Robert Louis Stevenson

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.


What’s wrong with me?!

Yesterday at work, around 4PM, I decided to eat a fruit and nut bar I had gotten from the kitchen after lunch. I took a few bites and decided it was a good choice, until I too hastily took a bite and swallowed a barely chewed almond. I panicked for a second until it started to go down, but to my dismay it got stuck. Lucky for me my airway was clear, but the almond brought nothing but discomfort as it lay lodged in my esophagus. From 4PM to 5:30PM I tried multiple things to get the almond either down or out… drank 4 glasses of water, ate some leftover rice from lunch, coughed… all to no avail.

I left work slightly panicked and called Ben (who was busy at work and wouldn’t be home until 1AM), and then my Mom. She begged me to go to the ER, but I told her I wanted to try and get it out myself before taking extreme measures. I’m not a person who thinks going to the doctor is necessary for every little thing, and frankly I’d just rather ignore it.

Cut to 8PM, after trying my darnedest to get it out, the discomfort escalated. I was now experiencing sharp chest pains every time I swallowed, and sometimes at random, as well as a stiff neck and back. I called my sister-in-law Michal Beth and asked her to take me to Patient First. By that time, I felt like a complete fool, and just wanted to crawl under a rock.

After arriving at Patient First and getting checked in, they took X-Rays and examined me. Turns out the almond had passed, though it certainly didn’t feel like it. They then suggested I go to the ER where a specialist could take a look at my esophagus to make sure it wasn’t perforated (which wouldn’t show up on a standard X-Ray). I made the decision to go home instead and wait to see how I felt tomorrow.

While laying in bed, in pain, I googled “perforated esophagus” and immediately began to panic.

The main symptom is pain at first, but the condition can progress to shock — even death — if untreated. Signs include fast breathing, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and fever.

Patients with a perforation in the uppermost portion of the esophagus may have neck pain or stiffness and air bubbles underneath the skin.

Patients with a perforation in the middle portion or lowermost portion of the esophagus may have difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Every effort should be made to have surgery within 24 hours of when the perforation occurred.

There I was experiencing a number of the symptoms, but I decided to give it the night and see how I felt in the morning. I figured if I did have a perforated esophagus I still had time, considering the 24 hour window.

So now it’s almost 10AM the next morning, and I’m feeling a lot better. My neck and back pain have subsided about 90%, and I’m no longer experiencing chest pains. My throat feels inflamed though (it’s hard to swallow), but I think, and hope, I’m out of the woods. I doubt my esophagus is perforated (could an almond really do that?!), I imagine it’s just really irritated.

So, that’s what’s up. Bah!

He’s in heaven

Though it happened almost 3 years ago, I only recently found out that one of my classmates from High School passed away in a freak car/train accident. We were arranged alphabetically by last name for morning prayer/assembly, so we sat next to each other for 2 years and talked pretty much every day. I was in total shock when I found out, and it’s still completely heartbreaking. It makes me truly appreciate the life I lead, and all the loving people that share it with me.