Why is it that so many of my fears come out to play when I’m walking my dog?

We’d just rounded the corner and come out of the first fire door in our condo when I saw them.  Nope, not a swarm of malicious freaky-legged wasps.  Not a pair of skittish mice or giant roaches laughing in my face at my inability to destroy them. 

What I saw with my still-focusing eyes was a pair of human legs lying on the floor at the end of the hall, a periwinkle nightgown spread over them, rubbery tan-colored shoes on their feet. 

I was certain that one of my several elderly neighbors (who often grimace in my general direction) had collapsed. 

My heart reminded me of its powerful presence, drumbeats echoing in my ears as I snapped into action, hyper-alert.  I grabbed the dog and propelled myself forward.

I made it no more than three clumsy paces before I realized that the periwinkle nightgown was a pair of periwinkle pajama pants.  And those periwinkle pajama pants were attached to a pair of bronzed legs upon which a pair of manicured hands absentmindedly texted away on a smart phone.  And those absentminded hands belonged to a young neighbor of mine (who was very much alive and well and propped up against the wall).

Which begs the question, why wasn’t my teenaged neighbor at home in bed at 6:30 in the morning during summer?  Although an investigation is underway, I fear we’ll no more find out the answer to this than the age-old question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.  (Hint:  the answer is not three.  The owl was sadly mistaken.)

I had another good reason to be nervous this week.  It seems that mere days after admitting my fear of choking, someone decided to play a cruel trick on me.  Now before you get your tightie-whities in a bunch, let me assure you that I didn’t choke, not for real.  But when you suddenly feel like you’re swallowing over a lump in your throat and you’re not sick or crying, it’s pretty hard not to worry.

You know how when you swallow a pill sometimes it feels temporarily stuck down there and you have to drink a whole bunch before it gets pushed down?  That’s what it felt like.  Only I hadn’t taken a pill.  I had just eaten a dinner in which it was highly unlikely there were any tiny bones, and no chips or sharp objects were involved to scratch my throat on the way down.  I wanted to cough, clear my throat, burp.  But nothing moved the lump.  I felt momentarily nauseous, and then my whole esophagus felt tender and warm.

It got worse yesterday, and not being one to wait around, I raced out to an Urgent Care Center near work, where I feel the receptionist should be reprimanded for her inappropriateness.  Let me preface this by saying the lady was very nice.  However, when someone comes in and says, “I feel like I’m having trouble swallowing,” you do not respond by telling them your husband had that same problem and ended up hospitalized for several days with a tumor that was biopsied for cancer.  Bwah?  Are you seriously employed in the medical profession?  It’s not that her little story made me think that would be my own fate, but come on, you should be taught to remain professional and keep your mouth shut, no matter what you’re thinking.  (sigh)

In any event, it turns out I’ve got (drum roll, please) acid reflux, to add to my laundry list of gastrointestinal issues.  Hooray!  The lump in the throat should go away soon and with Prilosec firmly set in my purse, I will proudly head out to the zip lines tomorrow sans heartburn.

Is it wrong that a part of me was hoping this medical issue would be an excuse not to go?