Ref health...of us all, rare afflictions department...esophageal spasms......have had them for as long as I can remember, (am 80 now) unpredictable, could go for months without one, then have 2 or 3 a week, up until about age 45 could get relief by swallowing air and then belching, then one early morning in '84 was awakened by a vicious chest pain, panic/heart attack?!, ambulance to hospital...no heart attack, Dr diagnosed it as "acute gastritis", gave me a "cocktail", the intense pain had lasted about 20 minutes, had ceased by cocktail time so reckon that it was "just" a spasm.
Well, they are still pretty infrequent but swallowing air doesn't work, only relief is through time, last week had a very intense one, believe caused by unwisely gulping a piece of chicken, lasted about half an hour, got real serious, esophagus poured out lots of the very viscous mucous, same as it does when it expects a vomit session, trouble was that the path to the stomach was closed so the mucous, helped by the piece of chicken, had no escape except into the pharynx area, started to get into the airway, was able to keep it clear by rapid air expulsions, got really scary when the overflow episodes came only seconds apart, barely had time to get air back into my lungs when had to blast it out again, this went on for about half an hour, intense pain the whole time...finally cleared, scary really, pretty sure most episodes are due to gulping food, really cold beverages also seem to be a culprit. Medically, it seems that not a whole lot can be done, I just have to be more vigilant and be real careful eating, as in go slow, do the Clifton Webb "chew each mouthful 28 times", careful with drinks etc. My sympathies with all buds that may have the same affliction, all suggestions welcome, really, this one scared the Hell out of me, don't think that Heimlich maneuvers could have kept up with the rapidity in which the crap was trying to get into the airway, was "on my own".