I injured my throat.

Writing that title just makes me roll my eyes. This whole experience has just been a drag. I haven’t even seen the bill yet. That’ll be the cherry on top, I’m sure.

The Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, I had been rushing around with my husband after work. We went and picked up laundry from my parents’ house and rushed home to make dinner because I insisted on saving money and that I would find something. I made some (admittedly, undercooked) macaroni and some homemade cashew “cheese” sauce I’d made a couple nights before. However, the cashew sauce was not blended properly. It was pretty chunky and the cashew pieces were sharp.

Because I didn’t eat enough that day, I scarfed down my dinner a little too fast. I started feeling like I had a piece of cashew stuck in my throat. Then, the panic began. If you haven’t noticed by reading previous posts, panic is something I am a pro at.

I ate a piece of bread. I drank plenty of water. I started trying to cough hard and make myself throw up. I took a Benadryl to calm down. Then, I called my mom. Eventually, I told my husband I needed to go to Patient First. That was a mistake.

I arrived at Patient First to a pretty empty waiting room and got checked in quickly. After a long wait in the actual exam room, I was met by a doctor I have seen previously. He misdiagnosed me in December 2018, scoffed at my allergies, and wasted my time. I was immediately thinking “Oh, this guy….great.”

He told me the odds of something actually being stuck in my throat were extremely low. They took some x-rays of my throat next. I was called into a room alone with a male technician behind a closed door. I did not find that to be the best practice and kind of made me uncomfortable, despite the man not ever posing a threat of physical harm.

The doctor analyzed the x-rays and told me there appeared to be something but it was so faint he could not say whether or not it was anything. We started to pack up and go home. Then, he returned to the exam room and let me know that he had changed the lighting on the image and felt that there “definitely” was something there and we needed to go to the ER right away for a bronchoscopy. A bronchoscopy happens to be a singer’s worst nightmare. Of course, I immediately burst into tears.

My parents met us at the ER and we began to take bets about how long the experience would be. It took a long time to be asked back to a room. They eventually gave me an IV, a couple drinkable medicines that were meant to relax the soft tissue in my throat, and a Valium. I also finally got a CT scan. Once the CT scan was reviewed and it was decided I had nothing in my throat, I was way drugged up and it was 5:15AM the next day. 

It has been just under a week since the incident, and progress has been slow as far as my throat feeling like it is actually healing. I had difficulty obtaining my prescription for magic mouthwash, and I would ultimately need to get a written letter from my ER doctor to my insurance company stating why I need the drug. Isn’t the prescription itself good enough? Baffling.

I was able to eat a proper Thanksgiving meal….or three. So, no problems. However, on Black Friday, when I got Thai food for lunch with my mom, I had problems getting stuff down. I’m able to talk, breathe, sleep, sing, so I’m okay, but the sensation of a foreign object in my throat is still lingering around.

Lessons learned:
1. Blend your cashews. Or just never eat them again.
2. Patient First isn’t excellent medical care.
3. Health insurance is important.

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