I ran a half marathon today. And PR’ed while doing it. This is even more exciting for me than usual because last week at this time I was laying in the emergency room with a chunk of pulled pork stuck in my throat. It’s kind of a long story, but now that I brought it up, I may as well tell it. I’ll try to keep it short, though.
I was eating lunch in the press box at the Rams game last weekend, and I took my first bite out of a pulled pork sandwich and realized it got caught in my throat so I took a drink of water and immediately started gagging. I ran to the bathroom and tried to spit it back up without success. The cleaning lady then came in and asked if I was okay, and since I could fortunately breathe the entire time, I told her, “Yes, but I think I need first aid. Can you get them up here? Be sure to tell them I can breathe so it’s no emergency.”
Two minutes later they blast through the door. She obviously did not tell them it wasn’t an emergency. After a few failed efforts of them giving me sips of 7 UP to coax it out, they brought me downstairs to the first aid station where we had the same results. Much to my dismay, they called the ambulance and told me I had no other option than to go to the ER. To make things worse, they had a stretcher waiting for me. “Uh, no. I’m not getting on that thing…I can walk just fine and save the immense embarrassment of being carted through the Edward Jones Dome on a stretcher,” I resisted.
They told me I had no choice. I had to get on the stretcher.
“Can you at least cover my body with a blanket?” I pleaded. NO.
So there I was, being hauled through the crowded concourse since the game hadn’t quite started. I covered my face with my hands while the EMTs laughed at my embarrassment.
Once I got to the hospital, I had about a two-hour wait. My parents had met me there, so at least I had some company.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t swallow. At all. Even my spit would make me gag. So I sat there with a spit bucket on my lap, spitting profusely.
Finally they called me in, but then I waited even longer for the doctor. The nurse did a great job, though, keeping me updated throughout the wait. I got an X-ray that did nothing but show the obvious–food was stuck in my esophagus. Then they decided to call in a GI doctor who ordered an IV and medicine that would relax my stomach muscles in order to naturally cause the food to pass through my digestive system. Two hours later, the food had still not budged so they ordered an endoscopy.
My car was downtown at the stadium, so my parents left and had to do a mad search of the parking garage to find my rental car. They found it!
We had to wait for the specialist for the surgery, however, so it was another 90-minute waiting game.
Once she got there and introduced herself and explained the process of the endoscopy, I was starting to feel nauseas despite the anti-nausea medication. As she and the nurses had huddled to talk, I grabbed my spit bucket, wretched, and puked. “I think I just puked it out,” I muttered.
“WHAT?!!? SHE THINKS SHE PUKED IT OUT!” the nurse shouted.
They looked in the bucket.
“Holy… She puked it out!” the doctor followed.
I kid you not. They were seriously cheering. Crazy thing is, I did not puke out the pulled pork. It was a mass of undigested food. Since I have reflux, the nurse said some of the food could have been in there for months or years! Sorry if that’s too much information.
Needless to say, I did not have to have the endoscopy. Other than swollen, bloodshot eyes and a serious sore throat, I was completely fine, so they discharged me soon after.
That wasn’t the end of the night, though. As my mom and I were leaving the parking lot, a guy backed into us. Of course. We got out and tried to get his information as he told us he had no license or insurance or license plates. As a hospital car pulled up and we tried to get their attention, the guy drove off! Not only did we get in an accident after being in the hospital for 9 hours, we were involved in a hit and run! Just our luck, seriously.
But through all of this, it could have been so much worse. And that’s the point of this blog. God was so good to us. I was able to walk out of the hospital that night, we had some car damage but no injuries, and this thug didn’t harm us. Then after a week of very little training, little food (all which were liquids), I ran a PR in my half and felt great doing it.
God and our bodies work in marvelous, mysterious ways. I’ve felt pretty exhausted this week and ate horribly considering I was prepping for a half. I also ran four miles yesterday and felt like crap the entire time running at a really slow pace. I seriously thought I was going to have to walk off the course. Then I ran better than I ever had before today. These small blessings come more frequently than we realize, but it usually takes something drastic for us to realize it.
In case you’re wondering, I have been and will continue to eat very slowly, very consciously, and I’m currently terrified to eat meat.