Monday, October 30, 2006

If It Wasn't For Bad Luck

We (my husband, me, and our dogs) are in Denver. My husband had a trip planned with his father to Oklahoma-where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain- for a small family, well, sort of a reunion, but mostly a remembrance for my husband's late grandfather. We drove in last Wednesday because my husband and my father-in-law were scheduled to fly out of DIA on Thursday morning. But a major storm was predicted to hit Denver late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning so my husband rescheduled for a flight out that night.

Being the man my husband is, he decided that all the things he had planned to do on Wednesday afternoon and evening were still doable in the little time he now had available. He just had to leave my sister's house by 7:30PM in order to be at the airport in time to meet the shuttle bus that his father was taking from Fort Collins on time-no problem. At 7:32PM I went upstairs and found him shoving last minute things into his suitcase. He assured me that he was right on time and five minutes later he kissed me goodbye and hurried out my sister's front door, suitcase in hand, heading for our pick-up truck.

About an hour later my sister, brother-in-law, niece and I were sitting at a table in a neighborhood Bar waiting for the kitchen to cook and the waitress to bring us the food we ordered. As we wait my niece uses her cell phone to text message a friend. All of a sudden her body jerked and she put the phone to her ear. She listened and then handed the phone to me saying it was Uncle Bob. I take the phone and hear my husband say that he had called each of our (my sister, my brother-in-law, and me) cell phones and our niece was the only one who answered. I tell him it is very loud where we are and we did not hear our phones ringing and that the only reason his niece answered is because she had the phone in her hand. He then tells me that he grabbed my suitcase on the way out of the house and asks if could I bring his to the airport.

It was now a little after 8:00PM and the last thing I wanted to do was drive all the way out to the airport. We would first have to drive home and pick up the suitcase. We knew that when we got the suitcase to my husband he and his father would have to get through security, wait for the train that would take them out to the concourse, and then walk a bit to their gate. Their flight was scheduled out at 9:25PM. I didn't think we could make it in time. I tell my husband what I am thinking and add that he could drop the suitcase off at the unclaimed baggage area and we both could buy the things we needed until he got back on Sunday night. That is when he admitted he had put his tickets in his suitcase. I told him we were leaving right away. With a bit of creative driving on my sister's part we got to the airport by 8:45PM and stopped in front of the United doors long enough for me to pull my husband's suitcase out of the back of my sister's SUV as my husband shoved my suitcase in. I gave him a quick kiss and then he and we were gone. Since we did not hear from him again that night we assumed he and his father made their flight. My husband was so chagrined by what he had done I did not hear from him again until Saturday night.

On Sunday night my husband walks back through my sister's front door and the first thing he tells me is that he got in a car accident on his way back from the airport. He decided to stop at a Wendy's on the way home and overshot the entrance to the restaurant by a couple of feet. After checking to see if anyone was behind him he stared backing the truck up. The next thing he felt was the back of the truck hit something. It was a small car. I guess the police office who answered the accident call thought the driver in the small car was tailgating because he only gave my husband a ticket for Unsafe Backing Up which is equivalent to having a broken tail light.

By now my husband was frazzled. Frazzled because the accident. Frazzled because he is tired. Frazzled because he is hungry. I make him some scrambled eggs, a toasted bagel, and a cup of tea. I also quarter an apple for him and put it on his plate along with the other food. He is eating his food when he suddenly put his fork down and put his hand to his throat. I knew right away what had happened. My husband has congenital Esophageal Strictures, which means a section of his esophagus is narrower that the rest of his esophagus. Sometimes if he does not chew his food carefully something can get stuck. He can breath when this happens but it worries the hell out of me.

He has some other techniques he can try if he cannot dislodge the piece of food by moving his esophagus back and forth with his hand. Nothing worked this time and after an 90 minutes I drove him to Swedish Hospital Emergency as he sat in the passengers seat spitting into a plastic cup every minute or two. When food blocks his esophagus nothing can get past that spot including the mouth and throat secretions that we normally do not even notice.

At first we thought my husband would have to have a scope with a tiny grabber on the end of it eased down his throat but the doctor decided to try a muscle relaxant before moving on to the scope. After fifteen minutes and right when the words, "Maybe it's time to call in the GI specialist," came out of the doctor's mouth, my husband felt the chunk of food slide a bit. He asked for a glass of water and drank in down. He then turned the cup upside down and set it on the bed to show that there was no longer an obstruction in his esophagus. We all laughed, relieved that he would not have to be scoped.

In the car on the way home my husband and I talked about the strange things that had happened to him. The lyrics to John Lennon's song Instant Karma kept going through my head. I don't know what is going on but I do hope this is the end of it.

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