Sometimes you see the suction machine before you see the kid. The ubiquitous gray bag is slung over a dad's arm, or stacked on a stroller, or sitting on the ground as someone unloads a car. As soon as you see that bag you know – trach in the wild!
We keep running into a family from Alabama. Well, I guess they're from Alabama, the dad is always wearing 'Bama shirts. We haven't had the chance to speak, but we crossed paths in radiology and in the hallway a few times. The first thing I noticed was their suction bag, and I'm sure they noticed ours.
And today, at the ENT swallowing study clinic I saw a bag out in the hallway next to a stroller. Didn't see the kiddo, but I knew: trach in the wild!
We don't see a lot of other kids with trachs so when we do, we get disproportionally excited about it. Like all blinky, sly smile, flirty, hey-there-we're-part-of-the-same-club excited. Kind of dorky, I know. I also find myself staring at kids' necks here in Cincinnati. I'm on a constant hunt for trachs and scars. That makes me a weirdo, sure, but we're in the Mecca of tracheal drama right here, so I can't help it.
Which reminds me… the Cincinnati tourism tagline is (wait for it): "Rediscover your weekend state of mind". I find this both lame and confusing (my weekend state of mind is usually "oh, crap, laundry"), so I've been trying to come up with a better tagline for the find people of the nati.
Like, "Cincinnati: Come eat Chili and Fix Your Trachea." or "Cincinnati: Land of Tracheas and Things You Find In Ohio." or "Cincinnati: There is a Bass Pro Shop Here That You Can Visit While You're Waiting To Get Your Trachea Reconstructed."
In short: Cincinnati… land of gray suction bags, trachs in the wild, and crazy ladies visiting from Texas. Please, if you run into me, do not fear my sly smiles and/or wandering eye toward your child's neck. I mean no harm. Maybe we can even come up with tagline ideas together!
Or, you know, not.