Friday, January 25, 2013
I have this thing, a narrow throat. It causes me all sorts of grief. I have to be careful when chewing food that I masticate it as much as possible. I have to split most pills before I can swallow them. I couldn't find a single prenatal pill that I didn't have to split into at least four segments. Once, when I was 16, I had a piece of meat stuck in my throat for 18 hours. It was awful.
I'm more likely to get something stuck in my throat if I haven't eaten much. Which is why one of the worst times was when I had been on an all-day river rafting trip with almost nothing to eat. My first bite of food got stuck. It was there for 12 more hours. The most common advice I get when something gets stuck is "Eat something else to push it down! Like a piece of bread!" This does not work. I can't even swallow my saliva, it comes back up and I have to spit it out. Anything else I try to eat or drink comes back up as well; IT'S DISGUSTING.
About ten years ago I swallowed a small (SMALL!) round vitamin and it made a home in my throat for 20 hours. I had to carry around a cup into which I had to deposit my spit. AWFUL. I eventually went to the ER, where it loosened right before they scoped me.
And it happened this week, right before an important business dinner. I was supposed to be in Salt Lake by 6:30 to have dinner with an out of town associate and some of my team. We were going to Frida Bistro, where I have always wanted to dine and have never had the chance. I didn't eat much beyond an apple for breakfast and a Kind bar at lunch, knowing I would have a great dinner. Right before I left I took two small Advil tablets, because, you know, I had surgery. The first tablet turned slightly as I swallowed and it stuck. No moving. No swallowing. Like it was installed in there with an L bracket.
I swallowed hot water, I tried bread, I tried to force my muscles to move it down, and nothing. I couldn't miss the dinner, all I could do was hope it would wedge free on the drive. I stopped at a store and got an apple and a Diet Coke. Do you know what it's like driving on the freeway with the equivalent of a Mentos and Coke shooting from your throat back into the cup on the dash? IT'S GROSS. I was praying, swearing, hoping, texting my friends, but nothing. I arrived at the dinner not knowing what to do. I wouldn't be able to swallow anything, not even spit. What was I going to do? Excuse myself to the bathroom every two minutes to spit into the toilet? EMBARRASSING.
I sat on the end of the table and demurred the corn chip appetizer. I ordered the duck and saffron rice with root vegetables and stone fruits. When the server came over I asked for a water glass and then, in Spanish, I asked for a dry glass. I poured a little water into the second glass and hid it behind the water glass and the large votive holder.
(This is so gross.)
When people weren't looking at me, I would raise the second glass and tip it, pretending to drink, and then release my saliva into it.
The entree arrived. I made like an anorexic and moved everything on my plate around and cut up my meat. I pretended like I wasn't terribly hungry. I SPIT INTO A GLASS.
And the meal progressed. It went fine. I think. Unless they noticed me SPITTING IN A GLASS.
Oh my Hell.
I asked the server to box up my meal more quickly than usual (relieved that I could ask surreptitiously in Spanish) They ordered dessert. Flan, which is my favorite. I took a tiny bite when it was forced on me, knowing it could only stay in my throat for so long until my body would force it out. But when my co-worker insisted on taking more, I thanked him and shoved a huge spoonful into my take-out box. I was so hungry I could cry. All my food in front of me, and unable to eat even a morsel.
The dinner ended and I took my box of dinner home, the pill just as lodged as it had been hours before. At 2:49am, ten hours later, the pill had finally disintegrated enough to fall the rest of the way. I got out of bed, went downstairs and ate my cold duck and rice, chewing carefully and wincing as I swallowed.
And that is one of the most disgusting things about me.
Posted by Carina at 1/25/2013 04:40:00 PM