So I learned something new last week. I learned that it is possible to bruise your esophagus. And that it actually hurts about 50 times more than you might expect. And that it takes a significant amount of time to heal.
Two weeks ago, I swallowed my usual amount of morning vitamins and stuff, but I was in a rush, and didn’t drink enough water afterward. I ran out the door for the morning, forgetting to take a water bottle with me, and by lunch, I knew that something was not right. I felt like I had swallowed a brick, and it had gotten stuck about halfway down.
A few days later, I was still in crazy amounts of pain, and it seemed to be getting worse. I couldn’t eat anything because it hurt too much to swallow. So we drove in to the city to see a doctor, which is when I found out about bruised esophaguses, which my spell checker is telling me is not a word, but I don’t know what the plural of esophagus would be – esophagi? Yep, that one passes the spell checker! I just learned another new thing…
Anyway, the remedy is to eat soup for a few weeks until it heals. Well, soup, and anything soft and blended. Baby food, basically.
For a week, I used the food processor, and blended everything. And part of me got really sick of eating that way. Part of me craved texture. I wanted to bite my teeth into something so badly. I never knew that really mattered! But it does.
It felt like mush would never end. But just like that, one day the pain was gone. And I’ve eaten crispy, crunchy lettuce every day since! And corn chips! Oh, bliss. My teeth are so happy to have a job again!
Through all of this, I have learned something else. (I kind of knew it, but I was reminded of it all last week…) Psalm 139 tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Fearfully and wonderfully. Those words have been stuck in my head.
You know how when everyone’s had colds for a month, or you get the flu – when you just had it last month – or whatever. When sickness seems to abound. That makes me feel really frustrated. A bruised esophagus makes me really frustrated. I get annoyed and discouraged because I just want to be well! I want my family to be healthy. And I get tempted to complain, and wonder when we’ll all be healthy again.
Being sick is miserable. And yet those words are stuck in my head – fearfully and wonderfully made. The Bible also says that our bodies are not our own. And I realize that I need to change the way I think about things, because here’s what I know to be true:
- I didn’t know esophagi could get bruised, but it did, and then it healed in a wonderful way.
- There are lots of other things that I do not understand about my body, and yet it continues to function, even as I take it for granted, and live my life.
- Sickness is a part of this life that we are living right now.
- God knows my body, knows my frustration, and desires a cheerful heart and joyful attitude anyway, even when I’m sick and tempted to be miserable.
And I’m thinking that being thankful for my fearful, wonderful body, and the fact that it heals itself, would be a much more positive thing to think about than how frustrated I am because one of us is sick again. Guess what? One of us will also get healthy, again.
Really. How many times do people say, “Our family has gotten sick so many times this winter!?” But our family has gotten healthy again, so many times this winter.
Maybe that sounds silly. All I know is that words can make a huge difference. Complaining about being sick would give me something to complain about for the rest of my life.
But I want to rather think about this fearful, wonderful body, healing itself and fighting off sickness, and doing it’s job, until the day comes when it’s not meant to do it anymore.
And you know that saying, “There’s no great loss without some small gain“? Well, my blended menu forced me to discover a number of very delicious recipes that we will now continue to enjoy as a family, with our healthy esophagi!
So in honor of healthy esophagi, here is my new favorite soup:
It’s called Roasted Garlic Apple Butternut Squash Soup, and it’s my new obsession. Seriously the best soup I’ve ever had. You can find the recipe here. (We thought it would be even tastier with cauliflower and broccoli in it, so I cooked some separately, and added them after blending the soup.)
So there you have it. My thoughts on health and our fearful, wonderful bodies. Hope you’re enjoying yours!