If you die suddenly, do your kids know what to do?
Mine wouldn't have, and as I saw everything starting to fade, all I could think was, they'll be here with me all day. Who will feed them? Who will explain this to them?
I almost died last week. I almost choked to death. It wasn't the 'haha, you swallowed your water down the wrong pipe kind of choking,' either. Something full-on blocked my trachea.
Thank God it was toast.
I couldn't breathe, couldn't speak. It's just as it's always described. I managed to get up and walk to the toybox area before falling to the ground. I had expelled all my air at that point, trying to cough it back up before it settled fully in my throat. Perhaps the impact of my chest against the ground dislodged it just a bit, because I was able to think, breathe in. I know you don't want to, and your body is telling you not to, but you must breathe in.
So I tried. I got just the tiniest, most insignificant trickle of air into my lungs, and using that and my hands on my diaphragm, I managed to get it out.
It didn't shoot out, like when someone does the Heimlich on someone else. It just barely moved, and it took a lot more coughing to clear it. For hours, I wasn't sure if the piece had gone up or down, but when I had no aspiration problems, I assumed it must have come up.
But what if it hadn't?
My two three-year-old kids would be left staring at me and trying to get me to respond for hours. Eight hours. Until my husband came home from work. They couldn't get out for help. They can't unlatch the front or back door. Childproofing that's normally for my convenience, now working against me. They couldn't call anyone. I have a smart phone and they have no idea how to use it. Again, a measure for my convenience, that spelled disaster in an emergency.
After this, I taught them how to unlock the phone. I downloaded an application that put a huge 9-1-1 button on the dashboard. Because with the cell phones these days, it's not as simple as dialing 9-1-1, is it? The kids have to get to the phone part, first. This takes that step out of the way.
I might plug in a house phone, too. What if my cell is on a high shelf if this ever happens again? The girls need to be able to get help, if not for me, for them.
I told them to go out to the porch and yell and scream as loud as they could if this happens in the future.
My husband has taken to calling at least once a day to check to make sure we're all still breathing. Literally.
It took me all day to get the feeling back in my legs. My kids now point to the toybox area when one of them talks with food in her mouth.
"Remember," they say, and they point. "Like mommy."
Remember is right. I'm absented-minded. I never consider these things could happen to me. I am wrong. If you haven't taught your kids emergency measures by the time they're my kids' age, you should.
A meeting place for a fire, emergency numbers, how to dial the phone, a neighborhood house to run to. All these things should be in place.
Because you never know.
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