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Blame it on the pot roast

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September 2009

My timing was way off this evening…  Instead of sitting down to eat supper with my family, I was slaving away over our hot stove, stirring a big batch of apple butter.  Since it was almost ready to go in canning jars, it required my undivided attention…  Grace inhaled her dinner and beat a hasty retreat to her room; she had been prickly and irritable all day.  Beth and John lingered, eating and debating the probable reasons behind Grace’s latest aggravation…

Intent on my task, I paid them no mind until Beth screamed “Mom!!”  The shrill tone of voice demanded I notice, conveying the message “I NEED YOU RIGHT NOW!!”

John stood as Beth pounded him on the back; he staggered toward me, not breathing, not speaking, looking remarkably calm given the situation...  Grace ran down the stairs as Beth kept yelling, “He’s choking, he’s choking…do something!  Help him!!  Call 911!!!”

I couldn’t believe it…  (No…no…no…no…no…  This is not happening to me…haven’t we been through enough already?  I’m barely tolerating the life we’re living and now he’s fading before my very eyes, a victim of pot roast??!!!  Hell NO!  This is NOT going down; you are not doing this to us.  I’m not standing here and letting you go out this way…)

I got behind John and struggled to do the Heimlich…  Grace called 911…  After my fourth try, he coughed twice and drew a ragged breath…

As quickly as it began, it was over…  I plopped on the couch, shaking like a leaf.  My surge of adrenalin was exhausted.  Fat tears squeezed from the corners of my tightly shut eyes; I fought to push the newly formed images from my mind.

Grace hung up, cancelling the call for help.  Once he regained his composure, John acted like nothing happened.  His only acknowledgement to us was “I thought this might be the end.  If it was, I was ready.”  He went off to bed earlier than usual, leaving us to ponder his words and the many what-if’s…

How did I get enough leverage to pull it off?  I’ve no clue.  My husband is nearly a foot taller and weighs between 80 to 90 pounds more than I do.  Perhaps a combination of desperation and stubbornness, mixed with vague recall from a long-ago health class?  Or simply a gift from above?  I don’t know…or care…it doesn’t matter how or why…only that he’s okay. 

Tonight was another example of how quickly life can take an unexpected turn; anything can happen, anywhere, at any time…

I’m on my knees thanking God for the blessing of more time…

And thinking a CPR class wouldn’t hurt…

Always wishing you hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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