Friday, August 31, 2012

When Lunch Dates Go Wrong

Yesterday my husband, daughter and son surprised me by picking me up from work for lunch.   We went to one of our favorite places, so it was really a treat!  We were enjoying each other's company while we waited for our lunch, talking and laughing.  And my husband and son, who were sitting across from me and my daughter, had such strange looks on their faces.  I wondered why - - until I realized there was a TV behind us and they were watching a football game!   Ok fine, first day of college football.  Since my daughter and I picked our own seats, I knew they hadn't planned their coveted spots in front of the TV!   So, no harm, no foul :)

Our food came, which was delicious, by the way.   I swallowed a piece of teriyaki beef.  Or tried to swallow it.   I reached for my water to take a drink and force it down, but with no luck.   It was stuck.   I panicked and reached for my throat.   I couldn't breathe.  I thought of all the movies that make fun of people who choke on food, and realized it's no joking matter.  I stood up and my daughter immediately tried to do the heimlich maneuver but with no luck.   She looked on in horror.  I am panic stricken, terrified.   I couldn't breathe.  And I knew I could die.   I didn't want to die, but I knew that I could really die - - those were the thoughts in my mind.  Over and over again.   It seemed like forever I was standing there, not breathing and waiting to drop to the floor.  Dead.  

My son took over, but my husband was quickly at my side (or behind me, rather) and started performing the maneuver.    He, too, had no luck.   I just kept thinking that I was going to die, and I was terrified - no other word to describe it.  My husband tried with all his might but couldn't dislodge the offending piece that blocked my right to breathe in life.  I don't know how I got the words out, but I kind of whispered, "Someone.  Please help me."   I wanted someone to take a knife and cut an airhole in my throat.   I was that desparate.   My son quickly continued the maneuver as my husband looked on in horror and a miserably helpless feeling.   After three of four tries, it worked and I was breathing again.     The lunch crowd erupted in applause.

People rushed up to see if I was okay, and I just dropped in my husband's arms and cried.

We went home (my family wouldn't let me go back to work) and as a family we prayed thanks to God for his protection and for my son knowing what to do.   I believe he saved my life.  He is my hero.  

I am going to make sure that we all know how to properly administer the heimlich, and I admonish all of you to do the same.    You just never know when it will be needed . . .

41 comments:

  1. Oh my. It's funny in movies, but this isn't funny, at least not for a really long time. I'm so glad you are okay.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think I'll be making fun of people in the movies anymore :)

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  2. I found myself holding my breath as I read this. I'm so glad you're okay.

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    1. :) I still hold my breath when I think about it.

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  3. omgosh, what a horrible experience--thank God you are alright and that your son got it out<3

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  4. These are one of the times in our lives when we only see one set of footsteps!

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  5. Wow....thank God your family was there with you. That is an experience you will remember for the rest of your blessed life. Maybe find out how to perform the heimlich on yourself...apparently it can be done.

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    1. My son told me that yesterday - - we will definitely have to learn how!

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  6. Oh how horrible I was holding my breath reading this Judy I am so glad that you are okay :]
    cut up your food in smaller pieces and chew!!!! ok now I am better the scared mom in me had a moment there whew thank the Lord for your son and one of God's angels watching over you all ;]

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    1. Thank you, Janice. I really believe there are angels watching over all of us :)

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  7. Wow Judy I am so so glad that this story had a happy ending...that you are still with us to write the story!!! How frightening! SO glad your son got that piece dislodged! Phew!!

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  8. How incredibly scary!!!!

    I can't imagine the fear you must have felt, but am glad your family was there and able to stay calm enough to think to immediately get behind you to help dislodge the food!!

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    1. Very scary. But, I guess all's well that ends well. :)

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  9. My uncle saved my Grandma's life the same way. It was Christmas Eve and Grandma's bite of roast beef decided to try to kill her. The Heimlich maneuver is a valuable skill to have and that is a lesson I have never forgotten. So glad you are okay!

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  10. Oh my goodness... that is so scary! I am so grateful this story has a happy ending. Thank God for your son knowing what to do in that situation. A great young man!

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  11. Scary, scary stuff!! I am so glad you're okay!

    We used to have to perform the baby heimlich manuever over my oldest son on a weekly basis (he was a BIG choker), but I don't think I could've lifted you upside while whacking you with upward fist blows. This is a great reminder to take a refresher course for adults. Great job to your son - thank him on behalf of all your loyal readers as well.

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    1. Wow, Marianne - does your son know what heroes his parents are?!

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  12. Scary experience :( Glad you're okay

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  13. Oh Judy! I am SO happy you are okay!!! Your son IS a hero!! And I agree. EVERYONE should know that maneuver! And yes, yes, yes.. Prayers of many, many, many thanks that you are still with us.. How terrifying.. Baby food, that's all you're allowed to eat! ;)

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    1. You're the sweetest, MiMi - tons of love your way ;)

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  14. I know that must have been terrifying beyond words. And then relieving beyond words. Amazing that your son is the one who remembered how to do the Heimlech. Maybe he has a calling for saving lives... we never really know the path that we are meant to walk until God shines a beacon onto it. Or maybe he was just meant to save YOU. Either way, I am so happy that you are okay and that your son made it so.

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    1. Thanks so much Robin! My son is pretty amazing and I've always told him he has a special talent with people :)

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  15. makes me faint just thinking about it
    i actually thought it would never happen to real (non movie) people

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    1. I had only seen it in the movies too, Anni - hope I never see/experience it again :)

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  16. How absolutely terrifying! Glad you were in capable hands!

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  17. After being certified as a lifeguard I've learned so much and I just wish the whole world were able to learn these simple things to be safe. So so so glad everything ended well for you and I congratulate you for taking a step towards making sure your family knows what to do in certain situations, I plan to do the same now.

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    1. And I think my work will be doing first aid/CPR training, too, which is great! I'm glad you're going to be learning these skills too!

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  18. how horrifying!! I'm so glad your family was able to help you.

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    1. Me too! And I much prefer to get my share of horror in movies :)

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  19. OMG! How scary. We witnessed this at a restaurant. My husband rushed over to help. I was the one who knew the heimlich though and together, with my screaming instructions...we were able to help the person dislodge the food. I was disappointed in the restaurant help...they all but disappeared!
    So happy you are okay!

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    1. I'm sure they were so grateful you and your husband were there! What a great team! It's a horrifying experience for all - just ask my family :)

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  20. OMG! how scary! Glad it all worked out for the best!

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  21. give that kid a raise in allowance

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