Bonnie Sparks Writes

…fiction and discusses editing, writing, mental illness, chronic conditions, bunnies, food, fitness, and geeky topics.

My Progress with Choking Phobia

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Fucked up FridayIt’s Fucked up Friday time! It’s a chance for me to share health based posts, circling around life with M.E., Type 1 Diabetes, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, Obsessive and Disordered Thoughts, Choking Phobia, Depression, Paranoia, Pulmonary Embolism recovery and getting my life back on track. I always feel like I’ve missed something there, but how many issues can you have? Seriously? Bah!

As you can see, Fucked up Friday isn’t in the title. I don’t want to offend anyone. However, Fucked up Friday has a certain ring to it and it’s me having a bit of fun with the kaleidoscope of health issues I have. I feel it’s best not to dwell too seriously on these issues. Take them seriously, yes, but don’t dwell negatively and let them take over your life. Henceforth, this will be the last use of the term Fucked up Friday in this post. Huzzah!


After some digression and distraction on my part, I’m finally going to update on my choking phobia progress. I shared my history, childhood and adulthood, and attempted analysis of my experience with choking phobia. I figure it’s about time I got to the present.

I eat the majority of foods now. I was on liquids last year and my diet is consistently lacking liquid foods. I can’t remember the last time I had Sustagen and I’m glad of it. I don’t want to see Sustagen ever again. I hate it. I’m grateful for it in those times I was unable to eat, but it can go fuck itself now.

To get a further idea of how awesome my eating habits are now this is a day of nutrition a year ago;

  • Breakfast: Sustagen
  • Snack: Yoghurt or gluten free biscuits
  • Lunch: Sustagen
  • Snack: Yoghurt or gluten free biscuits
  • Dinner: Sustagen
  • Snack: Yoghurt or gluten free biscuits

Check out that variety! It boggles the mind doesn’t it? How can anyone eat all that food? I feel bloated just thinking about it.

So, now;


  1. Oats and raisins with soy milk + large mug of lemon and ginger tea
  2. Oats and strawberries with soy milk + large mug of lemon and ginger tea
  3. 1xToast and fruit + large mug of lemon and ginger tea
  4.  2xToast + large mug of lemon and ginger tea


  1. Glass of soy milk (for my meds) and fruit + tea
  2. Vitawheat crackers with cheese and vegemite + tea + glass of soy milk
  3. Yoghurt and fruit muesli + tea + glass of soy milk
  4. Oatmeal cookies + tea + glass of soy milk


  1. Salad (my salad staples are usually avocado, lettuce, tuna, and tomato) sandwich on multigrain
  2. Wholemeal pita bread wrap with chicken, cheese, and salad + pesto
  3. Wholemeal pita bread wrap with salad + pesto
  4. Pasta with mixed veggies + pasta sauce (tomato based)
  5. Bean bake with salad and fruit


  1. One of the options from morning tea minus the soy milk


  1.  Salmon, mixed veggies, and stamppot (Dutch of mashed potatoes and veggies) + yoghurt or fruit
  2. Homemade mushroom and cheese pizza made from wholemeal pita bread + yoghurt or fruit
  3. Pasta with mixed veggies + pasta sauce
  4. Steamed chicken with mixed veggies + stamppot or bread
  5. Roast chicken with mixed mixed veggies + stamppot or pasta


  1. Yoghurt and muesli + decaf coffee
  2. Oatmeal cookies + decaf coffee

Foods on the Go

  1.  Banana
  2. Muesli bar
  3. Raisins
  4. Oatmeal cookie
  5. Dried apricots
  6. Subway

Occasionally I’ll have poached eggs, a bowl of veggies, or a can of tuna by itself in between meals or as an extra. It depends on what I’ve been doing, like if I’ve been very active that day I just want to eat!

I have soy milk now to help my potassium and I eat strips of lean beef in between meals now too, to overcome anaemia. I have garlic powder, which I use like salt, and so many spices I may need to get a second spice caddy!

Before, as you can see, the variety didn’t compare, but it wasn’t just not being able to eat solid foods. I couldn’t handle spices, I couldn’t even handle anything like garlic, not even the smell! Screw that! I hate bland foods now and I keep trying to eat my kryptonite foods (I can’t believe I just made a Superman reference… I don’t even like Superman) because I don’t want my choking phobia to rule me ever again.

Anyway, the progress update is related to my kryptonite foods and tablets. For years I attempted to swallow tablets, but settled gratefully (even though they pissed me off) for liquids and chewables. Now I can swallow small tablets and I’m currently trying to master my anti-depressants. They dissolve so quickly I’ve ended up having a few difficulties with them, but I refuse to quit trying.

The kryptonite foods are meat, fish (they can never be truly boneless), anything stringy, mandarins (the pith and seeds really piss me off), rice, nuts, mushrooms, and I have trouble with skins sometimes too (tomato for instance).

It’s mostly the foods you’re warned about eating as a kid, in case they get lodged in your throat, and anything you can feel going down. I always question being aware of the sensations in your throat while you’re eating. I don’t know if anyone without a choking phobia will even notice. I do. All the time. It doesn’t matter what I’m having or how much progress I’ve made, that awareness is always there.

I’m learning to ignore it though. I know it is better for me to eat the kryptonite foods than not. I need the meat and salmon, I’m trying to get comfortable with tomatoes and mushrooms again, and I’ve learnt I’m not really a big fan of rice anymore.

I attempted to eat mandarins, but gave up and stuck with oranges. As for nuts… well I’ve had a container of almonds sitting in the cupboard for about two months now, but I did eat chopped walnuts I mixed into a banana bar I made. So there’s that…

I think it’s important to share progress, not to rub it in, but to show others with issues that you can conquer them. I can’t guarantee they don’t go away completely, I’m still dealing with them every day, but you can get from being ruled to ruling them. I know most people who are deep down in those mental ruts will mostly doubt the idea of progress, but hopefully a kernel of hope gets buried in there somewhere for when you are ready for it.

I guess this has turned into a combination Fucked up Friday and Foodie Friday! Either way, I don’t care, I’m hungry now. Eating time!


Author: Bonnie

Between a blogging addiction, hosting reading challenges, reviewing, writing novels, and overcoming a neuro-immune disease, Bonnie attempts to do as many awesome things as she can and has a good dose of daily bunny cuddles. She resides in Western Sydney with her rabbit, Winston.

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