Once in a while, life can be a pain in the…. throat?

If you have read the about me section, you might know that at least part of my life has been devoted to the martial arts. I have studied the two particular styles for close to twenty years now. I have owned my own dojang and have taught the Korean arts of Tang Soo Do and Hap Ki Do.

Unfortunately, I didn’t escape completely injury free from this foray into worlds martial. When I was one step below black belt, In about 1993, I went to a tournament (I have conflicting feelings about tournaments, but that is for a different post) and was disheartened to find out that there was nobody at my ranking for me to compete against. I was given a choice. I could either win my division by default (which to me would be the equivalent of going down and buying my own trophy from the local shop) or compete at the black belt level.

Needless to say, I went the competition route. I guess I hadn’t thought it completely through, because I made the assumption (yes, I know what they say about assuming) that I would be placed against a 1st degree (newly minted) black belt in the first round. Sometimes errors can be more painful than others. I was placed against a 3rd degree black belt, that had no compulsion against showing he had a good five to ten years training on me. I scored a couple of points, but in the long run succumbed to the greater skill. Unfortunately, at the end of the round, my opponent went for one more point using a spinning hook kick that worked its way inside my block and landed solidly on my throat.

I went down hard, and honestly thought he had collapsed my trachea for a moment or two. Visions of ballpoint pens and a rusty pocket knife flashed through my mind. Luckily, I was able to breath within a few seconds. The pain, however, didn’t ease up right away. In fact, I completely lost my voice for several days and had terrible throat pain that just wouldn’t be soothed.

Since this time, I have had issues with food getting lodged in my throat. It can be any kind of food, but is most commonly meat or vegetables with a grain to them. Course bread is also a common culprit. Thankfully, where the food becomes lodged is below my pharynx and I can still breath so there is no choking involved. Unfortunately, it is an incredibly uncomfortable sensation and can even keep a guy from swallowing his own saliva.

Once, about ten years ago, I even ended up in the emergency room with a piece of chicken lodged in my throat. After hours sitting in the waiting room, they gave me a shot of a drug used most commonly with asthmatics that relaxes involuntary muscles and sent me home. That was a miserable night. About 2:00 A.M., however, I felt my throat relax and chicken dislodge itself.

The next day I went to the gastrointestinal specialist and he gave me a name for my malady. Schatzki’s Ring. Also known as Steakhouse Syndrome. The symptoms are, well, pretty much as I all ready discussed them. The doc explained that it could be rectified with a “simple” surgical procedure – ON MY THROAT. At the time I respectfully declined.

Since then, I’ve had issues time and again. A pain in the throat indeed. It doesn’t matter how small the food is cut, and it can happen with all food types. However, it is non-life threatening.

So, I ask you all, if you were me, would you go under the knife? It isn’t a money issue, although surgery is always expensive. It is, I’m a wuss when it comes to hospitals, needles, scalpels, etc. (reason is story for another time). So what do you think? I really am considering making the prevailing wisdom on this persuading in my course of action, so please comment. Otherwise, it will only be my wife, and I KNOW how she’ll vote.

~ by odin1eye on 19 April, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: