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Monday, May 11, 2009

All choked up.

I have many fears in life - a fear of flying, a fear of throwing up in public, a fear of roaches and butterflies, a fear of Don King's hair.

A fear of choking in public.

I can avoid airplanes and Don King like the plague, but I'm SOL when it comes to choking in public. I have to eat to survive, and I must eat Chili's at least once a week or I'll get the shakes.

So, my co-workers and I made our weekly trip to dine at le Chilitas today.

Things were going great. I was inhaling my weekly fix of salsa and chips, just enjoying the time away from work, when it happened.

I choked.

On a chip.

And some salsa.

It went down the wrong pipe.

I have no idea what the medical term for my "pipe" is called, so I'll continue calling it a pipe.

Let's just say that I sat there in complete panic mode while my lungs were about to explode from lack of air down my pipe.

Should I get up?

Should I do the universal sign for choking?

Hell, what is the universal sign? I've forgotten. Way too much Diet Coke fries the brain.

I look around. My co-workers are oblivious to my suffering. Should I kick them? Throw a chip at them? Bang on the table? Dance on the table? I can't dance, that would be embarrassing.

I try to swallow to clear my pipe. Nothing. Nada.

I try again. No air to my pipe. Help!

I say a silent prayer.

By some miraculous force, the bit of chip went down my pipe. My airway was cleared. Had it not cleared at that exact moment, I would've made an ass out of myself and lunged at the table corner in my own attempt to dislodge the particle of food. That would've been attractive.

I spent the next 10 minutes trying to conceal my panic. Since I'm the queen of over-reaction, I would've loved to have seen my heart rate at that exact moment. It wasn't one of my finer moments.

So, here's my friendly PSA for the week. Don't inhale salsa and chips - even though they're so delicious. A chip could get stuck in your pipe, and it may not dislodge like it did for me. I was one of the lucky ones.

Oh, and to top it all off with a cherry, the next chip I ate stabbed the roof of my mouth. I think it's still in there.

Not pleasant. At all.

7 comments:

Kent said...

Oh no! I'm so glad you and your pipe survived!

Russ, Anna and Pepper said...

Ok, I just had to finally comment on this one Natalie!!!! You are seriously cracking me up, you poor thing

superchixor said...

love it.. glad you're okay!

Your RT sister said...

Trachea....you aspirated a chip down your trachea. I'm glad I wasn't there! I would have freaked, ugh! I'm glad you are okay. I aspirated some gum juice today down my trach, and I couldn't breath for about 2 minutes, and it was ice cold. HORRIBLE!

Freckles Chick said...

LMAO! Not at you, but at the situation. And sort of at you, but with empathy b/c I hate choking in public. Sometimes it happens when I'm not even eating and there I am, red-faced, tearing up, and silently suffering. Ranks up there w/ the one time I got a piece of nacho wedged in my upper cheek area (I swear) and it came out only by sneezing.

That is all. =]

G+D said...

OMG Nat, you are too funny! Although I'm very sorry to hear about the horrifying situation you were in, I can't help but laugh at the fact that you were considering throwing yourself into a table corner, lol! You crazy girl!

And I hope this hasn't turned you off from Chili's chips and salsa--they're too good!!

Catherine said...

Just ran across your blog on a link from thebump - this post had me laughing my ass off. Great writing!

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