Shaking Hands with the Grim Reaper

A hiatal hernia is a thing. Not a good thing, but a thing.

It is where the top of the stomach is squeezed up into the esophagus and trapped there by the swallowing muscles. It causes acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, danger of choking, and ultimately, malnutrition as your digestive system is not allowed to function properly.

I, unfortunately, own one of these evil things. It can be treated. It is also potentially life-threatening. But with the American health-care system, it is an expensive cure that involves possible surgery and prohibitively expensive medicine.

Saturday night I took everybody to Chili’s to supper, six of us, me, my wife, my three kids, and my oldest son’s fiancee. I was eating salad when I swallowed a piece of lettuce that hadn’t been chewed enough. It caught like the plug in the bathtub. And all the food that was coming down the drain after it, suddenly had to come back up. I went to the restroom to vomit, and got the plug out without spewing anything anywhere but in the proper place. It was a near thing. I could have had to go to the ER for a pumping of the old stomach, something you really don’t want to do to cap off a Saturday night. I also didn’t choke to death to end the evening in the morgue, the thing my wife feared was happening.

I lucked out. The only damage done was me coughing on my son’s and his fiancee’s food t causing them to lose their appetite for the evening. I actually got to eat and keep it down myself.I offered to buy them both new entrees, but they couldn’t eat afterwards. My son was the one who helped me in the restroom.

But I am fighting another monster now. It is not fun. Soon, the Abyss will be looking back at me.

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