From the Coordinator I was having trouble sleeping a few nights ago. I took a pill, but, while I was trying to get comfortable, I sensed it was stuck in my throat. I was suffering from pill dysphagia; that is, the effects of normal aging on my swallowing mechanism had kicked in. ... Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column  |   December 01, 2010
From the Coordinator
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Older Adults & Aging / Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column   |   December 01, 2010
From the Coordinator
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2010, Vol. 15, 33-34. doi:10.1044/gero15.2.33
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2010, Vol. 15, 33-34. doi:10.1044/gero15.2.33
I was having trouble sleeping a few nights ago. I took a pill, but, while I was trying to get comfortable, I sensed it was stuck in my throat. I was suffering from pill dysphagia; that is, the effects of normal aging on my swallowing mechanism had kicked in. The pill was stuck in my left pyriform sinus. I could picture in my mind what it would look like on the swallow study. Why wasn't my UES relaxing long enough to allow the pill to pass into my esophagus? What if I have a Zenker's diverticulum?
I thought, “I don't have time for surgery, for goodness sake!” I turned my head and swallowed, but nothing changed. I tucked my chin and swallowed, but nothing changed. I drank more water and tried to swallow with effort, but the thing wasn't going anywhere. “How could I, knowing everything I know about dysphagia management, not be able to fix my own problem?” I wondered. Eventually, I experienced a little relief and was able to drift off, but the experience certainly made me think.
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