Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Laughing Matter

Something very unexpected happened this evening.
It wasn't a good unexpected.  
It was the kind of thing that reminds you how quickly life can change.

Little ones were in bed.  Chad and I settled in for an evening like most others; watching a little TV, checking email, enjoying each others company.
I said something funny.
Chad replied with something even funnier.

At the same time, I was swallowing the handful of popcorn I had just put in my mouth and taking a drink of water.  I sputtered.  I stood up.  Thought I could regain myself.  Then realized that I was choking.  I couldn't breath. 

Just typing those words makes me start to cry again.  What an absolutely terrifying and odd sensation.  Breathing is so automatic, so taken for granted.  I've never choked before, and I hope it never happens again.

At first he thought I was just laughing hysterically, but it didn't take long for Chad to realize that something was wrong.  He was off the couch.  The laptop was on the floor. All of which I don't really remember.  His arms were around my middle.  I was being lifted off the floor.  Things in my field of vision were such a blur.  After what seemed like too many tries, I felt some relief.  Some air was finally filling my lungs.

I spent the next several minutes at the kitchen sink coughing, semi-vomiting.  Trying to further dislodge what was stuck in my throat.  I was able to breath, but my throat hurt and the coughing just wouldn't stop.  

Chad suggested that we go to the ER to make sure my airway was clear.  More for peace of mind than anything.  I could breath, but I was worried that something was still in my airway.  It was really painful to take a deep breath.

We called our neighbor to come sit with the girls. [J is so wonderful to us; she has helped us in situations like this one more times than I can count. I hope everyone has a neighbor like her!]  The nurses checked my vitals - everything looked good and my oxygen saturation levels were high.  The doctor examined me and determined that most likely the airway was clear but the lining of my throat had been badly inflamed by the obstruction and consequent coughing.  I was relieved to hear that news and glad no medical intervention was needed.

On the drive home, I tried to wrap my brain around what had happened.  How lucky I was.  Other possible scenarios ran through my head ... what if I had been home alone?  What if Chad had already gone to bed?  Of course, in either of those cases, I probably wouldn't have been laughing hard enough to suck popcorn down my throat.  But still.  Choking is a very real hazard, but one that I very rarely think about.  More than anything, it just reminded me that life is not permanent.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.  Life can change in an instant.

Chad and I talked some about what could've happened.  What that would mean for him and the girls.  I cannot take those thoughts from my head and heart right now.  Cannot see those thoughts in words on my computer screen.  It's too overwhelming.  Too heart-wrenching.

Makes me want to hold my babies even tighter. 
Tell the people in my life words that have gone unspoken.
See the good in my life and forget the trivial stuff.  
I am so thankful.  I am so blessed.

Lately I've been struggling with day-to-day life.  Wanting more.  Feeling discontent.  It took something potentially fatal to put things in perspective.

26 comments:

Chi-town momma said...

Scary. Glad you are OK! Hug your girls and hubby, enjoy the insight you have gained but try not to live in the "what ifs..."

MommaPebz said...

Oh my gosh I feel so scared even just reading this - I couldn't imagine how you felt! SO glad to hear you are ok! *hugs*

Life Without Pink said...

I had chills just reading this. So glad you are ok! That is my one fear...that something will happen to me while home with my boys. I need to teach my 4 yr old how to dial 911 in an emergency....What a scary thing to go through!

singedwingangel said...

HOly cow I am so glad Chad was there and you are ok now.. scary...

Ashley said...

Wow that truly is scary. I am glad nothing resulted of the event.

Angie said...

How frightening! I am glad Chad was home with you when it happened!

CJ Sime said...

WHEW!!! That is horrifying. I am glad everything ended well.

Shell said...

How scary! I'm glad that he was there for you and that you are okay!

Thanks for linking up!

Evonne said...

What a scary reminder that we shouldn't take things for granted. I'm so glad you're ok!

Oka said...

What an awful experience with a great ending. Even better there was a lesson learned.

Raising Z said...

How scary for you both! I am so glad that you are ok. You are right it is those scary moments that do put things in perspective......life can change in an instant.

Kim - In Search of Me in Mommy said...

Oh...how awful! I am so glad things worked out...SCARY and really puts life into perpective.

VandyJ said...

Oh so gald it all worked out OK. Hug your girls and hubby and bask in the knowledge that you are still there.

EmmaLouWho said...

Wow, how terrifying!! I'm so glad you're okay.

Pam said...

OMW! Glad you are okay. What a scary feeling.

Kathy said...

so scary!! So glad Chad was there with you. xoxo!!

mrs.alderman said...

Oh scary Dana!!! Glad everything is okay!!! We need to catch up soon...I miss you!! xoxo

Aphrodite's Mortal Friend (ME) said...

I can't imagine how scary that would be- for either of you. I have always worried about being electicuted ... you just never know. I am follingyou now- stop by my place when you can ;-)

Laurel said...

That is so terrifying. I once choked (on a piece of electrical tape of all things--trying to put in an air conditioner and using my teeth to rip the tape) when I was home alone and boxed into my apartment by the couch. I still get edgy when I remember it. Luckily someone had mentioned self-Heimlich to me in the past and I was able to use the couch to get the tape out of my throat. (My ribs hurt for days though!)

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

That IS terrifying! So glad you're okay!

Procrasti-Mom said...

Yikes! I am so glad you are ok and that Chad was there! That is SO scary. You are right, we all need to desire to be content with today, sometimes it seems so hard, but when you are quickly reminded, like you were, it all comes into perspective. Love you and so glad you are ok. Hugs, D

Cara Mamma said...

So scary! And yes, these types of things definitely give you perspective. These moments make you remember not to ever take anything for granted. hugs to you!

passionofthemom said...

What a horrifying thing to have happen! I'm really glad your hubby was there to help you out!! I'm sorry about the throat abrasions...like choking wasn't bad enough, right? But I'm really glad you're okay!!!! I choked once when I was 9, and developed a fear of swallowing as a result. It took more than a year before I was able to make myself swallow food.

BJ_Mama said...

Oh my LORD, I'm saying PRAISES of THANKS right now! Oh blessed that you had a great hubby there to help you.
Randy and I went through the same feeling/convos when we got into an accident a few months back...on the highway...with Sam in the car. Life IS short. And thank the LORD, He blesses us with EACH day!
HUGS and KISSES and MORE HUGGGS!!!!!

Emmett Joseph said...

Wow, I want to give you a big hug after reading this! I'm just glad you are okay and that you have a quick-thinking hubby. Love you lots!

Lee-Ann said...

Oh my, how scary! I'm glad that things turned out okay. Lots of hugs.

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