Bulbar symptoms related to throat

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Jennie0813

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I’m sorry I’m starting a new thread but I had deleted my last thread and my old thread was closed earlier this year.

I want to preface this by saying that I am very thankful and appreciative of all the advice that has been provided here by extremely patient people.

I have read (and reread) the pinned posts about symptoms and I’m still finding myself a bit panicked about bulbar symptoms. I would imagine it’s probably stemming from severe anxiety at this point, but I just am seeking a bit more clarity on bulbar symptoms as they pertain to the throat.

For the last handful of days, my swallowing has been weird. It feels like someone has a grip on my throat - I’ve had breathing difficulties since last week (which is why I went to the ER) as well. It’s really difficult to describe but I’m just worried about my breathing being impacted. I can eat and drink and my voice isn’t impacted, though I do seem more short of breath.

I also saw my PCP today. She saw no obvious problems with my throat or anything. We talked extensively about my anxiety and she prescribed me a very low dose of Zoloft, which I started today (but will take at least 4-6 weeks to take effect).

I’m trying really hard to get my anxiety out of control and I realize that isn’t anyone else’s problem but my own. I would just really appreciate any information you could share about early bulbar symptoms related to throat tightness/swallowing - if it’s something I need to follow up on with a specialist, I will. If it’s not, I will leave this forum. (I also asked how to delete my profile but got no response).
 

lgelb

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We're not here to provide symptom lists, but as your PCP noted, yours do not resemble bulbar onset ALS (or any other kind).

I agree that leaving so as not to feed your anxiety is a good idea. You can set a block on your browser.

All the best.
 

Jennie0813

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Thank you. I appreciate your kindness. Is there a way to delete a profile?
 

lgelb

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Deletion's a bit of a hassle but I can revoke your privileges permanently or for any specified period of time.
 

Jennie0813

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i was deciding between another trip to the ER or try to calm my nerves at home. As much as I tell myself my symptoms may be CAUSED by anxiety, I’m just not totally convinced. A number of als sites indicate difficulty breathing can be an early sign, especially laying down or after working out. They say vocal changes, hoarseness, etc. All of this seemed to be contradicted by what I’ve heard here. So I got into bed, took my pills, and am trying to find what I can before I actually log off this site.

I don’t feel any problems chewing or swallowing, and I appear to talk okay...just have more saliva and im taking more breaths in between words.
 

lgelb

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Respiratory onset is 1% of cases and you don't have clinical respiratory insufficiency, which would be unmistakeable.

You can read a lot of nonsense on the Internet -- we talked about this. So why are you still reading it? Since you acknowledge "severe anxiety," you know that's the worst place to be. As for the ER, those are dangerous places in these times, and you already went there last week. I don't see what going there again would accomplish. Of course, it's your choice.

I would pair the Zoloft with counseling, to parse what physically there is to worry about.
 

Jennie0813

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Right, I really didn’t want to go back to the ER but I was really struggling with being winded from talking, etc. I opted for a double dose of Ativan (it’s a low dose to begin with) in the hopes it would relax my throat - decided against ER. I really want to walk away from these paralyzing fears and I’m doing everything I can, but it’s a slow process. First stab at therapy was bad. I’ve reached out again to another group and waiting to hear back. I’m going to do what it takes so this doesn’t ruin me - but it’s a slow process to recovery. I’m sorry to bother you all.
 

Jennie0813

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Just to be clear - I can swallow and drink/eat normally (seems normal to me). Except than when I swallow, something feels stuck and I almost feel like I’m going to be vomit. On one hand it seems like globus, but the vomit feeling freaks me out. I also can hear the phlegm in my voice if that makes sense and I’m coughing quite a lot now without clearing much. I read a couple of accounts of people with ALS who had similar issues and it derailed me a little bit. If I could just confirm this is t something that should worry me about ALS I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your incredible patience. .
 

lgelb

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No, it's not. I would drink more, try a throat spray, maybe a nasal steroid, maybe an antihistamine, etc. It's dry and cold and we're not moving around as much. Change your furnace filter, focus on things you enjoy more than reading and typing here.

I think we're done here. All the best.
 
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