Wednesday, August 17, 2016
of all the ways to die
I used to think I was going to die in a car wreck since I had been in so many but then that stopped happening though I am aware, every time I get in the car on the freeway, that that is a possibility. I used to be afraid of drowning, not because I couldn't swim, but because I always thought it would be a terrible way to die but I've since read that it isn't as painful and horrible as I imagined. I would like to die of old age in my bed, peacefully, without being ravaged by some disease but I'm thinking now I will probably just choke to death.
Anyone who has known me for a long time and has shared enough meals with me knows that sometimes my throat goes into a spasm while I am eating when something scratches or touches a sensitive spot which produces coughing, sneezing, frozen vocal chords but no choking. And then there are the times I actually aspirate liquid or food and choke a little because that little flap that covers your airway when you are eating or drinking doesn't always work properly. This is one of the reasons I'm a slow eater.
Once, I was dreaming I was eating candy and my mouth started watering and I aspirated saliva to the point where I could not breathe at all and Marc had to Heimlich me a couple of times. That was kind of scary since I wasn't even eating or drinking anything and was sound asleep. And another time eating, that was worse, when my eyesight started going gray around the edges before I could breathe again.
So last night we had just sat down to dinner, roast with potatoes and carrots and I'm chewing my first bite of roast and all of a sudden I can't breathe, my airway was completely blocked and my first attempts at trying to clear it were unsuccessful. Marc jumped up and Heimliched me a couple of times which dislodged the obstruction just enough that I could start forcing some air in and out.
This was the third time he's had to do that but this was the first time I pissed myself. And by that I don't mean I just wet my pants a little, I mean my bladder totally let go and by the time I could breathe a little easier but still struggling, I was standing in a puddle of urine and my pants were soaked. I knew it was happening in a distant way, just as I knew Autumn, who is visiting for her week, was watching with a look of horror on her face, but my whole focus was on dragging air into my lungs and expelling it as forcefully as I could to remove whatever was blocking my airway. At this point I knew I wasn't going to die and after a few more minutes I could breathe more or less regularly. 'Well', he says, 'that hasn't happened in a long time'. 'It's happened before?!', Autumn exclaimed.
'I'm sorry you had to witness that', I told Autumn as I went to change clothes. The only word I heard of her reply was 'traumatic'.
Yep. For me too.