Unplanned field trip

This evening I found myself chuckling over this post from Big Mama. If you don’t read her blog, you really should– she is one of the funniest bloggers I know. And my story will make more sense if you go read that post. (Go, OK? I’ll be here when you get back!)

In the post her 6 year old daughter Caroline posed the question, “Would you want to go on a field trip with him?” and suggested that might be a good indicator for young ladies considering who they might marry. She’s young to fully understand the ramifications of that question, but she makes an excellent point. How’s the guy when life isn’t going his way?

That question was especially meaningful to me today.

This morning while eating hot cereal sprinkled with almonds, my throat decided to be ill-behaved– VERY ill-behaved– and go into spasms, leaving a sharp shard of almond trapped not-quite-in and not-quite-out of my esophagus. After 15 minutes of misery, the spasm went away and I stopped feeling like I was going to die of almond poisoning. But the throat pain that lingered had me imagining I’d torn a hole someplace.

After an hour of waiting for the pain to subside, I broke down and called my hubby at work, begging him to come home. He is a respiratory therapist at a local hospital, and was doubtless up to his ears in people sicker than me. But he sensed the distress in my voice, and came. (My stress was not helped by my obsession with google. When you have just nearly choked on sharp food, do NOT google ‘esophageal tear’. It will do nothing to lessen your anxiety. Trust me.)

My hubby came home and whisked me right back to where he’d come from– the hospital ER. Yay. There, firmly clutching my cozy bathrobe which I’d brought just in case I had to spend the night (optimistic, huh?)– I experienced a perk of his job: when a medical caregiver says his wife needs attention, she gets it. Rapidly.

In no time at all I had an x-ray and an IV and pain medicine to go with it. The meds did a dandy job of making my head spin and my hands and feet numb, and a less-than-dandy job of getting rid of my pain. But they did make it easier to tolerate the wait for the next activity on the agenda: a barium swallow.

Since the morning’s difficulty with swallowing, I’d had exactly one swallow of water and nothing else. So I approached the barium with some trepidation. Swallowing ANYTHING didn’t sound good. However, all went well. It didn’t taste as bad as I feared. It didn’t make me sick. My swallow mechanism wasn’t broken after all. And several hours later we got the welcome news that my throat is fine. It is just roughed up, and after a couple days of pampering I should be all better.


As odd as it sounds, amid unexpected pain and trauma and tests and medications this afternoon, John and I actually did have a sweet time together. He sat patiently with me, fussing over my blankets and watching my IV and talking to staff as they came in and out. He hugged me –just enough to reassure me, but not so much that I burst into tears– and spoke up on my behalf and held my hand.

Definitely the kind of guy you’d want with you. On any kind of field trip.

(Thanks, hon! And let’s plan something more fun for the next field trip, OK?)


  1. I just read her post before coming over here. What a great husband! I bet you were glad he was around for this field trip. Have a Happy New Year!!

  2. Christine D. says:

    Here’s to many more years of life field trips with your knight in ‘shining armor’, or at least armed with a hospital badge. Glad to hear you will recoop quickly.

  3. I just read her post also. She is great.

    So glad it was not more serious. Is an ice cream menu on the agenda for you?

  4. Yikes, not fun! On another topic, we loved the Christmas pictures of your family – quite beautiful, as always.

  5. First of all, glad you’re okay! And yes, I agree with Caroline (who never fails to amuse…I do read Big Mama cuz she makes me smile). So important in a man, or even a friend. I remember once being stuck on a beach in a remote lava-encrusted area of Hawaii, because my husband had lost the key. He had to hike out 6 miles and my MIL and I were stuck, night was falling, no food, infant twins and a 2 year old to amuse. She was great! She stayed calm, didn’t complain, and dealt with things. This is the kind of quality I look for in traveling companions, friends, life partners, and grandparents for my children 😉

  6. Oh Mary! I’m so sorry! I’m so glad you’re ok. What a precious husband you have. Of the times in my life I’ve been in the hospital, my husband has been fussy over me too…it’s so sweet to see.

    Your kids didn’t even tell me this happened to you when I saw them last night!! 😮

  7. Yep, that is the type of many you want. How scary! My son choked on a chicken nugget this summer and we went through the same type of thing. except in the end they had to do surgery to remove the chicken nugget. Glad you will be better soon.

  8. Do stay away from Dr. Google. He has no bedside manner!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better and nothing serious was wrong. Now, in the future, make sure you chew those almonds up. 🙂

  9. Oh my goodness! I’m glad you’re going to be o.k. but it sounds like it was kind of scary at first. What a sweet hubby you have!

    My hubby is a pastor, and while it’ll come in handy if he has to bury me someday, lol, it wouldn’t be much help should I need a quick diagnosis and an IV!

    However, he is loving and sweet and good at comforting and knows his way around a hospital or a nursing home as he’s visited several of them over the years.

    I once had pickle juice send my throat into spasms and my mom kept trying to give me the Heimlich maneuver!

    ~ Nan

  10. Thanks for the shout out, Mary. I’m glad you’re okay and hope your next field trip is more fun!

  11. You just gotta love our guys when they show that sweet, loving, nurturing side. It always makes me fall in love with mine all over again!! So glad you’re okay, those surprise trips to the hospital can really put a crimp in a schedule, can’t they?

  12. Those unplanned field trips are not fun. So glad your hubby was there to hold your hand and pamper you.

    have a blessed New Year.

  13. So glad you are okay! I had already read Big Mama’s funny post and thought how smart Caroline was. My husband and I can get petty and snippy at each other some times during our day to day lives, but when things get rough and we need each other we are there for each other (over 40 years now!) That’s the true test.