prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Diffuse Esophageal Spasm (DES)

That is what I got. Years ago a doctor said I had a corkscrewed esophagus which caused my swallowing problems. I pictured my esophagus had a curve like a corkscrew and my food had a problem making the curve. Not so. I often have a spasm (DES) that makes my esophagus look like a corkscrew on a barium swallow test.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. It normally contracts in a coordinated way to push food into the stomach. DES or diffuse esophageal spasm causes the esophagus to contract in an uncoordinated way. Any food in the esophagus will not move. I have to sit and wait for the spasm to subside. Yesterday at the hospital this was also called tertiary contractions. It makes the esophagus look like a corkscrew on the screen.

I have yet to find why this would cause me to pass out. Every time I have a serious problem swallowing my head feels like I am going to pass out. I did pass out twice. Years ago and last month. The problem is getting worse lately. It might be that I am getting old.

Treatment? I will find out next Monday.


  1. Hi,
    Did you get your spasms sorted out?

    Love you page,

    Glennis (UK)

    1. Hi Glennis, Not really. Shortly after this post I had a minor stroke. An a-ray revealed that my brain was bleeding. (from my fall a month before the blog) It was operated on and repaired the next day. It has been 20 weeks since my last TIA. I still have trouble swallowing

  2. I have had spasms in the passed and like you. I would wait usually about 5-10 seconds for it to pass and go on with life. Last Sat. I had a spasm after a bowl of hot chille and within 7 seconds I was out on the ground for 15-20 seconds. I woke up and though I had a heart attack. Doc says I am good to go but I am hoping that this problem does not come back.


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