What the…?

It’s been an interesting week. Yes, yes, indeed. First, I had a video swallow/modified barium test. I will never voluntarily eat a Vanilla wafer or vanilla pudding again. I’ll get to that…

Yesterday, though… Mr. Shoe took a photo because, as he put it, “Pics or it didn’t happen…” and for some reason I am both glad he did because it was so weird and I’m kinda appalled that this seems to be the mantra for a lot of things. Mostly, I’m surprised we’ve lived on our street for this long and haven’t seen a dramatic accident.

Let me explain a few things: I’ve seen about thirty police cars outside because they’ve cornered an armed robber who’d already shot at the police. We’ve had one shoot out in the last five years, and a few stray shots fired. We live on a residential street that runs parallel to two larger streets, streets with lights and schools and more traffic… so our street is often a cut through. I am guessing the speed limit is 25 on our street, but I’m not sure as I don’t have a license and… I can’t remember what the general residential street speed limit is in Massachusetts. Most people don’t drive anywhere near 25 or even 35 miles per hour down here. I wouldn’t want small children on this street, and I am always freaked out that people who have cats let them out side here (for a number of reasons, but the street is one of them).

But for the past twelve years or so, really, nary a squealing brake.

Yesterday I had an early appointment at the sleep doctor and Mr. Shoe was home. I’m just feeding the dogs and there’s this series of booms. Well, two booms. Okay, our neighbors at the corner have a dump truck/hauling business, we have other neighbors with the world’s loudest landscapers, and another neighbor is cleaning out and renovating two of his properties and has a couple of dumpsters. When Mr. Shoe said, “What was that?” I said, “Probably some one is dropping off a dumpster.”

Mr. Shoe didn’t believe me (which was good, I guess) and looks out the window and said, “Um, no. Car crash. Bad.”

Fortunately, while it was a massively dramatic looking crash, no one seemed seriously hurt (we’re still trying to figure out… I mean, I have never seen an SUV sitting there turned on its back like a big metal turtle, exhaust still coming out of the tailpipe, and all airbags deployed… and look so damn intact. And it’s hard to believe a mid sized four door sedan could come out of a scrape like that still looking like a car.) Best we can figure is that one or both cars were going fast, and maybe someone didn’t signal a turn or maybe someone had a lapse of concentration (there were kids in the SUV, again, all fine… let’s hear it all round for seat belts and properly sized and installed booster seats, folks!) and there was damn near head on collision. No brakes were involved. There were no skid marks, nothing.

It seriously sounded like a dump truck, just a smaller whack (impact, I guess) and a louder one (which was probably the SUV landing on its roof). That being said, a dump truck is louder. I don’t know the make of either car involved, and they were both clearly totalled, but really, considering, they looked pretty damn good.

Seat belts saved several lives though, yesterday, that was pretty damn clear.

Yeah, and now the modified barium swallow. Yay! Cough. Ugh.

Neat test, just from the standpoint of I love the gadgetry involved. Look, there you are swallowing this horrible swill. But it was a weird test for me.

I’m going along, doing my thing, with the radiologist and speech pathologist looking on, and the radiologist says to the speech pathologist, “We need a barium swallow. A regular barium swallow.” And I’m thinking… Um. Okay. That isn’t supposed to happen, is it?

The speech pathologist gives me another cup of barium after I had some awesome pudding flecked with barium laced vanilla wafer (ugh) and is like, “CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!” No, but she did want me to sip pretty regular like.

Regular barium swallow necessity repeated by radiologist.

Okay, so now I’m asked to turn and sip some more barium. Down the hatch.

The speech pathologist asks the radiologist if continuing the test with a pill washed down with barium is even worth it. The radiologist says no.

So the test is ended prematurely. Sort of. Which isn’t good.

They pull the machine away and say, “Your swallowing looks fine, and that’s great.” And I’m like… Okay. What’s with Dr. Full Barium Swallow then?

Evidently my esophagus is slow to drain. Speech pathologist said she’s not an expert on esophagi (ha, I like the way it sounds. I know it’s not a word), but it looked like there was some muscle issues and some obstruction. It was hard to tell with the little bit of barium that was being used exactly what they were seeing, hence the initial request by the radiologist (who will write the report anyway) that a further study be done. She did say it was probably why water shoots out my nose and I feel like stuff is stuck in my throat though.

I don’t see the ENT again until April, but I see the nice folks at Dana Farber prior to this so I can see what they are going to want me to do before that point (maybe just see a gastroenterologist prior to more tests. I don’t know. I don’t want to see any more specialists unless it’s really clear they’re required). While it’s nice to know I’m not in immediate danger of choking to death, given the tendency for noduley and tumory things in that area and stuff I’m kinda less than thrilled about the whole prospect. Pffft.

In other news, though, my knees are finally being not so nasty at me… Definitely makes taking the girls out for their favorite pooping hobby a lot easier and a lot more pleasant.

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