I've had this problem off and on for about 5-6 years now.
When it happens, it's usually when I'm eating meat. As I swallow, the food gets stuck in the lower esophagus/upper chest. It just sits there and it is really painful. If I drink some water, it eventually goes down, maybe after 20 or 30 seconds. I can still breathe, but it hurts so bad and it's kind of scary. After the food goes down, I'm usually fine for the rest of the meal.
As mentioned, this has been an off and on problem. I've gone for several months where I'm fine before an episode reoccurs. I've been guilty of taking too big of bites, that's for sure (and that's when it happens). Lately I've had some recurrance. As long as I make sure to chew my food properly before swallowing, it's generally not an issue.
I've heard that stress can be a factor and, although I don't feel particularly stressed (at least not any more than usual), I've noticed that these episodes seem to happen when I'm a bit sleep deprived.
Have any of you experienced something like this? Thanks in advance.