A Lump in the Throat
During this past summer, we were in Eugene,OR where one of our sons and his family live, three different times, . While there, I tried to walk or run at least every other day. On my walks and runs, I’d see a lot of the same people. One was an older gentleman who walked slowly and used a cane.
Our first conversation took place while I was getting my running shoes out of our car that was by the curb. He asked if we were visiting or had moved into the neighborhood. I put on my shoes, walked and talked with him until he turned left on a walking path to the next street where he lived.
I noticed that he spoke very slowly, as if talking hurt. I saw him again the next day, as he was walking his same route and I was running in the opposite direction. We exchanged hellos as we passed, and both went our separate ways. Celinda and I left for a few days to explore the surrounding area. Our kids and grandkids took a short vacation, we cat-sat and fed their fish while they were gone. During that time I saw and talked with the man a few more times.
The man walked a lot slower than I did, but he always turned down the walking path that was only about a block from where our family lived. Plus, he always wanted to chat. After cat and fish sitting, we left to continue our adventures. When we returned, I walked and talked with the man again.
He told me he was rehabilitating after having his esophagus removed. He said the doctors had taken out everything from his throat to his stomach. He didn’t say why that had to be done and I didn’t feel it was my place to ask. With his slow speech, he was very articulate, and with his slow walking pace, I assumed he was in quite a lot of pain. I made it a point to walk the short distance with him when he came by. He said he usually walked at various times, but since I’d been walking with him he was trying to be on a schedule. When we came back for the third time, I made it a point to be out and ready, in case he came by, which he did. We had a few more walks and talks before Celinda and I headed south.
After getting back, I had some extensive dental work done. I’d broken a tooth about a week into our three month journey and we hadn’t been in one place long enough to have it taken care of. During the visit to the dentist, other major problems were discovered. Now I have new hardware in my mouth and the new hardware changed my perception of hot and cold. Either during a meal or while drinking a cup of tea, I swallowed something too hot. For awhile I thought I had something stuck in my throat, but the next day it was still there.
If I have a problem or there’s something on my mind, I’ve taught myself how to integrate that into my subconscious and usually I have the answer the next morning. That’s how I came to realize that I’d swallowed something too hot. That was a minor discovery, but some are quite profound, at least in my mind.
That same morning, the man in Eugene came to mind as did a statistic from years before. I wish I’d asked the man in Eugene if he’d been one who drank hot coffee or other hot drinks. If that were the case, there could have been a connection between the lump in my throat, which I assume was a burn from hot food or drink, and if prolonged by the habit of drinking or eating hot substances, could become scar tissue and possibly cancer.
Some years before, I’d read that Japanese men have a very high rate of esophageal cancer. The reason given was they drink very hot tea and continually irritate the lining of their throats. Not having done a scientific study on my problem, or the man’s in Eugene, it’s only conjecture to say that there’s a connection. It seems very likely when considering the Japanese information.
What is the main reason we burn our mouths and throats with hot food or beverages? Even though possibly macho in some cultures, the main reason is, we’re in a hurry and don’t take the time to see if the offending item is too hot. Maybe we just don’t care because we’ve over scheduled our lives and suffer from time sickness, which is at the root of many health problems.
We have to ask ourselves and be truthful, “Was I in a big hurry?” If we don’t have time to test if it’s too hot before putting it in our mouths and swallowing, how are we going to find time to rehabilitate?
Tags: Health , Cancer , Wellness , Disease Prevention
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