Have you ever choked on a piece of food?

I have to remind myself to chew my food thoroughly, and I often don’t. A Tater Tot incident a few years back scared the sheeeeit out of me, and I remember every second of it as if it just happened. Thankfully I dislodged the stubborn Tot on my own, but there was a definite moment of “uh-oh”.

Anyone else have a similar tale to share?

Not personally but my brother told me an interesting story once.

He was a fireman, now retired. At a Christmas dinner a few years ago one of the firemen had a chunk of food go down the wrong way. He started to quietly panic and no-one paid any attention to his gagging or thrashing about. Apparently some people thought he was joking, others didn’t notice at all. Finally someone noticed that he was choking and they dislodged the obstruction (not by the Heimlich Maneuver - they stopped it long ago).

His point was - as soon as you are in trouble you know it but no-one else does. So get it out there - make a lot of noise.

Once I was in the Grand Canyon on a five day backpacking trip, and on Day 2 we were having dinner. I choked on something, and my hiking buddy dislodged it thankfully. It’s a bad feeling to be choking to death with a two day hike to the nearest car or phone.

If you require a phone call or a vehicle to gain access to a Heimlich Maneuver - no matter where you are - you’d better hope your affairs are in order.

Yes. I have a swallowing problem and need to be careful. I’ve Heimliched myself ( the food wasn’t too far down), and I had a friend Heimliched me in a restaurant. I remember grabbing a napkin because I didn’t want to spit food across the restaurant. It’s a horrible feeling because you keep wondering - what if it doesn’t work?

Rotisserie chicken skin. I swallowed the thing whole and it turned into a giant membrane stretched across the back of my throat. My father and sister just watched as I gagged silently (coughing wasn’t an option). Finally, scared shitless, my sister yelled at my father to do something. He just continued to sit there and look at me.

I saved myself, somehow, after an eternity. After that, I kind of avoided eating chicken skin for awhile. “Help my sister!” is kind of a shibboleth in our family now.

A dietitian I worked with said a piece of hard candy got stuck in her throat when she was little, but she could still breathe because there was a hole in the middle. It was a Life Saver. Not a joke. True story according to her.

It probably fits in either forum, but I’m going to slide this over to CS anyway for you.

Sad story: my former mother-in-law, whom I loved, choked to death on a piece of candy bar while watching TV. Alone and not found for some days. Be careful, folks.

Years back, before the diabetes, I was riding the bus while sucking on a lemon drop. Someone I managed to get it stuck in my throat and couldn’t breathe. There was one other passenger on the bus, a woman I knew from work; she was sitting a row or two in front of me. Gasping, I feel to my knees. Neither she nor the driver noticed. Her leg was in reach of my arm, and I knew I could just slap her leg to get her attention and the help I needed. For some insane reason, I didn’t want to. I remember thinking,“Hell, if she can’t’ be bothered to look around, I’m not going to ask for help.” Instead I managed to Heimlich myself. When the drop fell out I picked it up and tossed it away, and thought, “Wow, that was stupid of me. I need therapy.”

Once I was sitting in my office, and a co-worker staggered in and said, “Campp,… I…can’t…can’t…”

Being a smart-ass, I tried to finish his sentence: “What, get a date?” “Get a job?” “Find your ass?” (Tee hee).

He finally turned purple and spitted out “can’t…BREATH”. Holy crap, I jumped up and did the heimlich manuever. A piece of pepperoni splooted out and hit the wall. He was fine after that, and went back to finish his pizza. :rolleyes:

Not to me, but it happened to a young woman attorney I used to work for.

She and her husband were upstairs preparing for bed, and she went into the bathroom and took one of those big honking calcium pills and it went down the wrong way. She came out speechless to her husband and indicated she was choking by putting her hands around her throat in a “choking” pantomine. He promptly Heimlich’d her and the pill flew out. Lucky for her that he was a doctor!

He said afterward that he almost froze for a moment because he couldn’t imagine what it was she could be choking on, as no food had been brought upstairs.

Those huge calcium pills are dangerous! Since hearing that, I’ve always bought the petite-sized ones.

Yes. Chicken skin. It wasn’t entirely blocking my throat, but it was making it very hard to breathe and it could’ve gotten worse at any moment. I called the ambulance, but just as I was gasping to the operator, unexpectedly the gag reflex kicked in and expelled it naturally, though some was left behind.

Ever since I’ve had difficulty swallowing some foods, especially chicken, and it just sits in my throat preventing me from eating until I manage to make it go either down or up (breathing is okay during these incidents, but swallowing is impossible). I think I must have scarring or something, but the experts so far haven’t determined what, if anything, is wrong, so in the meantime I just have to be careful.

I used to love Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobstoppers, until I scared myself half to death by nearly choking on one. I ended up swallowing it instead, and it felt like it was very nearly too big to fit down my esophagus. I’ve never eaten another one.

What do they do instead of the Heimlich Maneuver? The last time I took a CPR class, they told us to bend a choking person forward and hit them between the shoulder blades, but then to follow up with the Heimlich if that didn’t work. If a person was unconscious, we were supposed to try chest compressions.

Once I ate a square of cheese that lodged in my throat blocking my windpipe. Each attempt to inhale seemed to lodge it in further. My air supply was entirely cut off.

I was fixing supper and eating grapes – filled my mouth with whole ones and was working on something or other when one whole grape slid down my throat and stuck. I was home alone and pretty panicky before I managed to Heimlich myself using a chair back and gagged up the grape. I’m fairly neurotic now around grapes to make sure I chew the slippery little suckers well.

Strange way to choke, but I was in the shower washing my hair. I think I used a little too much shampoo, as there was alot of thick lather. As I was rinsing it off my head, i let it slide down the front of my face under the shower. Right at the worst moment, I involuntarily
coughed or something and quickly inhaled a large dollop of lather down my windpipe. I really can’t explain how it happened, but I gasped for air for several seconds then coughed my guts out until my lungs were clear to breathe normally. I felt so stupid, but it scared me alot.

Yep - Burger King chicken sandwich, 1992. Was there after a concert and I remember all my friends looking at me like “Uh… What do we do?” and I thought “I’m gonna die because all my friends are dumbasses.”

I managed to hit myself hard enough combined with leaning into the table to cough it up. My abdomen and throat hurt the rest of the night, and I remember being kinda pissed that no one seemed to move very fast to help me (but that could have been 16 year old drama in itself).

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

I was eating lunch from Sonic in a car a friend was driving and choked on a bite of my cheeseburger. I pounded the dash to get his attention, and he pulled the car over to help. I managed to dislodge it myself, but he had medical training as a physical therapist, so he would have heimliched me if I started turning blue.