Self Help - or - DIY First Aid

Last night, given the cold weather and the rough week I'd had due to the time change, I decided to veg on the couch with the first season of Lost and some soup. My all time favorite soup has to be Italian Wedding Soup - a broth based soup with tiny pieces of pasta shaped like lentils, some wilted greens, and tiny meatballs.

While I've made it from scratch before, a lazy night calls for lazy soup-making and I simply opened a can of 'Healthy Request' and plopped it into a pan. Moments later I was able to sit down with my remote nearby and prepare for a night of laziness bordering on sloth.

Now, watching TV and eating at the same time is something I typically try to avoid - how can you truly enjoy your dinner when you are doing your best to ignore it? But alas, that is exactly what I was doing and it nearly killed me.

I had set the soup on my coffee table, which has a shelf on the bottom. While rather convenient for storing remote controls and coasters ... it means that I can't really sit on the floor and use the table to eat. So I was sitting on the couch, Lost (3rd episode of season 1) was started, and I leaned over the table for each slurp of soup. All was going well, until the show got a little exciting and I got a little careless. I suppose I was trying to slurp a spoonful of soup in this leaning posture, and somehow sucked up a meatball instead of broth. Apparently these meatballs are exactly the size of a human trachea.

My spoon clattered to the table as I tried to cough. I couldn't! I felt myself start to panic when I realized the awful truth - I couldn't breathe hard enough to dislodge the morsel. Amazingly enough, given my First Aid license expired in 2005, my left hand clasped my right fist in the proper Heimlich fashion. The only problem was, I couldn't give enough force to my own diaphragm to free my lungs!

At some point I had risen to a standing position, and my eyes sought the room for something about abdomen height. The kitchen counter! My fist still clenched just below my ribcage, I ran myself into the counter and launched the meatball against the wall. It rolled off the counter, and onto the floor ... and then my poor meatball ... well, it didn't roll out the door but how ironic is that?

Only later did I remember the episode of Sex and the City where Miranda had to do pretty much the same thing. And yes, there is something about choking alone that makes you feel very lonely and vulnerable. Maybe they need to have a "First Aid for Singles" class.


  1. Oh my goodness Amanda! I am SOOOO glad you are ok. I wanted to laugh, but there is something so very not funny about how scary that must have been. I am really relieved you lived to blog about this. - barb

  2. 'Last night, given the cold weather and the rough week I'd had due to the time change...'

    Hello, Amanda,

    I hope you are well. In regard to the earlier in the year time change it means it takes place while it is still snowing some days here.

    I realize we do this to accommodate the United States which has a warmer climate, and it seems strange up here.

    But, I do appreciate the hour extra of light at night.



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