My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

A Little Choked Up

There are a few things that get me a little choked up…

  • Those darn hallmark commercials like this one:

and this one:

get me Every. Time.

  • Listening to Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. “Don’t let go, Jack. Don’t let go.” Oy vey.

  • I can’t help but get a little faklempt every time this little guy snuggles up next to me at night.

  • Watching this clip from my favorite movie, Field of Dreams. You know you secretly grab for the tissues too, don’t lie.

  • Whenever I see someone selflessly doing something great for another.

  • The smell and feel of a worn but very much-loved book.

  • And chicken sandwiches? Apparently.

Well maybe not so much choked up as they do ‘choked on’.

Let me explain. Last night my mom and dad came up to Atlanta for the day to finish somethings in the city before heading off on their Caribbean cruise (I am SO jealous by the way!). They surprised me by stopping by and saying hi and taking me out to dinner, which if having to decide between frozen pizza bagel bites (which were on the docket for the evening) or a delicious (and free, mind you) dinner with the rents, I was SO going with the latter. Since my mom and dad had never experienced the yumminess that is one of my favorite places, Yeah! Burger, we decided to hit the restaurant up. Even before we got there, I knew what I was going to get. I had been there just the night before (yes, I am that obsessed) and had a very tasty buffalo burger but last night I was hankering for their amazeballs chicken sandwich with lettuce, extra pickle and extra tomato. And oh was it sooooooo good!

Maybe too good in fact. Everything was going great; we were all devouring our sandwiches, fries and a pitcher of PBR. I was enjoying the last bite of my food, when all of a sudden, I had a hard time breathing. For some reason, I decided it was a good idea to take a Galiath-sized bite of my sammy, and not chew it properly like a normal person. The giant food glob got stuck in my throat and I literally began to choke.

Have you ever had the feeling of not being able to breathe? It is one of the most terrifying things you can experience. When I was seven, I got the wind knocked out of me. My cousin Arron and I were goofing around on my old-school swing set; I was sitting on top of the set, doing those one-knee flippy-over maneuvers that were then all the rage on school playgrounds everywhere. Do you remember those? You would sit on a bar with one knee over and one knee behind the bar and fall forward, flipping over and wowing your friends in the process. I don’t want to brag but I was pretty much the queen of the one-knee flippy-over 😉

Anyway, I thought it would be a grand idea to sit on top of my swing set and use that bar as my flippy-over device. Mean while, Aaron was trying to reach for the stars, going crazy on the teeter-totter below. The force of the swing combined with his velocity and speed (Basic Physics 101. Actually, I really don’t know what I’m talking about but I thought it sounded impressive) caused the swing set to flip over. The whole swing set. Including yours truly who was sitting on top. I landed straight on my back and for what seemed like forever (which in all actuality was only about ten seconds or so), I couldn’t breath. I literally had no breath. I tried sucking in air but nothing was going in or coming out. It was so scary! This same feeling happened again once during a soccer game. I was playing forward and got pummeled by a girl, who had superhuman strength, playing defense, knocking the wind right out of me.  In both of these situations, I was fortunate enough to regain my breath on my own within a couple of seconds, very scary seconds, but I did it nonetheless.

Last night was a different story.

As the giant glob of half-chewed chicken sandwich started to make its way down my throat, it made a pit-stop right smack dab in the middle of my esophagus. My eyes grew wide with panic as I tried to swallow. And swallow again. And again. But that darn sammy wasn’t going anywhere. I tried to breathe but just like when I had gotten the wind knocked out of me, no air could be found. My mom, who was sitting across from me at the time noticed something was up and asked if I was okay. When I answered with a silent head shake and finger-point to my throat, she knew that I wasn’t just playing a  game of Charades.

Then, just like Chuck Norris, my mom jumped to action. She came over to my side of the table, helped stand me up and proceeded to do the Heimlich maneuver on me. With one, two, three compressions and a good whack on the back, that giant glob of food came right back out. How embarrassing!!!! At least I didn’t send a mass of flying food towards the table across the way, landing in some poor woman’s soup bowl or glass of wine Mrs. Doubtfire style.

But air. Glorious air. Oh how much I had missed thee!

When I was little, I used to choke ALL. THE. TIME. If something could fit into my mouth (and sometimes even when it couldn’t), there was a good chance I would try to eat it. Ice cubes, Ritz Crackers, Ninja Turtle Chewy candy and even a rock, all things that got wedged in my throat. It’s safe to say my parents became experts at dislodging foreign objects from my mouth and/or esophagus. But not since I was, oh, three, did my mom or dad have to perform this life-saving maneuver on yours truly. In fact, when I thanked my mom for quite literally saving my life (after I had gotten my voice back), she said that she didn’t really know what she was doing, that she was just sort of “winging it”. I have got to say, BEST WING JOB EVER mom! I am sure glad that she was there. Oofta!

At least there are a couple of things to take out of this whole experience.

First, it is always a good idea to actually chew one’s food. ‘Chew before you turn blue’ is my new motto.

And maybe try taking smaller bites next time.

And secondly, knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver is such a great thing to learn and master. After all, you never know when you’ll come across a silly girl who decides to eat her entire sandwich in one big bite and are the only one who can possibly save her life. Sometimes ‘just winging it’ isn’t enough and could potentially do more harm than good. For more information on the Heimlich maneuver, check out this helpful website:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-choking/FA00025

And on that note, I am off to partake in a little Father of the Bride movie action. I’m getting a little choked up just thinking about how sweet George Banks is.

Have a great rest of your Monday guys!

Question of the day:

Have you or someone you know ever choked or had to give the Heimlich maneuver?

How many of you think you could save someone’s life if put into a similar situation?

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