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Thursday Night Hospital Stay

Some people have heard about this already from another source but I spent Thursday night at Methodist Hospital in Peoria and for once it was not for something to do with Deb. I have esophageal strictures which limits what I can eat and how fast. So if you've ever been out to dinner with me, you notice I eat really slow or order lots of soup and drink hot tea all the time. Anyway, Thursday at lunch I was stressed out over an argument Deb and I had that morning and didn't pay attention to chewing my chicken and swallowed before I should have. The high and low of it was the chicken got stuck in my esophagus and wouldn't go down...or come up for that matter. So I spent the next 4.5 hours at work in utter agony, not being able to swallow. After awhile the obstruction begins to expand due to saliva and puts pressure on everything around it making you think you are having a heart attack. An anxiety attack sets in and you start wishing you were dead just to end the pain and confussion. So I left work early and went home to take a hot shower to calm down. That had no effect on the blockage and I ended up driving myself to the emergency room at around 6. I told Deb to stay home because she had been loopy all day and I didn't want to have to worry about her. Of course she ignored me and after I got to the hospital and was in my little gown with my ass hanging out, she shows up to watch the show in the surgical trauma room of four nurses trying to find a good enough vein to put my IV in. I told them to watch Deb so she didn't have a "spell". They asked me what it looked like when she did and just as they were asking, Deb keeled over and I pointed and said, "Just like that!"

They picked her up and I leaned over and said to her, "See why I didn't want you to come down here? Now call you mom or Jonathan and have them take you home!" She called her Mom who came in and glared at me like I had some choice about coming to the hospital and making her daughter show up. They stayed outside for what was to come next.

The veteran nurse finally found a vein in my hand to use for the IV. This after 7 attempts by the other nurses leaving track marks all over me. She managed to do it with two tourniquetts and slapping the top of my hand. Then they added demerol (which I highly reccommmend) and an amnesiatic drug so I would techinically be awake for the procedure but not remember it afterwards. Well that worked because last thing I remember is a lighted probe being put in my mouth that looked like a garden hose. Then a few hours later, I came to staring at a glass jar filled with my former stomach contents and the doctors throwing away their gloves and joking about golf scores. Apparently somewhere in the operation, I started babbling about alligators and how I was going to kick Tiger Woods ass in golf. Don't know where that came from.

They cleared the blockage and I had a sore throat for two days and couldn't really talk Friday. They scoped my digestive tract and took pictures and I have to go back in two weeks and have an operation called an esophageal dilation where they stretch the esophagus and scrape out the scar tissue...FUN! But then I'll be able to eat like normal people again. Until then I'm on prescription Prevacid that even with inurance is $1 a pill. Fun stuff to look forward to. But for now I'm OK.

Let me be an example. If you have problems with acid reflux get it looked at before this happens.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
carocrow
Feb. 2nd, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
OMG, darlin. Hope things are mended soon.

I have the "opposite" problem (IBS) but I can't get upset when I eat, either, or I don't see anything but the toidy for hours. There should be a rule that meals are Zen Zone so we can all consume food in a way that is mindful and healthy.

Hugs on ya.
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks dear. Yeah I'd rather not have that to worry about in addition to the otehr things life throws at us.

Wander

trinblackbird
Feb. 2nd, 2004 11:52 am (UTC)
I know exactly what a pain the esophagus can be, i have chronic acid reflux because the muscles in the swallowing tube don't close properly. I was one of those people who under-estimated gullet problems and left it untreated for too long, now i need prilosec for it daily and even lifting something like a bag of potatoes can cause my throat to feel flamed up if i don't stick to the medication.

I hope that the operation works out well for you and that you benefit from it. Will you
stay on further medicinal treatment after surgery or will the dilation be all that's needed?

wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC)
Supposedly this thing is hereditary and in my case I know I got it from my dad because he had the dilation a year and a half ago and now he says everything is back to normal. So I'm hoping. But there were times in the past that he and I both were at the dinner table and had problems with food going down. Thanks Dad. Funny thing is, I've not had reflux problems for years. When I was in high school, before they knew what reflux really was, I had lotss of stomach problems. Even ahd ulcers whcih have since healed but really, in the past 10 years I've not had that much trouble so I think the damage that was done was done earlier as I've actually had problems swallowing for the last ten years. I do remember that in 92-93, the years I was going through the worst of my divorce, I had a very acidy stomach so a lot of this may have occured then. i'm on Prevacid as a caution I think and I'm hoping I don't have to stay on it afterward. Ithink I'm going to make a significant change in my diet though just in case.

Wander
sueg
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC)
Ecch! Feel better. Treat yourself to a decadent smoothie or milkshake or something, why don't you?
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:25 pm (UTC)
You know milk has always settled my stomach so I was drinking a lot of it over the weekend. Had a nice fattening banana shake Saturday and it felt really good. Of course tequila settles my stomach too but I don't really feel like going there right now.

Wander
aditu
Feb. 2nd, 2004 06:32 pm (UTC)
Re:
I wish milk settled my stomach...kind of does the opposite for me. Thus I've started eating cereal with plain soymilk on it.
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2004 07:10 am (UTC)
Re:
Yes most of the women in Deb's family are lactose intollerant. In fact most of the people I know with lactose intollerance are women. I wonder if that is more common? You remember dragonfly on LJ? She is actually lactose toxic meaning it can kill her. I can' imagine how much FUN that would be. I've had soy milk by accident and did no enjoy the experience.

Wander

aditu
Feb. 3rd, 2004 10:27 am (UTC)
Re:
Seems to have developed as I've gotten older.
As for soymilk, the plain stuff isn't bad on cereal, I hardly realize it isn't milk. I'm afraid to try it straight. I don't like the vanilla very much, it's too beany. Chocolate is pretty good though.
native_night
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC)
Good grief, I hope things will be okay for you both!!

Just wanted to mention that I had a problem sorta like yours.

About 17 years ago, I was eating rice with cream of chicken soup mixed in, and that got stuck in my throat. I called my mom, who thought she was on the receiving end of an obscene phone call and promptly hung up. I called back, heaving and foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, and she told me that she would call the police next time. I thought I was going to die from suffocation, but I soon realized that if I calmed down and breathed slowly, I could still live. After about 15 minutes of tearing pain in my esophagus while focusing on breathing, the food finally went down. That was my first experience with that sort of thing, but it has happened lots and lots of times since. As I have aged, it hasn't happened quite as often, but I think I too have learned to eat slowly, and chew, chew, chew!!

I never went to the doctor about it not have even mentioned to a doctor since that I have that problem. I don't even know what the problem might be.....do you have any clue?
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC)
Almost exactly the same thing I experience. First time it ever happened was in 91 when I was out to dinner at a Cracker Barrel with clients. Swallowed a bisquit and it got stuck so I excused my self and walked to the bathroom and jumped up and down and it went down. I was very overweight at the time (about 120 pounds heavier than I am now) and chalked it up to complications with that because when I started losing weight, I had less problems with it. But it continued to happen. As it gets worse, you will have times when it may take several minutes o a nhour to get the food to go down. Then one day, it just won't go down and this will happen. As it gets worse, your esophagus is getting narrower and narrower due to scar tissue and if something gets stuck, no ammount of water will force it down, in fact it will feel even worse if you try. My advice is talk to your doctor about it now and see what can be done. I'm one of those that pretty much has to be dying to go see a doctor but don't wait that long.

Wander
native_night
Feb. 2nd, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks, maybe I do need to tell the doctor before it gets any worse!
inushnu
Feb. 2nd, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
awww wander! I am so sorry you had to go through that but I do so LOVE two parts of it and will say they gave me MUCHO good smiley feelings:

The end rocked. Love the way you drive in the PSA.

And this quote: "Then they added demerol (which I highly reccommmend)..." had me busting up and still does :D

get better and DEATH TO ALL POULTRY!!! oxxo
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks love, yeah and maybe the worst part is it was a chicken I raised and killed myself so it was like Chicken's Revenge or something.

Wander
inushnu
Feb. 2nd, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
ROFL

nice!!!
wander
Feb. 2nd, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
PSA -

This is a chicken. This is Wander choking to death on chicken. Get the Message?


Wander
inushnu
Feb. 2nd, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
hahahahaha
9ahau
Feb. 2nd, 2004 04:44 pm (UTC)
Eeeek! I'm glad to hear you are ok!
That sounds like an awful evening all around...

(BTW, Mom's going to the Tucson gem show, is there anything I ought to tell her to find for you)?

*bearhugs*
~L
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2004 08:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, the Holiday Inn over by the Congress Street Expo, they used to have these Middle Eastern gentlemen who sold these huge shark's teeth. They were light tan colored from the fossil beds in Morocco. They are about 2-3 inches long and really good shape. They had several dozen flats of them. I was getting them for about $1-$2 each and bought a dozen at the time. They are great for wire wrapping. If she sees some and can get them at a low price, I would take a dozen or so and see if she can't get a business card or an address from them. Also if she sees someone with old time trade beads like watermelon chevrons or the traditional red/white/blue chevrons at a cheap price ($12-15 on the melon chevrons), I would be interested in a couple strands. I found some Dead Heads from Vermont over at the Expo selling them for $9 a strand in 2000. If she can find a buy like that, I'd take 4 strands. Just make sure they are the Venetian beads and not the cheap copies from India.

Oh and ask her to pick me up a Tucson show guide as well. I get more info from those sometimes than the shows themselves.

THANKS!

Wander
aditu
Feb. 2nd, 2004 06:33 pm (UTC)
Ugh, that sounds awful. I'm glad you're doing okay. I hope the procedure goes well and fixes things up for you.
Take care, both of you, you hear?

~K
wander
Feb. 3rd, 2004 07:08 am (UTC)
Thanks love. I appreciate you kindness.

Wander
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )