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What Friends Are For

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What Friends Are For

I had a bit of a scare yesterday afternoon.

I was sitting in the hotel bar Sunday afternoon. The First Pitch Arizona Conference was over. I had a few hours to kill before my flight back home to Kansas, so I was eating lunch with some of the remaining conference attendees.

I took a couple of bites of a roast beef sandwich. It tasted good, but I quickly regretted it, as I was suddenly hit with the worst acid reflux attack of my life. I occasionally have this trouble, but it is normally not severe and I can go months without any problems with it at all. Even when I do have a reflux issue, it normally it goes away after a few minutes.

But not this time.

Yesterday was different: the attack didn't involve a few minutes of discomfort: it involved excruciating pain and felt like my whole esophagus was coated in acid (which I suppose it was). And it just went on and on...10 minutes, then 20, then 30, then 40. Eventually I was on the sidewalk outside the hotel puking, to little relief.

The attack would not stop. Josh Paley and Jason Grey were the first to help me out, trying to calm me down. Josh got me an ice pack to hold against my chest. Usually this works, but the attack continued and I started to panic, worrying about ending up in the hospital 2,000 miles from home, wondering how I would get the rental car back to the airport in time, and not wanting to miss my flight.

An hour passed without relief. Josh and Jason were joined by Jeff Erickson and Joe Sheehan, the four of them obviously worried about me and asking me if I wanted an ambulance and go to the hospital. I was too freaked out to make a proper decision, but I did get my cellphone out and tell them to call Jeri. Jeri told them that I am really bad about knowing when something is a medical emergency, and that they should call an ambulance.

Long story short: realizing I was too freaked out to think clearly, the four of them took matters in hand and called for help. The ambulance showed up, the paramedics checked me out and made sure I wasn't having a heart attack. A lot of this is a blur at this point, but my friends took good care of me. They got the rental car back to the airport, found out what procedure I needed to follow to cancel the flight if necessary, and helped calm me down.

Jason and Joe took me to an urgent care facility. By the time the doctor saw me, the attack had finally ended and the pain was gone, but the doctor checked me out anyhow, ruled out more serious issues, told me to get some acid-reducing meds and consult my doctor when I got home. Jason Collette of DRaysBay got me to the airport on time, and I got home safe and sound.

I just want to thank Josh Paley, Jason Grey, Joe Sheehan, Jeff Erickson, and Jason Collette for being great friends. They made sure everything worked out for me. I will never forget that.

John