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A Daughters Love

Active member
Oct 8, 2005
Hi everyone,
I am completely beside myself this week. 2 nights ago my Mom had a really bad choking episode while eating supper. A couple of things that really bother me about it.
1, her coughing is already weak, so when she was choking it didn't have any force behind it.
2, she said it was just a pepper flake, and it was no big deal as she's always had a problem with choking.
I agree she has always choked a little more than the rest of us in the past, but this was not the same. Her eyes got really big, almost like they were bugging out of her head, she wasn't breathing and was really struggling to get control. She had a glass of water, and after a while she stopped. It took alot out of her. She had another coughing attack today at lunch, it wasn't as bad, but still it really scares me and I'm trying to stay calm because my small children are right there. Man this is so hard to handle some times! After both of these attacks she said she's been feeling a cold coming on and thinks that could have something to do with it. I just got over a cold this week and have found myself suddenly coughing from simply taking a breath in. I am hoping that is all it is right now, and not more progression. After the first attack when I was really upset I told her how carefull she has to be, as choking is a big deal with ALS. She said she knows that, and that I can't get so upset as there was nothing I could do anyway as she wasn't choking on a piece of food. I felt horrible after that as I am the one who is supposed to be strong for her and I completly fell apart. Does anyone have any advice or knowledge that could help me.

Thank you, :(
Hi Michele,
Choking is so, so scary. I have only seen my dad choke on a few occassions (it happens about 2-3 times a month), but each time scared the crap out of me. It makes you, as the person watching it happen, feel so hopeless and worried. And I am sure it makes the person choking feel complete panic. Each time it happens with my dad, his eyes get really big, and he has a freaked out look on his face. Dad has only choked twice on food, and one of the times was this week. I am hoping his choking episodes do not start happening with food now too. Most of the time he chokes on small sips of water. My dad's docs are worried about him choking on a piece of food and/or liquid and aspirating it into his lungs. Then we have to worry about pnemonia. They have mentioned having him use a temporary feeding tube through his nose because he has lost some weight. I would almost feel a sense of relief if he did have the feeding tube because then I would not have to worry about him choking as much. Every time I sit down with him to eat or drink anything, I am always worried that he might choke. I find myself watching him like a hawk, which I am sure he finds completely annoying. The only advice I can give you (and this has come from other people's posts) is to tell your mom to relax as much as possible while she is choking. Relaxing her throat will help whatever it is go down. Easier said than done...I know. Have her tilt her chin down towards her chest when she swallows. This apparently opens up the right passage in her throat. And, while she is going through a choking episode, ask her if she is getting any air in. If she is getting some in, that is a good sign. It is also a good sign if she is coughing because at least she is getting some air. It might also be a good idea to get caught up with some CPR just in case. I took a class when I had my son (who is almost 2 now), and I am glad that I did. I am sorry that this is something you have to worry about on top of everything else that goes along with this disease. To me, the choking is the absolute scarriest thing. I hope some of this advice will come in handy. Hang in there.
Hi Michele
I have a weak chest and my cough is week, my physiotherapy
has taught my wife and I couple of techniques called ‘assisted cough’ which
helps. It's best if a professional shows you how, it quite simply to get the hang of it when shown.
i have been told by a neorosurgeon friend of mine, that if you are choking and no food is lodged in the airway,and your throat muscles constrict....then if you happen to actually pass out, your body will automaticaly start breathing again.i pray this is true...
even knowing this has never made me feel any better the times i have swallowed wrong and choked. now, i can usually feel it coming on, and will either spit out what i am swallowing, or immediately try to be calm. it aslo helps me to straighten up, even though the instinct is to curl inward.
sometimes even a tiny bit of saliva will slip through....and i can sort of force "cough" it forward .
Thank you all for your replies. I gave Mom these sugestions. I really don't know what I would do without this site! Anyway today has been a good (?) day, and hopefully tomorrow will be to. Take care.

We will get through this by helping each other!

My prayers to you all

watch for aspiration pneumonia. i choked on a piece of rice the next week i had pneunmonia. i knew the rice caused it .GOD BLESS also i try not to talk while i eat which is hard for me....:cry:
choking scare

Thanks for all of the great advice on this thread. My friend Gail had a scary choking episode last week too that really frightened me. "my daughters love", everything you wrote was identical to how I felt.

I will keep all of your advice in mind. it is hard not to talk to Gail when we are having a meal, it feels awkward, but I am more careful now to say a joke or ask a question while she is eating.

Thanks Barb:|
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