Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm all choked up



It seems as though it is becoming a much more frequent occurrence, I can't seem to get through a meal without swallowing something down the wrong pipe. This of course causes coughing, choking, face reddening and watering of the eyes, and depending on where you happen to be, a mild to severe case of embarrassment. This time I got off easy, I was alone, typing. I just started to enjoy what I thought was going to be a delicious biscotti, when I'm not sure what happened, but I started choking, ruining of course my afternoon indulgence. I mean really, you often hear people say, "I must have swallowed down the wrong pipe" ~ but how many pipes are there and are we really in control of directing things to where they need to go? Do we need to swallow more slowly, tilt our heads to a certain side, breathe differently?

I know that in the back of our mouths reside two openings, or what we call pipes. There is the esophagus which leads to the stomach, the one we want our food and liquids to go down, while the other is the trachea, which is designed to get air through to our lungs. Okay, sounds good, makes sense. So you would think that like most of our other body's functions and abilities, it would be designed to work without much input on our part ~ and I guess most of the time it does, it works correctly.

I am sure there is some medical reason for this. I am not even going to go Google it right now to find out. But I would guess it has something to do with aging, maybe the openings get larger or floppy, leaning on each other, trying to hold each other up, taking up the others space. They probably have some surgical procedure to repair or help this condition. And I am not saying that this doesn't happen when you are younger, it most certainly does, but lately it just seems I am on the fast track to a Heimlich maneuver. It doesn't really matter to me the cause because it is not like I am going to do anything about it. There are a lot of areas on my body that could use some help, some cosmetic alterations if you get my drift, but it is just not my thing. But you can be sure that if I was ever so inclined, the last thing I would be concerned with getting tightened would be my esophagus!

I just know that this is one more thing to add to the "not so great things" about aging . Everything gets a bit more difficult, getting out of bed in the morning, touching my toes, blindly trying to find my reading glasses. And now you have to be so much more careful. Getting out of the shower, stepping off the front porch, and now this. Even eating and drinking, and the simple reflex of swallowing has become hazardous to our health.

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