I have this thing that happens when I eat too fast. It gets stuck. It doesn't happen a lot, but every few months, it happens. Yes, I know. I need help in many ways.
I was making tacos for dinner. We get that yellow kit from Old El Paso. Don't judge. They are good and it's rather easy. Except my wife likes me to cut up tomatoes fairly small, and that part is annoying. Not her, but the tomato dicing.
The kit was a half hard shell and half tortilla one. I heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. When they come out, they are smoking hot and perfect to eat. I always grab one and gobble it down as I put the finishing touches on my 100% homemade-out-of-a-box dinner.
This time, I gobbled too fast. I'll spare you the details. Wait, no I won't. It got stuck. It's not in the throat area, but more down in the chest area. After some painful minutes, it usually pushes its way down and I am good. Drinking water to speed the process doesn't help. I am just stuck in the situation, and this time, so was the tortilla.
My mouth salivates beyond control. But it isn't in anticipation of food, it is just a response to the situation. I can breathe, but it's all rather painful.
If my physician assistant is reading this, she probably thinks I am a moron. I promise I will bring this up next time I see her.
It won't budge. The pain increases. Aimee is at work, so it's me and the three kids. And Pixie, but she is a pug and while she is wonderful, there isn't much she can do to help.
Dylan is on the couch with AirPods in. I call them Ear Pods, because it makes more sense. Marketing can be stupid. Carter is on the couch with Grady, watching something on Netflix. I keep Dylan in sight, because if this doesn't pass, he is my go-to for help. All 3 are aware I'm struggling with something, but ever since I had kids, I've been struggling with many things, so this isn't really a shocker.
I'm about 10 minutes into this, which is 5 minutes longer than ever before. The pain is at a level 7 (out of 10, if you're keeping score at home). I estimate if this pain persists for 5 more minutes, I am going to pass out. Without Aimee home, my window of waiting is smaller. I am the responsible adult — who has a problem eating slowly.
I approach Dylan, barely being able to talk. "Dylan, call 911."
"Dad, are you for real?"
He has a point here. Often, I am not. But he's a smart kid and realizes I don't joke about this. Plus, he's been watching me pacing for 10 minutes, going inside and outside of our house (as if location was going to change my predicament), so he knows I am in big trouble.
He gets up from the couch and starts tapping away on his phone.
I stagger a few feet away, with my arms above my head, because that's what Mom told me to do when I was little.
"Carter! Stop it!" Dylan screams.
Carter is attacking Dylan. Carter smacks Dylan's hand off of his phone and says, "Dylan, get off your phone. Dad needs you to call 911."
Now, when it is my time to meet the Lord, it is my time. It could be today, tomorrow, or whenever. That is up to Him and I am on board with the system. But if this is the way I am going to go, oh man, I'd have some explaining to do to someone.
You see, Dylan uses his phone to watch videos and text, and that's how Carter sees it. He needed Dylan to put down his video and texting device (AKA phone) to find a real phone and call 9-1-1.
Their screen time habits were literally going to kill me.
I'll spare those details. For real this time.
It scared the kids. As I was typing this blog post, I laughed (because I am the funniest person I ever met), and Grady asked me what I was laughing at. I told him it was the time I was choking. He responded, "Dad, that wasn't funny." Carter, sitting behind me, chimed in, "Ya, Dad, that was like the scariest moment of my life."
So, we have two take-aways here. You, the reader, probably have many more. I'd appreciate if you kept those to yourself. I am grateful when you talk behind my back. Ignorance is bliss to me. Anyway... First, eat slower. Second, teach your children not only how to call 9-1-1 from a particular tool of communication, but show them all the instruments that can reach a hero on the other end.