Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I would not give for a good solid burp

When you have a paralyzed vocal cord, the opening to your lungs is always open. So you have to be careful while eating and drinking that you don't get any solids or liquids down the windpipe. Generally it is not difficult. In my case it is the left vocal cord that is frozen, so when I'm drinking I turn my head to the left to close it off a bit more and avoid water going down the wrong hole, as we so blithely proclaimed during childhood.

But one of the problems with having it open constantly is that for some reason I cannot get a good burp on. And I rather miss that. It kinda hurts to burp and sometimes it feels like a pain in the chest as the gas expands and slowly drifts out. Now if I were a worrywart, I could've taken myself to the emergency room last night when the chest pains became significant. But there were no other symptoms like a racing pulse and I had just eaten a Thai salad with lots of cabbage so....What I found helpful was to take the dogs for a walk. A little movement eased things significantly. But in the end I'd still like a good solid burp. It's like putting a period at the end of a sentence. All I got are commas right now.


Postscript: When complaining about this to my daughter, she confessed that at the dinner table once, she and her two younger brothers burped out the alphabet. They could do every letter except "W" which was left to my oldest son. I suppose his long career on swim team and water polo gave him the edge there. Which weirdly fits in with the birthday card I am sending him for his 23d next month. It reads: "You know son, when you were just a baby, I remember burping you." The inside reads: "Now that's just one of the many things you do on your own."

And well too, it seems.

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