Oesophageal Dysphagia and Me

For dinner tonight I had blended kippers. This is a meal I’ve had before, often next to pureed tomatoes and some avocado. But for some reason tonight it didn’t quite sit right.

I wish this was the beginning of a post about an unexpected fish allergy but alas, it’s a personal reflection on Oesophageal Dysphagia AKA my inability to swallow. 

The beginning of my story is viewable online at https://www.theblender.com.au/you-shall-not-pass/

I’ve since had the pleasure of an oesophageal manometry. Only it wasn’t a pleasure and to date is the most uncomfortable diagnostic test I’ve undergone. 

Re-enactment of my Motility Study by the internet

Basically a clump of tiny tubes are pushed down through your spray-desensitised nose until they reach your stomach. Then the tubes are connected to a pressure measurer, which notes how strong your oesophagus contractions are when you swallow 5 ml of water every 30 seconds. I was warned the tubes would feel like “a large bit of mucous or a tablet” in my throat. Instead I’d describe it as having someone press unrelentingly on my ‘adam’s apple’. I had to maintain a strong mental focus to keep from constantly gagging and really, all that got me through was the supportive looks from Libby and the hope that this test would provide the answers needed to get me back on solids.

Thus I discovered that parts of my oesophagus aren’t up to scratch (surprise!). My next specialist appointment provided no answers and further questions. Does my oesophagus lining have allergies to particular foods? Are some parts of my oesophagus restricted? To further investigate (and affirm a previous gastroscopic discovery of a large hiatus hernia) I am undergoing a gastroscopy after 6 weeks of adding gluten back into my diet. 

For those gluten free wonderkids out there, adding gluten back into a diet sounds like both a blessing and a curse. If I could eat normally, I’d be relishing the readdition of wheat. I’d be eating croissants and cheese and bacon buns like no-one’s business. But unfortunately I’m chowing down on soggy weetbix and experiencing the added discomfort of being bloated among other things…

Mmm. Breakfast.

And while I’m waiting for more tests to tell me more of what I already know I don’t know, my headspace is taking dangerous nosedives into the darkest depths of self-analysis. I find myself considering everything in my life critically. Every meal reminds me that something not-fully-known is happening within me without my instruction. Every social event acutely highlights my inadequate inner workings. I am surrounded by my family, yet I’m sitting alone with my blender; my ball and chain.

As after each night, comes daybreak, I’m waiting amongst the stars for the sun to peak through. I’m undergoing Network Chiropractic at Healing Wave to help positively align my body. I’m actively exploring creative cooking (often slow cooking) and delighting in specific flavours. I’m focusing energy on building up relationships and maintaining connections. I’m centring my spirit with God.

And I’m eating a whole lotta pureed meat! 


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