November 28, 2009 @ 01:49
What a drag. Most of the past 24 hours of my life have been spent dealing with a fishbone. Let me explain.
A couple of weeks back my good buddy Darren who's the promotion and marketing wizard at Q-107 invited me to see Steely Dan at Massey Hall.
We would see their presentation of "The Royal Scam" but before hand we'd go somewhere for dinner and catch up on a few things.
We ended up at a little Portuguese place on Elm Street called Adega and as we usually do, we got adventurous with menu and ended up sharing an entire grilled octopus and a European sea bass. We started with appetizers of grilled calamari.
Everything was great but the sea bass was boney as hell. It came as the complete fish, head and everything which meant the young waiter who served us had to de-bone the bastard.
Well, let me tell ya, when you order sea bass don't be fooled by the de-boning process because its still filled with lots of tiny slivers of bone and although I was very careful, one of them slipped through and went down my gullet.
It was one of those weird moments in your life. You're sitting there having a pleasant time and all of a sudden you know something is wrong. As the bone went down my throat my mind started to race. My eyes watered a bit while it scraped the sides of my esophagus and I immediately started to "will" it into my stomach.
In those few short seconds I imagined it getting caught in the wrong place and causing me to choke at the table. I would turn pink, then red and then blue while Darren dove across the table in a valiant attempt to save his doughy little friend.
Darren would scream for someone to call 911 while I slowly lost consciousness hoping that someone, anyone, maybe a doctor in the house would know the Heimlich maneuver and save my life.
So what if I expelled everything that I had consumed in the last half hour and ruined the dinners of all those around us, so what if there was beer, bones, bread and bile all over the floors and walls around us, I would live. My last moments of life wouldn't be spent with an octopus, a sea bass and a women at the next table who was showing way too much cleavage for her age.
Shit, I hadn't even seen the concert yet.
As turned out it wasn't that dramatic. It didn't feel the bone made it into my stomach, it seemed to stop somewhere near the bottom of my throat and although it felt uncomfortable it wasn't going to kill me, not yet anyway.
When the young waiter came back to the table I brought the situation to his attention and he really didn't have a solution but told me he'd ask the manager for any bone-in-throat remedies.
He came back with a big pile of mashed potatoes and told me to take big scoops and swallow them and the bone should go down.
I did, but it didn't. It was still rather uncomfortable while we sipped cappuccinos and cognacs and I was still pre-occupied with the sea bastard that was trying very hard to ruin my evening.
I kept swallowing hard while we walked down Yonge Street. I couldn't tell whether the bone was lodged in my throat or whether it had just scraped the walls on the way down. Either way, every time I swallowed, it felt like a large lump.
As we approached Eggspectations at Shuter St., Darren decided he had to have a dump, something he does like clock work after every meal. I thought I'd go in with him and have a leak but the washroom was small with only one toilet and one pisser.
Not wanting to listen to him bust a gut I decided to pass on the piss and I went back out into the hall, and that's when it happened. Something triggered my gag reflex so I turned around and for some reason went into the women's washroom rather than the men's.
Luckily there was nobody in there to witness by my heaving and gagging and subsequent load of discolored phlegm that was deposited into the garbage pail. My mind started to race again, I was afraid the octopus and sea bastard would try and come up, but not be able to get out because of the bone that might be lodged in my throat.
Perfect I thought, I'm going to die in the basement of Eggspectations. How classy is that? The only upside is that I'd die not far from some of the greatest moments of my life, near the Edge studios at 228 Yonge.
It didn't get that dramatic. After heaving a few times things settled down and I convinced myself that the bone was no longer in my throat, it was somewhere in the garbage pail. I sprinkled some water on my face, had a whiz in the women's toilet, washed my hands and proceeded to the concert.
The concert was great. Except for some big fat fuck with a bald head and pony tail dancing like an idiot in the aisles, it was everything I hoped for and more. Although it still hurt when I swallowed, the sea bastard did not ruin my Steely Dan experience.
It wasn't until I got home and lied down that things changed. I quickly convinced myself the bone was still there and that if I fell asleep it might go sideways and kill me. Although this scenario was a little more attractive, expiring in my own bed beside my wife, I still didn't want to die so I got up at two o'clock in the morning and drove myself to emergency where I underwent some inconclusive ex-rays.
The doctor told me he didn't think there was anything lodged in my throat but the only way to make sure was to come back in the morning for a cat-scan. I quickly reminded him that it was already morning, like five o'clock in the morning, so he apologized and recommended I come back "later" in the morning, which I did.
To make a long story short I went back at eleven o'clock and had a cat-scan at 11:30, but it was four o'clock in the afternoon before I finally got the results. For some reason it took that long for a doctor to have a look and tell me there was no obstruction in my throat.
I felt like leaving a few times during the wait, but again, I was worried that there might be something in there and I had to make a stop on the way home for some batteries and I didn't want to die in a Dollarama.
With a clean bill of health I left the hospital and to celebrate on the way home I bought a big order of jerk pork, no bones, and a case of beer.
But not before calling Darren to let him know everything that had transpired in the past several hours. He laughed his bag off and made a shrewd observation.
"What a great way to get a free order of mashed potatoes."