1. Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

Fear of choking and fear of exercise

Discussion in 'Phobias' started by Peacelily, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Peacelily

    Peacelily Member

    I never used to be afraid of eating food or of exercising before, until recently when I nearly choked on a piece of popcorn (I still have the foreign body sensation in my throat, since no dr has examined my throat with a nose scope yet) last week.

    I went to the ER and the physician assistant was going to use a nose scope but her supervisor convinced her not to, since I could clearly breathe. I'm so upset b/c her choice not to examine my throat with that scope set me up for a week of panic attacks and more ER and urgent care visits that have not revealed WHY I have that foreign body sensation in my throat still.

    Common sense dictates that the popcorn is no longer stuck in my throat b/c I can talk and breathe.

    As a result, my panic took over and I nearly starved myself to the point where the ER and Urgent Care providers found keytones in my urine tests, that indicate I'm dehydrated and not eating well. And I lost about 6 pounds.

    Also, I had to take my cat to an emergency vet clinic that gives discounted rates to clients with low incomes. Luckily, I could afford the vet visit. I'm still worried about my cat today, as she is old and seems to be still recovering from yesterday's 4 hour vet visit. She is eating and drinking and went to the bathroom so that is good.

    Panic has a strong hold over me still. I lost sleep on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night, so I am exhausted today. I did sleep from about 5 a.m. to about 9:30 a.m. this morning. Because I went to the ER on Wednesday for symptoms, the Urgent Care on Thursday for symptoms, and the ER again last night for symptoms but left after 3 hours b/c I couldn't handle being hungry and exhausted. Then I spoke to an urgent care nurse over the phone for 30 minutes, and she made a good point that my health problems are long term, and can't be solved by random providers at the ER and Urgent Care. So that relieved my anxiety a lot. I made doctor appointments this week to follow up and establish care.

    I missed this entire week of work running around like a chicken with her head cut off, going to the ER to Urgent Care. Who is this person?!?! She is not someone I recognize. I never used to be this hypochondriacal about my health before.

    I need to start eating more calories and more protein with carbs or I'll only get worse. My vision is blurry, and I'm super tired from not consuming a lot of calories. There's no point for me to go to the ER or Urgent Care again tonight, to complain that I am feeling the side effects of self-starvation (although I don't have an eating disorder just a panic disorder and fear of choking).

    My hope is to try to fall asleep tonight before midnight with the help of Melatonin (if I can make myself take it, if my anxiety doesn't get the better of me). I took my car to the dealership today to get some parts replaced (recall, so I didn't owe any money), then I did some laundry and gave away some furniture for free that people came and picked up. I didn't eat much today either, still panicking that I will choke to death. What happened to me? I really don't know how I became this person?!

    I had a bad asthma attack on Thursday, and got a nebulized treatment at the ER, but the albuterol made me shaky and panicky until about 6 a.m. Friday morning. So, I have been a wreck. I'm sedentary, and didnt think that I needed to use my inhaler before playing frisbee with my nephew.

    I've struggled with exercise induced asthma for about ten years; had all kinds of pulmonary workups done, and even quit smoking ten years ago. But the test results show that my lungs and heart (although enlarged from my thyroid disease) is fine.

    It's maddening to be told there's nothing wrong with my lungs or heart, yet I can't play frisbee without leater having a delayed exercise induced asthma attack. I used to play tennis, run, bike, and go on hikes in my 20s and 30s when I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.

    But in my 40s, I can't even play frisbee now without having an asthma attack. How do I stop being so scared of exercise?!?!

    Can anyone relate to how your fears take over your lifestyle and make you into a different person? How do you overcome those fears to get back to who you were? How can I?!
  2. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Choking is really freaky. I choked once on a chip. I really couldn't get my breath and I thought I was going to die. Since then I've always eaten with a glass of water beside me. As far as my panic attacks and PTSD goes, I still get attacks every day. The only thing you can do is learn coping techniques.
  3. Peacelily

    Peacelily Member

    Sorry to hear you almost choked on potato chips, Jane. That is scary. Choking has really messed with my ability to eat right now. I'm trying to use "mind over matter" self-talk. I think I will try the glass of water beside me plan that worked for you, when I eat. I agree. All I can do is try different coping techniques until my appointment with an ENT in 2 weeks, who will do a nose scope and barium swallow to check my esophagus.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  4. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Perhaps I shouldn't have eaten the chip LOL :rolleyes: Only when I was able to get air again did I realise how close I came to choking and I don't think I'll ever forget it. Yes, the water helped because as I choked, I drank water and it helped to wash down the chip and soothe my throat at the same time.

    I figured just in case I choke in the future, that if I always have the water handy then it would save me. Since then, I don't remember choking but I do sip my water as I go along with my meal. So it has probably helped with the worry of choking when I eat as well, subconsciously so to speak! At least you can do that in the meantime till your appointment with the ENT. Good luck with that. I hope nothing is wrong and all you need to do is have a glass of water beside you.
    Peacelily likes this.
  5. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

    I totally get where you’re coming from! If it makes you feel any better, the chances of actually choking to death are less than those of many other accidents. To allow this fear to take over your life would be very upsetting because you have control over this. Try taking small bites of soft foods and work your way up❤️
  6. Peacelily

    Peacelily Member

    I risked it today! I craved tostito chips and salsa so I ate some. I hope that my chances of choking are less than other types of accidents. I did allow this fear to take over my life for 10 days. But now I want my life back. I'm battling sleep deprivation from multiple ER visits last week this week, so my appetite isn't what it should be. But today...today I confronted my choking fear and ate some salty tostito chips with mild salsa.

    So far, no choking. But, I am sipping water/gatorade as I eat slowly. I pretty much chew everything to a pulp now, slowly. I'm still very anxious about possibly choking again, but I am determined to overcome that fear by forcing myself to eat regular foods again. I also had a thyroid ultrasound done and the endocrinologist who did it, joked that he didn't see any nodules but that my thyroid was inflamed and he didn't offer to increase my medication to shrink my thyroid's inflammation which frustrates me. So, now I have to get a 2nd opinion from another endocrinologist.
  7. XmasCarol52

    XmasCarol52 Well-Known Member

    I do tend to gag a lot with me though I have a lot of mucus and sometimes I feel like I cannot breathe I just don't know what it is but if I have very bad anxieties if I eat my anxieties get worse then I start to gag.The other day though when i was eating some rice it got stuck so i started choking with me though most of the time if I do choke I just push my stomach in and gag then the food usually comes up.I hate that feeling because it feels like you are going to die.My late husband use to tell me that I was not choking because if i was i wouldnt be able to get air in,i dont know about that.
  8. Peacelily

    Peacelily Member

    Sorry to hear that you have a bad gag reflex. No, you can still choke and breathe because you're not completely obstructed. I know what you mean about getting food like rice stuck. It's scary when that happens.
  9. XmasCarol52

    XmasCarol52 Well-Known Member

    It is so annoying I cannot even have a doctor look down my throat because I will gag.
    Peacelily likes this.

Share This Page