Something that not a lot of people know about me is that I sometimes have a swallowing problem. (Oh, get your minds outta the gutter, people! I’m not talking about THAT kind of swallowing! Ahem.) I’m talking about swallowing food. Even some of my closest friends don’t even know about this little issue of mine, because quite frankly, it can be extremely embarrassing. Imagine talking to your friend and suddenly having to excuse yourself mid-sentence to get the food outta your throat. It’s not really one of my finer achievements. And oddly enough, would you believe that my husband suffers with this same swallowing predicament from time to time? I often blame him for cursing me with this ridiculously stupid inconvenience.
When my husband and I first got married, I found out that he would occasionally get food “stuck” in his esophagus as he was trying to swallow it. I’d bitch at him for not chewing up his food enough, and he’d tell me to bite him. And since what goes around tends to eventually come around, wouldn’t ya know that I would be plagued with the swallowing misfortune, as well? Karma’s a real bitch, y’all.
So what happens is that the food literally gets caught as it’s making its way down. You’re not choking, and you definitely can breathe, but it hurts like a total son of a bitch. It’s worse with things that need to be chewed up REALLY well, such as chicken. You end up swallowing over and over again, often to no avail, and sometimes when it’s REALLY bad, you may have to force yourself to barf just to get it outta there. Yeah, it’s really sexy, let me just tell ya.
It’s happened to me a few times when we’ve actually been in a restaurant, which is beyond awkward to say the least. One time when we were in Mexico, I had to excuse myself from the table to try to walk around and hopefully dislodge the stuck piece of tortilla chip from my throat. After walking around for a solid ten minutes, I finally returned to the table with the tortilla chip still in its unwelcome place. My husband had apparently struck up a conversation with the couple at the next table, and they politely tried to include me in their discussion upon my return. However, I was in such miserable pain that I once again had to leave the table. I was gone for another fifteen minutes before I finally got the chip to descend. When I took my seat again, I could tell from the looks on their faces that they thought I’d either taken a massive dump in the john or that I was some kind of anorexic freak. Either way, they were glad to get the hell away from us, I’m quite certain.
Another time when we were on vacation with some friends, I had a setback with a rather large clump of noodles that had gotten caught while eating at an Italian restaurant. This particular time was so incredibly bad that it took me until the next frickin’ day to get the damn thing to go down. I spent the entire night sending telepathic death threats to the jackass who decided to invent fettuccine noodles. It was one incredibly miserable ordeal.
Surprisingly, after some intensive family history research, I learned that my grandpa actually suffered from this exact same affliction. In fact, his problem was so severe, that he even had to get his esophagus surgically stretched to prevent it from happening. Now I can tell you without a doubt that there is no way in hell I’m about to go out like that. The bottom line is that I just need to chew my food more carefully before I swallow it. Isn’t there some kind of general rule of thumb about chewing up each bite so many times or some shit like that? Whatever. It’s just one more thing that puts me closer to old lady status….