Why is there air?

I almost died last night. As I stood (er...was doubled over) in the bathroom at my work, I wondered if this was what it felt like to realize I was fixing to meet Jesus.

I was only slightly starting to enjoy my piping hot fried rice while working late at my newspaper job, when I realized that a large, (un-chewed) piece of egg had lodged in my throat. The throat that I have always just assumed would deliver precious air to my lungs.

At first I didn't panic. I've gotten choked before. And as gross as it is to say it, I've always been able to push it back into my mouth, with little to no effort. But as hard as I tried to force it back up, it wasn't coming up. I still tried to stay calm. If I can just relax my stomach muscles I can get some air through my nose. When I realized this technique wasn't working, I panicked. And the panic was in full swing.

Tuesday nights are the late nights at the newspaper. After 5, everyone but myself and my boss goes home. We stay late finishing up the pages to send to the press in a neighboring town. A typical Tuesday night has me staying anywhere from 9-12, so we always order dinner into the office.

Our office is set up where my boss's office is right inside the front door, up a small incline. From his office you venture through the front office which holds our front counter, two desks, and a bunch of office supplies, back to the back, where I sit. The office layout is fine on a typical day, but when you are choking to death it isn't so convenient to have your boss on the complete opposite side of the building.

When I realized that my heaving and throwing myself over my desk was doing no good, I stood up. Yes I know when there is no one around you are supposed to throw yourself over a chair and give yourself the heimlich, but no one ever tells you that in a moment of panic, you don't even think of finding a chair to throw yourself over. I need Rusty's help! I need him to give me the heimlich! But I don't think I can make it up there to his office! Should I try to go...should I run to the bathroom?! Am I going to meet Jesus?!

I seriously had a million things running through my mind at that moment. I circled my desk to attempt to "run" to my boss's office, but I knew I couldn't even make it that far. I couldn't yell, I couldn't call him. So I "ran" to the bathroom, which is just steps away from my desk. As I stood there in the bathroom, still trying to heave up the unruly piece of egg, I honestly thought I was at the end of my life. This must be what it feels like to die. This is it. I'm going to meet Jesus. The only comforting thought was that I would indeed see Jesus and not the other guy.

While I was making my journey to the bathroom from my desk, I attempted to try and swallow the piece of egg. But, that only made me feel more trapped and more like I was going to die. I thought that if I tried to force it down I would keel over right there in my tracks.

By some miracle of God (I know it was Him) by standing up and rushing to the bathroom I must have shifted the egg enough that it finally (PRASIE GOD) went down my throat.

I sat for a good 20 minutes just staring at my computer, head in my hands, realizing how much I loved air. Air is awesome. It's my new best friend. And from now on I promise to chew 200 times before swallowing.

-Jenn (With 2 N's)