That’s about all I could say for ten minutes this evening.
Long story short: My dad almost choked to death.
Short story long: Mr. Rilch and I are visiting my parents in Vegas. This evening, we went to dinner, and as usual, my dad was the last to finish eating. My mom had gone up to pay the bill, and while she was away from the table, my dad abruptly started spluttering and wheezing. Then I noticed saliva streaming from his mouth.
I got up and gave him a Heimlich squeeze, although I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t a seizure. He’s never had a seizure, but odd things happen to the elderly. The Heimlich had no discernible effect, so I moved to look at him from the side, and while I was doing that, Mr. Rilch gave him a couple more Heimlichs. By this time, there was a lot of commotion, and a security guard appeared from no-freakin’-where, offering to call an ambulance. But by this time, dad was able to say that he didn’t need it.
Also my mom was back. Now, I forget the exact words, but her reaction was to the effect that she “didn’t want to see this” and she was going out to the casino. I followed her, because I was rattled enough to powerfully desire a cigarette, but when she was settled at a slot machine, I felt guilty for even thinking that, and went back to the table.
Well, we sat there for about fifteen minutes, with dad hawking up phleghm into a stack of napkins the waitron had given him. He said, and in fact still says, he can feel whatever it is, probably a piece of meat, still lodged in his esophagus. He’s trying to work it downwards, and should be okay by morning.
But what’s got me equally shook up is my mom’s reaction. Now, my take on this is, “My god, I thought I was gonna see my dad die before my eyes!” My mom’s take, OTOH, is “Am I going to have to listen to him coughing all night?” When we caught up with her by the slot machines, she remarked, “I lost two dollars!” Mr. Rilch replied, “You almost lost your husband!” Just a little while ago, when I started this, she was watching the Mets and snapping at my dad to “Recline if you’re going to do that!”
Boy o boy o boy.