Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I could say that I have never been as frightened as I was earlier today, but I am not sure that a few of my asthma attacks were not as bad.

Perhaps the fear seems worse because of the knowledge of the reality of what could have happened…what could have happened because I live alone.

I ordered a pizza Monday. The day after Redskins games, Papa John’s has a fairly good special based on the number of touchdowns the Redskins get. Now, I do not want the Redskins to win any games, but I do hope they get at least two touchdowns. That way I can get a large chicken and extra cheese pizza for the bargain basement price of $8.99. I can stretch it into 4 meals, while still enjoying the fresh pizza the first night.

Today, for brunch, I heated up two slices of chicken pizza. Savoring the thought of what was to come, I sat down on the couch with my laptop on a TV tray and settled down to check in with work, surf, and watch a movie.

I thought staying home from work to concentrate on resting after yesterday’s ground breaking celebration might be just the ticket to sending this cold on its way.

But somehow…mid-way through the first piece…instead of swallowing the bite of pizza I took…I half inhaled it. I was choking and no one was around to help. Arms flailing around my neck, I try coughing it out. But it was not working. I coughed so hard I could feel the effort from the small of my back to my fingertips. The birds flew off their cage and started shrieking. Kashi ran in circles around me and started barking.

I reached for the phone, thinking to call 911 and knocked it behind the couch. I stood and started to make my way to the kitchen where the other phone was, but stars were shooting before my eyes and I didn’t think an ambulance would do me any good by the time it arrived. With tears streaming down my face and desperation making me tremble, I threw myself backwards against the doorway to the kitchen. After the third blow, the offending food flew out of my mouth and landed on the floor.

Asthma and choking do not go together very well, so I used the nebulizer to calm the coughing and wheezing I was still doing.

My dog, who will eat anything, absolutely anything, left the bite of pizza alone.

I had a glass of milk for dinner. I do not know when I will feel comfortable eating solid food by myself again.

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