Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Your mother was right.

I just spent the past few days hooked up to a small recording device by a thin wire. Attached to the other end was a probe that had been pushed up my nose, down my throat and into my stomach. It was an acid (pH) probe test to help diagnose GERD.

I was a little apprehensive prior to the whole procedure. Well, actually more than a little. I have an easily triggered gag reflex and was worried about being able to complete the test. And more than anything, I hate vomiting.

The first part of the test consisted of the insertion of a flexible probe about the width of a straw for a pressure recording of the esophagus, (called esophageal manometry, FYI). Even though they sprayed and I gargled and they injected various forms of topical anesthetics, I still gagged and wretched and my eyes watered profusely.

(Note to self: Waterproof mascara BEFORE any more medical procedures).

After the correct measurements were taken, the smaller wire was inserted. As I swallowed some water, they would advance the wire further down until it reached the predetermined depth. It felt weird as it snaked through my nostril and down the back of my throat. I could always feel it, especially when I spoke. They likened it to swallowing a piece of spaghetti (remember: that's pronounced "SpAHg big-pause Yet Ti").

Now I don't know about you, but for me, swallowing food has a different feeling than when the food is attempting to return to your plate. And in the past I have actually vomited spaghetti. It was then I learned that I needed to chew my food more thoroughly just like my mother has always told me. There's nothing like having long strands trying to come back up and getting stuck in your throat.

And it was years before I would eat pizza after a piece of sausage became lodged while trying to exit through my nose. (When I was pregnant with my daughter, I vomited EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I do mean EVERY SINGLE COTTON PICKING DAY. I have tons of puking experience.)

Surprisingly I survived this whole thing (The test I mean. I just barely survived the pregnancy.) and was monetarily compensated for my pain and suffering (again, for the test - I only WISH they could compensate me for pregnancy). Believe me, I kept that $goal$ in mind every time I gagged.

So today, lunch for the family was on me. And it was NOT spaghetti.

Slow down. Chew your food.
Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters


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