what has been going on. For some time now ( over a year) I have noticed the occasional lump in my throat. It seemed to come and go. Last year I went to my (THEN) primary care doctor who said that it was either a nervous condition OR acid reflux ~ which I have no signs of either. I do not take any medications.. nothing.. not even antacids or aspirin.
More recently the lump which feels like a wad of chewing gum has become more noticeable and constant and for the last month or so I have been having a difficult time swallowing. As of now the lump is a permanent resident in my throat. The worst effect is the dryness that I get in my throat ~ breathing becomes a problem.
Last week I finally got the nerve to call my new doctor and went in to discuss my problem with him. I haven't mentioned to you that my maternal grandmother died from Esophageal cancer. Her symptoms started with trouble keeping food down. I, on the other hand have no problem keeping food down, my trouble is getting it down.
My doctor set me up an appointment and I met with the specialist today. This week I have two more test scheduled, the first is a barium swallow test:

that may be used to determine the cause of painful swallowing, difficulty with swallowing, abdominal pain, bloodstained vomit, or unexplained weight loss.
Barium sulfate is a metallic compound that shows up on x-ray and is used to help see abnormalities in the esophagus and stomach. When taking the test, you drink a preparation containing this solution. The x-rays track its path through your digestive system.

The other is an Upper GI endoscopy:

a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum—the first part of the small intestine.
An endoscope is carefully fed down the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope transmits a video image to a video monitor, allowing close examination of the intestinal lining. Air is pumped through the endoscope to inflate the stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see. Special tools that slide through the endoscope allow the doctor to perform biopsies, stop bleeding, and remove abnormal growths.

As of today, although we still do not know the cause of this lump, I do feel a little better. Although the doctor didn't rule out the C word he did give other possible causes for my problem. He feels that my problem is Esophagus related but also said that the chances of me having a the some condition that my grandma had is next to nothing. Sheeeesh.. I sure hope he is right!
By Friday afternoon I should know what the problem is and how to hopefully fix it.
Thanks for all of the emails.
I am truly grateful for all of you.


Country Dreaming said...


How scared you must have been! Sounds like the Dr. gave you a little relief--that's good.
Good luck and keep us posted.
You will be in my prayers.


Katharine said...

ok, so I am breathing again... It is so hard when it comes to the fear of the unknown eh? You are in my prayers, glad that it is just a week till results. Hope your week is full of peace and hope!