YES, YES!! I have had much the same experiences as "jhunt88", (May 27, '03), for over 20 years, now!
I am a 48-yr-old male. When in my 20's, I sought treatment while I had insurance available.
Real-time X-ray w/Barium swallow, and upper endoscopy were performed with no definitive results! And then my insurance ran out!
What I experience, I can only explain as what it feels like to me: (Almost always, with any type of porous or dry food substance; and typically in the first or second swallowed bite), air (that is already in my esophagus) is pushed down against the lower esophageal sphincter, (the one between the esophagus and the stomach), by the swallow of food; forcing the sphincter closed, and preventing anything, (food, water, saliva), from passing out of the esophagus into the stomach.
What's worse is, old solutions, I had found, no longer work.
Unfortunately, the symptom does not become apparent until after I have swallowed one or two more bites on top of the first one or two!
At that point, the "pipe" that is my esophagus is full of fodder, with no place to go!
It is clear of the sphincter at the top of my esophagus, so I am able to breath; but the pressure causes an anxiety in my body which seems to be outside of my control. To cope, I often have to walk around in an open area while breathing deeply!
If the air pocket should manage to find it's way to the top of my esophagus, what used to be a good thing has now become a terrifying threat!
The impression I have is that the air pocket is in an envelope of phlegm or mucus, (or thickened saliva), which, if ejected, blankets my bronchial tube opening, and prevents the inhalation of air! Which is, in all actuality, drowning!
20 years ago, I experienced acid reflux only occasionally, and Pepcid eliminated it, altogether!
Over the last 12 or so years, I haven't experienced reflux at all! However, the air-pocket problem has been a constant.
Now it has come to this drowning threat!
I imagine, now, that if I can just be entubated to my esophagus, and the air-mucus conflagration released through the tube, the drowning threat would be eliminated!
The longest I have experienced this obstructive affliction has been in excess of two hours without relief!
These chronic experiences have only materialized in the past year or less.
When the symptoms were more acute, I was able to overcome them. Now, I have no way out!
Doctor Pho, do you recognize these symptoms as anything specific? What is "esophageal motility disorder"?
Sincerely, "Swallowing: YES! Drowning: NO!"