A Change of Perspective

Wednesday night was the single-most terrifying night of my life.

It was a normal day, a normal afternoon, and started out as a normal Wednesday evening.  We came home and Jason had a quick meal ready for us.  We were rushing to get clothes changed and Bibles and books together for AWANAs and in the rush, we sat down to eat a quick meal.

Except Ty was trying to eat it too quickly and got choked.

I didn't immediately realize what was going on when he started spitting food out of his mouth on his plate.  He stood up and I was about to scold him for putting so much in his mouth all at once (I thought he was about to throw up based on the gagging look on his face).  Except he pointed at his mouth and everything clicked.

I'm not sure if Jason immediately realized what was going on because I think I shocked him when I jumped up and started pounding on Ty's back.  That didn't do any good and Ty was still struggling at his mouth like he was trying to pull the food out of his mouth so I reached around him to attempt the Heimlich Maneuver, something I have never in my life even had training on.

It was terrifying, that realization that you have to do something but you don't know if you can do it successfully.  At this point Jason was there waiting to see if he would need to help me.

I very much panicked.  I didn't think through clearly where my hands were and I wasn't sure how hard or gently to do the maneuver and I'm doing my best to think through what I'm doing while at the same time trying to think of what to do next if this doesn't work.

Thank God after the 2nd or 3rd time he started to cough and was able to bring it on up.  There was a big piece of hot dog and bun that had lodged in his throat.  I didn't look even partially chewed.

Of course, at the point when you know they're okay it's the same point that you absolutely fall apart.

I stood there and hugged Ty while I initially fought the tears and then continued as I started sobbing.  I did my best to sit down and finish my supper so that Ty would do the same.

Neither of us were feeling it though.

Ty sat there in shock as I assured him that he was okay and I was okay and that I was just relieved that he was okay.  I asked him if I had hurt him, and he said that I had hurt his ribs a little (I wasn't as far down on his torso as I thought I was).  But he assured me that he was okay and that he knew I was trying to help him and not hurt him.  Then he broke down crying, too.  I asked him if he was crying because I was crying or if he was crying because he was hurt or scared.  He said that it was because he was scared and I assured him that was a perfectly good reason to cry and that we were all very scared.

It was a very sobering night.  A night I hope to never have to relive.

But it also puts things into perspective.  I was irritated that Ty's AWANAs shirt was a mess because he hadn't hung it up and I was making sure that he didn't forget his Bible & his book like he had last week.  I was in stressed-Mama-needs-to-take-care-of-everything mode.  And then afterwards all of that was just so unimportant.  Because instead of going to church that night, we could gone to the hospital instead.

Make sure you know what to do if this ever happens to you:

Image Source:  imgkid.com


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About The Author
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a teenager, and a pre-schooler.