Frog in Throat vs. Paper in Mouth

It’s an age-old dilemma, of course: is it better to have a frog in your throat or a paper wrapper in your mouth? I had an opportunity to test that crucial question in a recent live broadcast on Urban Health Outreach Media, Kidney Stories 2.

Picture this: I was struggling to clear my raspy throat during the on-screen interview that Betsy and I did with Jim Myers about our new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation. Naturally, I first calmly reached for a sip of water. When that repeatedly failed, I frantically grabbed the nearest throat lozenge (yes, I always have one at the ready). I popped it in my mouth, and as I started to mentally heave a sigh of relief, I suddenly realized that this was the kind of throat lozenge with an interior wrapper.

So, here I am, painfully aware that I must continue to blithely suck on the wrapped lozenge. In case you’re wondering why I didn’t know about the extra wrapper–in my defense, this was my husband’s favorite lozenge, not my own favorite, Ricola Honey-Herb variety. Any lozenge in an emergency, right? (Not anymore.) Clearly, spitting it out—or, alternatively, reaching into my mouth to remove the offending paper, was not really a viable option.

I’m happy to report that even through the wrapper, the lozenge’s benefits do emerge. But at a certain point, the lozenge mostly dissolved, there was far more wrapper in my mouth than lozenge. I had no choice but to turn from the camera, and demurely (or so I like to think) use a tissue to remove the wrapper and toss it into a nearby trash basket.

Full disclosure: this was not my only broadcast mishap in recent weeks. My first Facebook Live video, describing what’s in the book, found me battling different versions of Live Producer, trying to answer questions I didn’t understand, and “waiting for camera” in vain. I tried again 15 minutes later. That didn’t work either.

A glutton for punishment, I decided to make one last attempt the next day. The good news is that I succeeded in recording an 11-minute spot that is now on my site. The bad news is that the first 27 seconds consists of my awkwardly trying to figure out if it was recording or not, punctuated by the occasional full-face nervous smile for the camera–that is, basically, the FB Live equivalent of the well-known Zoom refrain with participants of a certain age: “Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me now?”

Yes, I know there’s apparently a way to trim a video on both ends, but every time I’ve tried I failed. I decided to leave it as is. And my brief follow-up a week later, discussing FAQs from the book, about COVID and live donation, was only slightly more successful.

I like to think viewers gave me points for perseverance–doing whatever it takes to help promote our book.

For related posts and information on our new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, be sure to explore the rest of my website.

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