Three friends from the chorus got their first big gig as the opening act for Napa City Nights by the river front. There were a couple other things competing for my attention that night, but I arranged to meet my friend from Sonoma to hear my chorus friends sing as a trio called Jubilee Road.
I didn’t get out of town until 3:00, which meant lots of traffic to deal with on 680 North. With no one seated next to me, I couldn’t use the carpool lane. The GPS said it was a 55 minute drive, but it turned into a 90 minute drive. I parked at 4:30, carried my chair and stuff to the park and was eating my late lunch by 4:45.
As the chorus people trickled in, I waved and talked to some of them. The trio saw me and said hi. The weather was pleasant, and Sherry showed up by 5:30. She offered me a bite of her smoked salmon but not of her chocolate cheesecake from the local pastry shop. It was okay. Much as I wanted to taste it, I knew it wasn’t a good idea. Still, I wanted her to offer.
All was going so well. The trio played the opening set, and they were spot-on with their harmonies. If they did make an error, no one noticed. Tiny bugs from the river were biting me on my bare legs, so I went to find the elusive bathrooms.
It turned out the bathrooms looked like space modules. I waited in line and discussed with two others waiting how after a person went to the bathroom they could get beamed up to an alien planet. When it was my turn, I went inside, pushed the electronic button to lock the door, changed out of my shorts and into my jeans, did my business, and returned to my seat.
Shortly after that, I had a spasm in my throat. Then another and another. To make a long story short, we left the park, and walked to my car while the spasms continued. I took a dose of Carafate, and at my friend’s suggestion, drove over to urgent care. We walked in the door right before they closed at 8:00.
The urgent care nurse practitioner sent me to the ER. I was reluctant to go, but on the other hand, I didn’t want any surprises on the way home, an hour-long drive. I took Sherry to her car first. Then she led me to Queen of the Valley hospital where everyone in the waiting room was speaking Spanish. I sent Sherry home and didn’t have to wait long until I was called in for a vitals check. Then back to the waiting room and finally into an ER room, which had a curtain down the middle and a bunch of people speaking Spanish on the other side of it. I passed the time eavesdropping on their conversation.
Several people came in to talk to me, I explained my GERD, my last endoscopy and the one scheduled for July. I told them of my two scary episodes and how I’d given up wine and a lot of other good-tasting things. The blue-eyed doctor stifled a yawn as he listened to it all. When I mentioned gastritis and esophagitis, he prescribed a throat cocktail and Pepcid.
The cocktail had lidocaine in it and chalky stuff. The nurse told me to chug it. I explained that chugging was not a possibility. No water, she said. Take the pill with the cocktail. It took me thirty minutes to get it all down. By now it was 10:30. The lidocaine numbed my throat. It was a weird tingly feeling.
Another nurse came in and said I could take a drink of water. I ended up inhaling it instead. Because my throat was numb. I pushed the call button, then went into the hallway gasping for air while a new nurse stood there watching me try to breathe. I ended up spitting out the water all over the bed and floor. The janitor woman gave me a dirty look as she passed my open door.
I was discharged shortly after that. I went to the CVS by the highway and bought the pepcid. Then I drove home and was in bed by 12:30 a.m.
This was not the night I had planned on, but at least it all happened after my friends were done performing.
Never take your health for granted. Even if you have issues, it could be way worse.