Pulmonary Emboli risk

I was recently hospitalized for multiple pulmonary embolism in both lungs. The hematologist believes that I had aspiration pneumonia that lead to the lung clots (rather than having a deep vein thrombosis-leg clot–which traveled to the lungs). His theory is that the aspiration pneumonia was caused by food/liquid going into the respiratory tract (“the wrong pipe”) or by inhaling saliva due to sleep apnea (I have been informed that I cough and gasp frequently in my sleep). I will be having a swallow study performed.

This is a very serious concern, as a lung clot can be fatal. (For me, I will be on medication for life so this is not likely to recur).

Has anyone else experienced this? I wanted to inform everyone since swallowing, “choking,” and aspiration are typical symptoms of Ataxia.

I had a bout with PE a few years ago and went on Coumadin the blood thinner, last year I had a heart attack and had 2 stents put in. The PE and heart attack felt the same to me in the chest area. I had high blood pressure just before both problems, Over 200.

:smirk: Choking is something I’m familiar with, it can be very scary. I’m aware of the association with pneumonia, but I didn’t know about blood clots.

Lapses in concentration when eating or drinking are common for me. As well as involuntary swallowing of saliva. Up to now, I’ve gone with the flow, accepted that this is part and parcel of ataxia and not sought advice from a Speech Therapist.

My choking issues, along with tongue biting, seem to come and go. Although, in the past few days both of these have been a real pain :roll_eyes: My tongue is very sore, it just doesn’t seem to be aware of moving teeth :wink: xB

That is interesting because I also have an extremely sore tongue and bite it rather viciously when sleeping (jaw clamps down). I did not associate this with the Ataxia.

While neurologist did recommend swallow test and possible therapy (speech/swallow), it did not seem urgent. Now, in retrospect, it seems pretty important and should not be taken lightly. The whole experience really scared me. I just encourage others who have swallow/choking/coughing issues, even if slight, to look into it.

best wishes to you.

I have swallowing problems and get my throat stretched periodically but could not this time because of blood thinners, I am on Coumadin and Plavix and the Plavix doc said I could not stop Plavix for the procedure until april. When food gets stuck in the throat and wont pass I have to have my wife beat on my back to help dislodge the blockage. I do have breathing blockages but they have slowed down, thank God.

Heart arrhythmia is closely associated with various ataxias and if your cardiac conduction system is slowing the beating of your heart below a certain threshold it may be the cause of your sleep apnea.

A simple ecg would indentify this problem and pacemaker implantation if indicated, a relatively simple procedure, should correct it.

If they have put you on blood thinners please ensure that they have revealed the absolute benefit and the absolute risk of taking this medication after considering your particular situation. They have a high risk of bleed and should only be prescribed judiciously

:slightly_smiling_face: A while ago, I had treatment to realign teeth. This involved wearing a splint/mouthguard at night. I still wear it occasionally, and I think it protects my tongue when I’m asleep :slightly_smiling_face: xB

:smirk: I know someone who had the same procedure done. But I didn’t know it could be done several times. My friend had to travel out of the area, it couldn’t be done locally :slightly_smiling_face:xB

I eat real slow because that hurts when food gets stuck and won’t go down.