Waking up choking
June 12, 2011 1:22 AM Subscribe
About once a month, I wake up severely coughing and choking on my own vomit. What's the best course of action when this happens, and how I can stop it happening? (icky details within)
posted by pupstocks to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
As you can imagine, this is really gross and unpleasant. It's also scary because I'm worried about what might happen the next time I start aspirating on vomit. What if I don't wake up? Am I going to die in my sleep??
Typically the way this goes down is that I just happen to wake up coughing and I taste acidy vomit. I get up and continue coughing really hard until I can breathe normally. I usually drink quite a lot of water at this point (two or three 16-ounce glasses) trying to soothe things. When I'm confident the coughing has stopped, I usually try to go back to bed, and things are ok by the morning. So my first question is: Is this the correct procedure for dealing with this problem??
As for cause... I am not sure, really. I rarely drink alcohol, and I haven't noticed any correlation with any particular food. I do have some generalized GI issues, including heartburn. I take Prevacid pretty regularly, but I still have problems. I also get frequent digestive distress, loose bowels, diarrhea & constipation, etc. I sleep with three pillows to elevate my head because of the heartburn. So my second question is: Why the hell is this happening, and is there any way I can stop it??
Unfortunately, I do not have health insurance (nor do I have a regular GP). So if I need to see a doctor, please be as specific as possible as to what kind of doctor, where to find such a doctor, and what questions I need to ask to try to get this cleared up with as few appointments and the minimal expense possible.
I'm a 31-year-old woman... not sure what other info might be relevant, but please ask if there's some other detail that might help. I'm not sure how long this has been going on, but I'd say about a year or a bit longer. Oh, and I know YANMD, but I would still like your input.