Sunday, May 27, 2007
I have a great fear of choking, and an even greater fear of one of my children choking. So, one of my biggest nightmares came true this afternoon as Ava choked on a piece of hard candy. Cody was being careful in that he gave Ava and Nate a small chunk of peppermint instead of the entire thing, but it was large enough to get lodged in her throat. I heard her choking from another room and rushed in to help. She was gasping for air and writhing with fear. Cody got a firm grip on her and was trying to help her. Drool was coming from her mouth, but she couldn't get the candy out. Now Cody and I are both really good about at least appearing calm during frightening incidents, but when I asked him if he thought he needed to do the Heimlich he responded "I think I do" in a panic-twinged voice that revealed to me that he was indeed scared. I kept chanting my "choking mantra" in my mind, which is, "As long as she's making sound, then some air is getting in. It's going to be okay." But even though she was making some slight sounds, the candy was obviously lodged in her windpipe or esphagus and was not coming loose. Cody did what might have been the Heimlich. I am not sure because I did not get a good view, and also because it didn't seem to accomplish anything. I was about two seconds away from calling 911 when finally she spit some stuff up and was making more sound. Then a few seconds later the piece of candy came out. She started crying loudly, which was the best sound I have heard in a long time. Cody held her in a chair for a while to comfort her and I got her a cup of water. I realized as I held the cup that my hand was shaking uncontrollably. After I gave them the water I went to another room and just cried. Later I made Cody promise that he would not ever give the kids any hard candy for at least a couple of more years. I can't take another experience like that any time soon.