While I hardly watch sitcoms anymore (don't they seem like a dying breed?), somedays it feels my life parodies them all too much!
Enter this morning, a slow, not-much-planned sort of morning, where Mia & I journeyed around the block as we are wont to do, said hi to a few animals, trash trucks, and neighbors, and then high-tailed it back home. I saw a tub of new pills for me sitting on the counter and thought, "Oh yeah, I should take one of those today (because I haven't yet)". Mind you, I'm not the greatest pill taker, but I judged the size of these bad-boy capsules yesterday and considered them doable, and while they went down a bit hard yesterday, I figured I'd be big-girl enough for them today.
Err not. I instantly started feeling that tightness in my throat, that foreboding feeling that this isn't going to go so well. Usually the trick when a pill or some kind of food gets stuck in my throat is to "drink it down," most often with some kind of fizzy, carbonated drink. We just so happen to not have any of that stuff in the house (wonder why??) and so as I'm realizing this, and Mia's looking at me strangely wondering why mommy is regurgitating and gagging in the sink, and I come to terms with the fact that we're going to have to get out of the house and do one thing: drive-thru McDonald's for a Sprite.
I load us up in the car...as much as we're trying not to look like trailer trash, on this particular morning, it just cannot be avoided. Mia's wearing her PJ shirt & jean shorts & Robeez, and I'm trying to hide my hair & face with a hat, probably not very successfully. I grab a bowl from the kitchen and we're off to the nearest McD's, which is probably about .7 miles from our house.
I start to hear sympathy coughs from the backseat as Mia is such the mimic these days. "I guess we're supposed to be coughing right now?" I'm thinking she's thinking. I can barely order the Sprite at the drive-thru, but I muster up the voice to do it and find the correct change and pull on through. $1.07. 4 quarters, 1 nickel and 2 pennies, thank you!
After my initial sip of the Sprite, my fears are not allayed and the pill still feels all too stuck in my esophageal canal. What to do, what to do?? I'm again, still using my bowl, hearing the sympathy coughs from Mia, and wondering why my carbonated fizzy drink is not pulling its gurgly weight.
Next step, call Greg. Of course, he'll know what to do, 16 miles away at his desk. Right?? Right. Well, we talk for a bit, in between my gagging, and he convinces me to drive over to my dr's office. After all, Mia's already loaded up in the car, I have my belongings, and a nonproductive Sprite, what's the worst that could happen?
Our family care doctor's office is pretty much "just down the road," and I'm probably there in less than ten minutes. I take a careful cursory glance of the parking lot just to get a measure on how busy the place is, and after walking in, see a wholly empty waiting room. Sweet. The familiar looking receptionist sees me and I blurt out, "Hi, I didn't have an appointment, but I have a pill stuck in my throat, and I can't get it down," all the while trying to contain another gagging & regurgitation episode. She tells me that there's only one practitioner in today and he's seeing a patient, but can I wait? I nod and then bolt for the nearest trash can, but I just couldn't make it. (See, when you get something stuck in your throat, it's really hard for anything to pass around it, even from simple swallows. I'm trying to be as LEAST graphic as possible.)
A nurse opens up the door and nods that I can come back. I kind of gesture to the powder-room-like trash can and she says, "You can bring it." Uh, okay, but what about the mess I made on the side of it? I'm feeling truly sorry and disgusting at this moment. Mia follows me into the hall and then starts crying, probably thinking, "I know this place, and what are they going to do to me? Or my mommy???" I pick her up and the nurse beckons me into the lab room. I try to tell her what has happened and then I see the ARNP walk by and she gestures him in.
He finishes up some paperwork with a patient, turns around, sort of recognizes me (he's around my age, has seen both me & Greg before, and was the NP who diagnosed my blood clot last year), and asks me what's going on. I give the same explanation as I did at the front desk, "Well, I swallowed a pill, it got stuck in my throat, and usually a carbonated drink will push it down, but this time it didn't." He asks if I've gurgled at all (um, no, but does gagging count?) and then asks to feel my throat (and as I'm typing this I'm just shaking my head because it's just really embarrassing) and says he's basically trying to "tick off [my] esophagus so that it'll move down or come back up." Those are really only the two options that I have here: the pill can dissolve and move down, or it can come back and I've never had the latter option happen. Within another minute or two of talking with him, I feel a quick downward motion in my GI tract and feel pretty confident the pill passed. I test my theory by sipping a bit of the Sprite and am instantly enthused; it worked! Do I still feel totally ridiculous for making a mess of their trash can and busting up into their office without an appointment because of a stuck pill? Absolutely. But did it finally go down and was I within range of immediate medical help just in case? Yes.
I clean up the trash can, dispose of our junk, wash my hands, and Mia & I are on our merry way home.
Just another morning in the life of a Chiquita Bambina and her Mamacita!
And don't worry, I'll be breaking up those huge monster pills from now on!