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.
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.