Thursday, June 18, 2009

A List

The other day my visiting teachers came over. The two girls assigned to me are actually friends of mine. One lives across the street and the other is her best friend. They're really fun. I don't ever hang out with them but I talk to my neighbor when we're both outside and she's way good at food storage and having lots of stuff on hand to bake with so she's my go-to guy when it comes to borrowing sugar, flour, eggs, etc.

So let me give you a little history. I'm a cancer survivor, remember? I had Hodgkin's disease when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Well during my first bout with it I had radiation therapy to my throat, neck, part of my mouth, chest and under my arms. Now, several years later, I can't swallow my food worth a damn. It always get stuck in my throat. I'm certain it's scar tissue built up from the radiation. I've had my esophagus stretched twice and it always comes back. This past year I discovered the only thing that helps food go down: pop. Which works out since I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi, anyway. (Yes, DeNae and Sher...PEPSI) So now I have to drink pop with every meal. And lots of it. The only thing I can eat without choking in cereal. And even then, it still has a hard time going down. The worst food is bread and meat. But lately it's been everything. Pasta, rice, lettuce. Pretty much everything. It's hard to suppress 33 years of eating habits. Normally when a person eats their tongue and throat just automatically start to work the food down the throat. Well, I have to focus on keeping it all in my mouth and chew it to oblivion. And to remember to take small bites. Not that I take HUGE bites, but I have to intentionally take small bites. So the first bite I take of any meal is usually too big and I don't usually chew it good enough. This is mostly a nuisance. I do throw up about every single day. Food just gets caught and it won't go down. I'm not really choking, in that I can still breathe and talk. But the food is just sitting there. I start to salivate like you do before you throw up. And I can always tell right away when it's just not gonna happen and I'm gonna have to go put my finger down my throat and get it up. I know. This is way graphic. Sorry.

Well, one time I was eating Cafe Rio (yum!) and I took a bite of chicken (seems to be the WORST thing for me to eat. Which is awesome since I love chicken.) and it got stuck. So I take a drink. Still stuck. Another drink. Even more stuck. So I get up to "fix it" and realize I'm not going to be able to make it to the bathroom and I start heaving into the garbage can. And for the first time ever, I actually choked. Like full-on, not breathing, panicking, sheer terror, choking. Luckily Tavis was there. He didn't actually have to do anything because I eventually worked it out but when it was done I was so scared to think what would have happened if I hadn't worked it out and he hadn't been there?? Ya. So now I'm really nervous to eat when he's not home or when my kids aren't home. At least they can call 911 if they need to.

So if you're ever out to eat with me and it seems like I'm drinking an inordinate amount of Diet Coke (since most places are jerks and don't serve Pepsi), don't judge me. It's because I'm doing my best to get my food to my stomach!

OK, fast forward to my VT's coming over. I had just fixed me a PB & J sandwich for breakfast (shut up). They come in and get settled. I take ONE bite of my sandwich and I realize it's not going down. Drink my Pepsi. Nothing. So I tell them that I have to be right back. I get up and walk the, I don't know, 6 feet toward my front door and realize I'm not gonna make it to the bathroom so I stick my head out the front door and try to "work it out". Well, guess what? Cafe Rio all over again! I started to FULL-ON choke! So there I am choking and gasping for breath and spewing Pepsi all over my porch while my poor friends are in the house not knowing what the hell is going on! This whole episode lasted about 20 seconds, but it seemed like FOREVER. When I stopped choking, I walked back inside and the look on their faces was one of sheer dumbfoundedness. (Is that a word?) So I sat back down and explained to them what just happened and I realized that the bite hadn't gone down (or up) all the way, still. So I took my Pepsi and went to the bathroom and got it all "worked out".

So, on to my list.

How to Look Dumb in Front of Your Visiting Teachers:

1. Throw up on your front porch.

2. Say "ass". A lot. Before you realize you've said it. A lot.


DeNae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeNae said...

Yes, I removed my last comment, because I said something dorky.

So, why aren't we skinnier? I have the same problem, although mine is self-inflicted.

In my opinion, if you can't barf in front of your VT's, who can you barf in front of?

And I think it's time to remove that "small domesticated farm animal" and all his potty-mouthed little friends from your vocabulary, little sister.

Come on, you can do it. Say "bottom". He fell on his "bottom". He's such a "bottom". Don't be a smart "bottom".

See? It carries every bit as much punch! It's a totally kick-"bottom" way to talk!

Kristina P. said...

I would give you mouth to mouth. You are hot!

Kristina P. said...

I'm sorry, that was totally inappropriate. I still have 20 minutes left at work, and I'm tired.

Tired of saving these damn kids and their families!

Cravings said...

OMG I can't believe that!!! I am so sorry that would totally suck!!! And now I'm going to be watching you close at Chilis LOL!!!

Sarah said...

Oh come on if they are really your friends they probably just felt bad and wanted to help. And its OK to use bad words when you think you are going to choke to death. Plus if you were really choking that badly they probably couldnt understand anything you were saying anyway. Just trying to make you feel better. Did it work?

SO said...

I loved hearing this story in person. You rock. Even when you are barfing on your front porch. And I'm sure your VT's agree.

Casey said...

I think you need to add a Paypal button on your site so we can contribute to buying you Life Alert. That's scary, man. Sheesh.

Mrsbear said...

That sucks, holy cow. Makes eating just seem like work. How scary to just have it stuck there. I'm sure your VTs were understanding about the throwing up thing, now the frequent "ass" usage, maybe not so much. ;) Although I'm sure it made for an unforgettable visit.

Vanessa said...

thanks for telling me this AFTER we went to lunch!!!!!

I'll keep an eye on you next time :)

Ryan and Jacki Andrew said...

We should go to lunch together. We can save each other. I have had the same problem for the last 3 years. I can't get through a meal without running to the bathroom. The first thing I do when I go to out to eat is look for the bathroom and sit near it.

Melissa said...

I just fell in love with you that.much.more!

When are we going to lunch?

GreenJello said...

I think you should learn how to give yourself the Heimlich to yourself!

wendy said...

Ah Amber, these are the very reasons I love you. You are tooooo funny and just a REAL person. sorry I haven't been blogging much, you know?? lots of turmoil going on and I AM MOVING BACK TO CANADA, I will try and blog about that when I have the emotional strength to do so.
love ya

Craig and Cricket said...

Okay I am so slow getting to read this but I must say that as one of your Visiting Teachers...we were just worried...we still think you are great! I love coming and visiting with you, maybe we should make it more than just once a month.