How I spent my Saturday Night - is it old age or stupidity

The Sunday

"When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out"- Winnie the Pooh.

Good morning from rainy, dreary California.   Whether you call it aging or stupidity, I ended up spending last night at the emergency room.   Yesterday was my day to open the shop and James went with me.  Father left home around 2:00 to attend the Christmas Party/ Annual Event for the Audio Engineering Society Christmas.   We closed up shop and headed for home.  I had been a craving Jimboy's Steak Taco salad so picked one up on the way home.  I have been on a strict no eating out diet since my blood pressure had been giving me issues.  I gave in to the cravings.  Come supper time I cooked James some french fries and we sat down to eat.  

The first bite of the salad was delicious.  The second bit had a nice piece of steak.  A little big I thought absently, but shouldn't be a problem.   The nice piece of steak had a mind of its own and decided not to go down and lodged itself in my esophagus, just far enough down that I couldn't spit it out.  I've had bits of bread and chicken get semi lodged before so proceeded to drink some water to wash it down.  All of the sudden, I was coughing and choking because the water backed up and wouldn't go down.  Yes, I spewed, but the steak didn't come out.  Went to the backroom and tried the finger method to get myself to throw it up.  Didn't work.  I gave it a few minutes to work itself down, then tried some ginger ale.  The fizz usually works, but no go.  I couldn't eat or drink anything.   I could breath fine as long as I didn't panic and spit out saliva as it collected in my throat.  James wanted me to call 911 and I told him if I start having trouble breathing or pass out, that's what I wanted him to do.    I called father, told him the problem and asked him to come home immediately.  I wanted, I needed to go to the emergency room.  One of the men in his group is a doctor and he told John the same thing  - If I couldn't drink water to go to emergency.   James paced the floor with me as I tried to remain calm about this meat lodged in my throat which was extremely uncomfortable and painful. 

He made it home in record time and we went to the emergency room.  Surprisingly, it wasn't very busy and I only had to wait about 15 minutes.  In the meantime they gave me a barf bag to spit up in.  After all the questions, the doctor came in and told me the scoop.  They would give me adderral, a muscle relaxant and valium.  They would give it two hours and see if the muscles in my throat relaxed enough for the "foreign body" (their word) to work itself down.  If it didn't, then the GI doctor would come in and remove it using a probe of some sort. I forgot what they called it.  The Doctor said the 75% of the time, the relaxation technique didn't work and they had to remove the object.  They laid me down, juiced me up with all this medicine, constantly monitored my blood pressure which of course has gone through the roof during all this. I do have to say that since Kaiser has computerized all our medical records, everyone knew my medical history, what med's I'm taking, what I'm allergic to, etc.  

I sent James and John off for the period of time and they went back over to the AES party.   James had a great time mingling with all the musicians and checking out the equipment.  They came back after two hours, just in time for the doctor to decide he would have to remove the object.  They called in their GI specialists, ousted John and James from the room and went to work.  They gave me a waking sedative, oxygen, and laid me on my side.  The doctor kept patting me on the shoulder, telling me to relax.  Yeah, easier said than done when you are going to stick a probe down my throat.  At times like these, all the yoga and meditation relaxation techniques pretty much go bye bye.   I just concentrated on breathing and anyway by that point, the medicines had kicked in and relaxed me.  He stuck this o ring thing in my mouth to bit on and keep my mouth open.  Then sprays a numbing agent in my throat, telling me not to swallow it.  Easier said than done, but he was fast with the sucker machine.  He did this twice, then proceeded to stick the gadget down my throat.   No it wasn't fun, but he got it out.

Afterwards they showed me the pictures of the x-ray of the piece of meat, plus areas showing my esophagus was bruised.  We got home around 12:30 a.m. and now I'm on a liquid diet for today and soft foods for the next couple days.   They prescribed Omeprazole which is supposed to help relax my throat.  My throat doesn't feel bad, but I'm am all over sore. 

I do have to say the nurses and doctors were very nice and friendly, concerned and helpful, which really helped and explained each step before they did it.  

What would I have been doing if all this hadn't happened. Since Father was supposed to be occupied for the evening, I was going to enjoy some quiet time, after James went to bed and get some Christmas shopping done via Amazon.  I discovered some new released by favorite authors that I wasn't even aware of.   That's what this post was supposed to be about.  Plus finish writing up the answers to this week's art class discussions.   So the post about my new discoveries will be later - when I finish my homework.  Which I've been putting off all week and today's the last day to submit.   Is it the middle age write it down or you'll forget about it gene or just stupidity.  Metaphorical question to be analyzed some other day.

14 days to Christmas:  Have you finished your christmas shopping yet?


  1. I'm so glad that everything worked out. The whole time I was reading your post, I kept holding my throat. Take care of yourself.

    Yes, I finished all of my holiday shopping. I bought mostly books and clothes for the kids.

  2. So, just to recap: they could have removed it right away with a probe, but instead they decided to drug you and make you wait an hour, despite the fact that that only works 1/4 of the time? Mkay.

    I'm glad you're all right! It was just a freak accident, I'm sure....

  3. How crazy was that??? I'm so glad that you're o.k.!!! I'm done with my holiday shopping now I just have to get to wrapping!

  4. Wow, you were brave! I would probably have panicked in the first few minutes. So glad you are okay now!

    I'm making progress on the shopping but still have a ways to go. Ick.

  5. That must have been scary! So glad all was taken care of (and relatively easily) at the ER.


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