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PSA for Choking Hazard

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    PSA for Choking Hazard

    Not exactly sure why I want to share this, maybe a funny life anecdote, maybe to give pause for reflection, or maybe just because I want to get it off of my chest, so to speak.
    Last week I was having some leftover oven fried chicken for lunch, you know, the kind with a nice panko crust (a la troymeister ). Mmmmm, so good. Anyway, I was eating the chicken while surfing the net when I did this weird sort of involuntary swallow. Well what do you know, a big 'ol piece of chicken lodged itself nice and tight in my trachea. I've never had this happen before, but I sure as hell knew what was going on: I had a complete airway obstruction. Time seems to morph in situations like this, but my first thought was "Really, this is how it all ends, choking on a f__king piece of chicken?!!!" Followed by "Gawddammit, Bryan's going to stop by in a bit and find my dead body lying on the floor, sh_t!"
    Well, I kicked into "Paramedic-save-thyself" mode and my first thought was DO NOT TRY TO INHALE!. My next thought was that I had one shot at trying to clear it myself before dashing into the dining room to try the chair Heimlich or the corner of a countertop. I remember thinking that I'll probably bust a couple ribs in the attempt, but it'll be worth it if successful. So I summoned as much core strength as I could muster and basically coughed as hard as I could. That did the trick as half of the clucker popped out of my mouth while the other half continued its journey down the correct tube.
    The whole ordeal lasted less than 5 seconds, but it felt like minutes. I finished eating lunch because, well, I was still hungry and that chicken was so darn good, but I made sure to chew the hell out of the last few bites!
    Reviewing the whole thing in my mind I had to chuckle at myself for my first thoughts, but then to be so thankful for my training and experience to remain calm, make a plan, have a backup plan, then act decisively. This wasn't one of those near-death life changing events (I've already had that, made some changes, and now I'm pretty much changed out), but it does renew ones appreciation for life and all of the beautiful things in it. A very dear friend and former coworker was fond of saying that old age is a gift denied to many. I think I'm just going to continue enjoying that gift.


    #2
    Thanks for sharing. Glad it worked out for you.

    I mean, after all. If we're going out like that, shouldn't it at least be some prime rib?

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      My thought as well!

    #3
    Scary stuff indeed. Isn't it funny the thoughts we get in those times. Glad your training kicked in and you where successful. There's so few of us correct thinking Californians left.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Now that's funny!!

    #4
    That is one of the scariest things - have done it a couple of times myself. I haven't yet had to use the top of the chair to get it out. The panic that sets in when you get obstructed is definitely one of the worst feelings. As I read it I wondered if I cannot recount a time in my entire life that evokes the panic of choking or being under water too long. I sure am glad you were able to dislodge it. Had you not been successful, there would have been a whole lot of us choked up. Make sure you pull the pork completely for tomorrow's Super-Nachos.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      It surprised me a little that panic wasn't part of my response. Choking or drowning are such primal things that it's natural to go into survival mode. I can only chalk it up to years of emergency response where we learn to turn off the panic button. Tomorrow's SB menu is Cream of Wheat and mashed potatoes!
      Last edited by CaptainMike; February 1, 2020, 01:30 PM.

    #5
    What a story! I must admit, it's got me choked up. :-)

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Hahahaha, I had another buddy say the same thing!! Friends, huh, what are they good for!

    #6
    Damn Cpt. Glad you knew what to do in time of distress and it worked. 🤗
    Had something similar when I was a kid playing a stupid game. No training. Just knew I had to get to mom and she did the rest.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      A parent's worst nightmare for sure.

    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      That and them coming home pregnant.

    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey I had enough sense as I was choking to death to let my mom know what was happening. Wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for her. ❤️❤️❤️

    #7
    The thing that always amazes me in times of distress is how many thoughts can go through the brain in a short period of time. I've had times where I was about to be in a car accident, I knew it, and knew there was nothing I could do to prevent it, and probably could have composed a symphony before the collision given how fast my brain was operating. I'm sure it's a natural response, but it is truly weird.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Man, like many in my former line of work I've plenty of close calls and near-misses, but I've never experienced that phenomenon until this episode. The mind is a mysterious organ.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      I had a guy pull out in front of me on a 60MPH highway. I was sure I was going to T-bone him, in fact I was mentally preparing for the impact. Without even thinking I swerved to the right and back to the left and missed him. Later I thought how risky that was, he could have hit me and sent me out of control, or I could have lost control and wound up rolling in the ditch. But in the moment, everything seemed like slow motion and all reactions were spontaneous.

    #8
    Put your damn teeth in next time.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh my gawd, i am laughing my a$$ off!!!!

    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      Leave it to Homey.

    • Oak Smoke
      Oak Smoke commented
      Editing a comment
      Good grief! I was thinking just yesterday that I need new teeth. The old ones aren't nearly as good at biting and chewing as they were when I got them. In my world relaxing means kicking my boots off and taking my teeth out. Hahaha there's a visual for you.

    #9
    It is scary to think how life can change forever (or end) so suddenly.

    Knowing how to save yourself in that situation, you were almost as lucky as the lady who lived in the same Cincinnati retirement home as Dr. Henry Heimlich when she was choking, and he used his maneuver for the first time in real life at the age of 96.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice bit of not so trivial trivia.

    #10
    Training and experience aside....

    i think recognizing that “you are screwed” is also a big part of calmly saving oneself.

    i am happy you are here to laugh about it now.

    Comment


    • CaptainMike
      CaptainMike commented
      Editing a comment
      And never give up.

    #11
    CaptainMike Well I am more than glad my chicken recipe didn't knock you off....Seriously...I am very glad you had the wherewithal to overcome that life threatening situation....Chew....Chew...Chew....

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Simply chew your food as thoroughly as possible. According to the experts at Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and harder foods up to 30 times before swallowing.

    #12
    Wow, glad that worked out.
    A couple friends of my kids...and now mine as they’ve grown up...lost their father to choking when they were very young.
    Seems he choked on a baby carrot. A freaking little carrot ending his days and removed him from his sons lives forever. Tragic

    Keeping a clear head is something that I always advocate.
    And a son recently thanked me for that after he was hit by a truck while cycling.

    Comment


      #13
      Thanx for sharing the problem and the solution.

      Comment


        #14
        I’m so glad that everything worked out, but, no more web surfing while eating! We need you around here for a long time.

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm in for the duration my friend.

        #15
        Had the same thing happen with a hot dog in Jamaica, YES it was a hot dog....
        It was a Jumbo dog and the bun got really soggy from condiments and the walk back down the beach to our chairs.
        I was starving so kinda inhaled it and didn't the stupid thing jam in my gizzard someplace, like you say seconds seem like minutes while I dry heaved.
        It never came back out, my retching forced in down to my gut.
        Scared the ever loving crap outta me.
        No more Jamaican Jumbo hot dogs in my life time.

        Comment


        • CaptainMike
          CaptainMike commented
          Editing a comment
          Hot dogs and sausages are common culprits, especially with children.

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