Yesterday, I was at a local gastroenterology clinic to have an EGD. A tube is moved through your esophagus, into your stomach, and the beginning part of the small intestine.

I have been having occasional swallowing problems for three or four years now. It started here at the station in October of 2015 while I was eating lunch. A piece of beef from my stew stopped about halfway down. It hurt and burned and wasn’t moving. I tried to force it down with water and tried to cough it up to no avail.

After about an hour, I realized I should probably go to the emergency room but I had no vehicle. Ginger’s car was in the shop for repairs and she had my car. She had called me earlier to tell me the battery was dead and it needed to be jumped, then taken back to the dealership since the car was only a year old.

I mentioned to a couple of co-workers what was going on and they both got that deer in the headlights look and went back to what they were doing. Our receptionist at the time drove me the emergency room, where the food either passed or was brought up. I was released and, by that time, Ginger had my car and her car was finished, too.

The next time it happened was a few months later at a local restaurant. I took one bite out of a grilled chicken sandwich and knew right away it was stuck. I tried to dislodge it in the restroom while my wife got our lunches packed to go, and off we went to the emergency room again. I was given an injection to relax the esophagus so the food could pass and it eventually did.

I was referred to the GI clinic by my family doctor who suspected it was a narrowing of the esophagus. The EGD was scheduled but my wife, who works as a temp, got a job that started two days prior, so it was postponed. I didn't have too much trouble until recently and decided it was time to get it done.

We arrived at 8:00am for the procedure that was scheduled for 9:00am. I was happy I did not have to take off any clothing and wear a funky gown. I was asked the usual “Have you had any of these?" questions, signed some papers, and had an I-V port installed. A room opened up at about 8:25. I got hooked up to the monitor and was not pleased with the blood pressure reading. It’s time to get off my butt and start exercising!

The doctor came in at about 8:40. We chatted about my symptoms, then I signed some more papers and waited. At about 9:10, the nurse came in and escorted my wife to the waiting area. It was almost showtime. I was asked to lay on my left side, the nurse joked that it took longer to prepare for the procedure than the procedure would take, then she injected the stuff that would take me to la la land.

The next thing I remember was being sick in my wife’s car, then waking up in bed at about 2:30pm with a terrible headache. I got up a little after three and had a scrambled egg since I was advised to eat soft food and not too much. Suddenly, I knew I was about to be sick. Afterward, I was shaking and had chills, so I went back to bed for a short time but decided to get back up and maybe try some chicken broth. I mean, that’s pretty much a cure for everything. Well, that didn’t work either since I was sick shortly after that. I called the doctor and he said it was probably a reaction to the anesthesia and called in a prescription for me. About 15 minutes after dissolving one of those very little pills, I felt much better. I was able to have a few sips of my favorite soft drink along with some water and it stayed down.

We decided that I was released too early yesterday. I remember nothing, not talking with the doctor, not getting juice, getting into the car, the ride home, almost passing out in the driveway and in the house. Nothing!

The bottom line is that I have a hiatal hernia and acid reflux for which I have a prescription. Oh, and a sore throat from the tube.

Life is good!

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