April Fool’s Day 2015 was not a good day, but it could have been much worse.
I discovered a(nother) flat tire when I went to bike up for work. (at least I didn't have it go out somewhere in the middle)
Ok, I have the option of driving to light rail and taking light rail to work. My son, Benjamin, however wanted to use the car, so he offered to drop me off and leave the car for me at the light rail station later.
That was fine. Except he called in the afternoon saying there were no parking spaces at my usual light rail station, plus he had another errand he was trying to figure out. Well, he works on Bradshaw, so I told him he could leave the car at the light rail station at Bradshaw. That would give him a little more time to do what he needed to do and would only take me a few extra minutes. As I rode light rail out and found myself at the Sunrise station quite a bit past Bradshaw, I realized that there had been no Bradshaw station. WHERE was my car? I called his work and was glad they actually put him on. But I could hardly hear him because of the background noise at the restaurant. Plus, I had asked my phone GPS for directions to Bradshaw and Folsom and the phone decided to start giving me audio directions in the middle of the phone call. I barely heard “Butterfield” station. I missed the train going back and had to wait for the next one. Once at the Butterfield station, I had a little trouble finding my car, but (whew!) I did.
Naturally, I was late getting home. Almost time to leave to drive for Andrew to do 11 Year Old Scouts. Only because the car was not home when he got there, he thought Benjamin (who gets home LATE) still had it, so he cancelled Scouts. Which made me feel a little like a failure.
But hey! That means maybe I could work on my bike (remember the flat tire) AND get a shower.
Except we were completely out of milk. Andrew started some potatoes for mashing and I went to the store. When I am stressed / depressed, I want protein, particularly beef, and dream of steak. Usually I resist, of course, and eat hamburger if I can. But rib eye steak was “only” $5/lb, so I abandoned plans for hamburger patties and bought some steak and some asparagus. It was going to be a good evening, after all.
Well, naturally cooking dinner, even a simple one, took me longer than it should. Finally we sat down to enjoy our meal. Within minutes, Andrew was in trouble –a piece of meat stuck in his esophagus. Fortunately, lower enough down that he could breathe and talk. But he could not swallow or cough it up. He struggled with it for quite a long time. I was helpless to assist him, but had to stay in the same room just in case the situation changed dramatically. When Joseph got home, I put him on Andrew watch and I took a shower. By this time, Andrew was ready to admit that the situation was not going to resolve itself. He called Kaiser and was instructed to come in to ER.
We were pleased with how quickly he was taken from the waiting room to an ER room and everyone was very nice. The ER doctor (no, we did not see the relative of a future relative) called in a specialist – a Gastroenterologist – who, in due time, ran a scope down my son’s throat with the intent to either shove down or pull up the blockading meat. Andrew’s esophagus rapidly becomes too small for the scope to go all the way down, but the doctor was able to pull out the meat. They put Andrew under for the procedure an d he stayed under for a good long time, getting some rest while I waited and didn’t.
It appears to be eosinophilic esophagitis. His esophagus has ridges and is smaller and more rigid than normal. Threre are medications that may help. He should mostly eat soft foods. He should cut his (non-soft) food very, very small.
While we were in the ER we missed saying good-bye to Benjamin who left for Utah with his fiancé and some friends. I am not exactly sure when I see him next. Sunday night? Monday? That was a small disappointment. No good-bye hug.
We eventually checked out sometime after 2am and were home a little after 2:30. I had emailed my boss from the hospital saying I didn’t know when or if I would be in. I turned off my alarm and although I had trouble getting to sleep, I got about 3 hours before waking up to feed the dog and have family prayer. I tried to go back to sleep, however I am not good at sleep on request (although it seems I can fall asleep almost anywhere, almost any hour when I should not and do not wish to). Finally I came to work.
Bad news. This throat thing is a chronic condition. He loses Kaiser medical coverage through his dad on May 22 and he/we don’t know what we can get/afford. I didn't fix my bike tire, either. But we should be able to work these things out.
Good news. Andrew lives and breathes - with a positive and thankful attitude.