// she's only happy in the sun.
Jul 11

rice balls & sea urchins.

Nikki, Dev’s mom, has told me that she was a on a first name basis with the ER doctors in their town due to the amount of injuries Dev would get as a child. I’ve heard about the superglue in the eye, and I believe there was also an incident of getting impaled with a fondue fork, and I know there were many other afflictions that he somehow survived with all limbs intact.

And it seems the trend continues. When we were getting to know each other I remember a time when Dev was talking to me on the phone while he was at a friend’s house. He didn’t want everyone to hear him being all lovey-dovey so he went outside and walked around on the tile patio while we chatted. Unbeknownst to me, it was a scorching day and the tile was scalding hot from the sun. As a result, Dev got severe burns on the backs of his feet – not like a layer of peeling skin, we’re talking giant welts. I guess this story is romantic in a kind of gross way.

You might remember the Australian scombroid poisoning incident of 2009? And our friends May and Amy Shelley will certainly remember the mysterious infection that became an issue one night when we were staying with them in Palo Alto – luckily they have doctor friends who don’t mind writing prescriptions at midnight. Even just a few months ago as we were driving, Dev got a corn chip lodged in his nasal passage which started to get inflamed and then caused his throat to close up and for me to dig around our car for a pen to perform a tracheotomy. Luckily he was able to dislodge it with some beef jerky before I attempted hack surgery. So in conclusion, beef jerky saves lives.

While we were on our south-east adventure travels Devon remarkably only had two near death experiences. The first was in Cambodia. We’d been invited by a family to play music for a devotional gathering and like all fantastic hosts they were adamant about feeding us at the end of the night. There were huge piles of grilled chicken and bowls of rice so we happily ate away until I noticed Devon had dissappeared. I found him in an adjacent room, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the dark, intense focus weighing down his brow. I came to find out that Dev had swallowed a chicken bone and it was now lodged in his throat. OF COURSE IT WAS. and he was now panicking.

So we sat in the dark and tried to figure out how to dislodge it and that’s when the hosts walked in and saved the day. I guess this sort of thing happens all the time in Cambodia, because they didn’t seem concerned at all. Their remedy was to roll up a giant ball of sticky rice (think golf ball sized) and have Dev swallow it whole. Supposedly on the way down the rice grabs the chicken bone, and voila, you’re back to health and wellness.

Rice ball attempts 1, 2 and 3 didn’t work. But the fourth worked a charm and Dev was relieved of the bone.

And we all lived happily ever after until the day we had decided to take a snorkeling tour of the islands off the coast of Thailand. It was a gorgeous day and the fish were incredible – they swam up to us in their little schools and I was so mesmerized by their neon colors and flashy stripes that it took me a minute to realize that Dev was no longer swimming next to me. When I found him he was in a lot of pain because somehow he had stepped on a spiny black sea urchin. And it had shot poison into his heel. YES. of course. of course he was the only one in the entire group of 80 to stand on a sea urchin.

See those small black dots? No? Me either, but according to Dev you can’t let their invisibility fool you, because they hurt A LOT.

So we swam back to the boat where the ‘guides’ spent 5 minutes laughing at Dev’s misfortune and repeating a word that I later found out meant ‘pee’. This was their remedy – peeing on his foot. First they offered to pee on it, then they told me that as his wife, I should pee on it, and then Dev said he would manage on his own thankyouverymuch.

BUT before the pee remedy the locals said there was another important step. They didn’t explain the point of this step and I wish I had video footage of what happened next because it was pretty surreal. Dev was doing his best not to throw up from all the pain and I’m standing there watching/being supportive (read: trying not to roll my eyes) as an eager guide started smashing my husband’s foot with his flip flop. And not once or twice, but consistent smasing. The way you’d hit a piece of meat to tenderize it. And the whole time he’s hitting Dev’s foot, he’s laughing with his comrades and speaking in Thai. So, we just had to trust that whatever was going on was a necessary part of the healing process.

Here’s the guide / flip flop wielder:

Meanwhile Dev’s younger brother Collin and his friend Alan, were ahem, ‘preoccupied’ on the front of the boat.

Ultimately, the ‘treatment’ seemed to do the trick and after a few hours the pain subsided and Dev was fine.

Although he did a have bruises on his heel for a few days.

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