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 . . .