Yes, it can be done. In fact, it turned out to be far less complicated than first thought. Well, that’s not exactly honest because I never, ever thought I would be facing the task of losing my life over dinner.
Last night I sat down for a hearty meal of roast turkey, gravy and stuffing. Everything was proceeding nicely until I found my airway constrained by the presence of way too much turkey. I had not properly scaled down what was going down my gullet and the next thing you know…gosh, I don’t think I can swallow all this. Wait, I don’t think I can even move this. Oops…I can’t even breathe.
Fortunately I am not the panicky type so I quietly got up from the dining area and re-positioned myself over the kitchen trash can. I figured at this point SOMETHING was going out in the trash…either the dislodged, partly consumed turkey…or me.
Quickly flashing back to my college days after a night of excess, I summoned the recall ability to make myself vomit.
It is fascinating what velocity of adrenalin you can muster when facing your demise.
The turkey landed in the can. I did not.
At this point, the wife had relocated herself from her casual dining position to one of first-responder rescue and recovery next to me. As we both stood above the trash can she offered up what you usually hear in the movies…or on television…after a drama-filled experience…the classic, time-honored line, “Are you OK?”
Having finally offered up the turkey I managed an equally stirring reply. “I believe I am. Sorry about that.”
The only after-effects aside from full-on embarrassment was a bit of a sore throat from forcing the issue…to become a non-issue.
The irony to this turkey of an experience took place earlier this morning while driving to work and listening to talk radio. Apparently, one of the hosts was in much the same position as I during lunch yesterday and actually had the “official” Heimlich performed upon him to remove his meaty blockage. One of the folks in the studio commented from talking to people having gone through the experience from a sufferer standpoint once you almost chew yourself straight into Heaven, you never, ever approach eating meat quite the same way.