As you know I recently had surgery. It's formally called "Anterior Cervical Discectomy With Fusion" or ACDF.
One of the issues to deal with in the aftermath is a strangulation sensation.
Just to clarify-it does NOT impact my ability to breathe (at least so far). It does make swallowing (even saliva) uncomfortable which impacts what I eat somewhat, but not to the point that it inhibits my ability to have a healthy diet.
Unfortunately for me I have an unresolved lifelong terror (paranoia) of being unable to breathe. Most often in life this has come up when I'm in/near water or if someone ACTUALLY puts their hands on my throat. But I also don't ever wear turtlenecks or choker style jewelry.
Because of this I have been waking up repeatedly at night in the midst of full fledged panic attacks. I've managed to keep the panic at bay most of the time during the day (only 3 panic attacks during the day). I do spend much ofmy day consciously reminding myself that yes I can breathe and no I don't need to freak out-which is a ridiculous waste of time though.
In an attempt to give myself some reassurance that this is temporary I called the receptionist at my doctors office who had the surgery 11 months ago. That backfired though-because she continues to be plagued by this.
I went online to research it (which I suck at) and came up with some (minimal) information about it. I found that 1/250 people who have this surgery never do get relief from this sensation (here's to hoping I'm not #250).
I found a few other terms that SEEM to describe what's going on to some degree (but I'm not positive) which are
Dysphagia and Dysphonia and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy.The Dysphonia isn't an issue-it pertains to your voice and my voice is fine. The one that seems most logical from what I could find is the last one,
recurrent laryngeal nerve issues.
But I can't seem to find ANYTHING that really addresses ways to... reduce the sensation or .. heck if I know how to put it...
Anyway-if ANY of you have any ideas on this-I could sure use some advice.
I also spoke with my father-who works in the medical field, he suggested the following:
Another thing you might not know about surgery is that
when they put the endotracheal tube in they sometimes have to press
fairly hard on the adam's apple to get the trachea lined up right for
the tube to go in. That's entirely possible as the cause of the
ongoing discomfort and should go away SLOWLY on it's own. Basically,
if you have to push hard enough on the adam's apple to mildly distort
it's shape for that it will take some time before it quits feeling the
"memory" of the pressure. The fact that it feels like someone has
their hands around your throat is VERY strongly indicative of exactly
Ok. Not sure there is anything more I can say without droning on endlessly with no purpose except thank you for ANY suggestions. I really do appreciate all of you for being so positive, friendly and helpful these last couple months!