Kellie tagged me for a meme. It’s not your typical meme either.
What’s been one of the scariest (in a terrifying or humorous sense) thing you’ve ever experienced?
I had to think awhile on this one. I’ve been blessed to have not ever been involved in anything overtly terrifying. Kellie wrote about her experience on an airplane with a crazed madman on the loose threatening to take the plane off-course to heaven. Um. Yikes?
My story is equally scary, but in a completely different sense. It involves choking. And my infant daughter. And a single piece of Golden Grahams cereal lodged squarely over her windpipe. And her frantic mother who took on a semblance of rationality that is uncommon (for me at least) in that type of situation.
It happened when Kennedy was just under a year old. We lived in a tiny (under a thousand square feet tiny) house in California. Big sister Torri was three back then and was playing with Kennedy while my husband and I did the dishes and after dinner clean up. In an effort to keep them occupied while we went about our chores I had put a handful of cereal on Kennedy’s exersaucer tray. They were taking a piece here and there as they played there, just steps away from us.
It happened when my husband dropped a dish on the floor. The sound pierced my ears. It also must have scared Kennedy enough to cause her to take a sudden gasp of air, thus sucking that damned piece of cereal solidly into her airway.
I’ll never forget the way she looked at me.
Her eyes were wide and set right on mine, frozen and terrified. I screamed to her Dad (who had been well trained in CPR and other lifesaving maneuvers) to do something. He rushed to her, his hands leaving a soggy trail of soapy dishwater behind, and picked her up. He held her so that her chest was resting on his forearm and began administering hefty blows to her back. My eyes well up with tears as I write this because I remember the crippling feeling of helplessness.
As he continued doing what it was he was trained to do I grabbed the phone, but I didn’t dial because I knew full well that anybody the 911 operator sent would be too late. My husband started to break down because his actions weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. He began yelling at me that it wasn’t working and that he didn’t know what to do.
In the meantime, Kennedy was fading from our grip. Her body began going limp and her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Her lips started turning blue around the edges.
I could have died right then and there.
And judging from the way I react now when one of my children so much as coughs at the dinner table, it’s a miracle I didn’t.
I just kept telling my husband in the calmest, most assured voice I could muster that he could do this. That he knew how to do this.
And as suddenly as it began, it ended. One of those forceful smacks to her back served to dislodge that little square of hell and Kennedy began to cough.
Nothing has ever sounded sweeter.
Oh how we held that child. For hours and hours afterwards. There’s nothing like a near-death experience to make you count your blessings huh?
I eluded to how that event changed me. I am absolutely, totally and completely a paranoid freak when it comes to the likelihood, suspicion, or even remote possibility that one of my children is choking. If my husband is around when I first hear those telltale gasps my response is always the same. “Baby, baby, baby.” Loud and fast. My husband measures the severity of the situation by how closely spaced those “baby’s” come from my mouth. And once I have his attention I close my eyes and cover my ears and utter “oh God, oh God, oh God” under my breath.
Everyone in the family finds it very amusing. If you ask me though, it ain’t funny.
I should tell you that I don’t react that way when I’m alone with the children. I’ve seen the proper procedure more times than I care to remember so I know what to do. A calm comes over me and I just react.
It’s really a nightmare for me though.
See, I told you. Scary huh?
Now, the five people I’m tagging are: