Omigod. Omigod. Omigod.

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.

Whoo boy.

a) Give your dad a hug and tell him you love him.

b) RilchDad and RilchMum may need to have a long talk.

What Kythereia said.

Has your dad commented on the state of affairs to your mother? Even a snarky little “thanks for caring about my near-death experience” or something? (Or does he make such a habit of bolting his food and choking that this is merely irritating to her by now? :eek: )

What a scary, nightmare inducing situation you were in.

It was a good thing you were prepared.

Are you Batman?

Yanno, the guy who invented the Heimlich Maneuver ( Dr. Henry Heimlich) has got to be tired of all the times he properly parallel parked his car and his wife and friends say, " Nice manueving, Heimlich."

Manvuevering :smack:

I’m glad to hear your dad is ok. As for your mums behaviour - just wow.

I’m not defending your mother’s behavior; it’s appalling. But some people, faced with really scary situation’s, just disconnect. That might be what’s going on with her.

As for your father, I’m glad he’s okay; what a scary thing!!

My thoughts exactly.

Gee, your mom and dad just sound married to me! You say she was away from the table when it happened. Maybe she just came back, saw a lot of commotion, and thought, “Oh Lord, there he goes embarrassing me in public again!” Of course, maybe she was just being callous. You know her better than we do.

Glad Dad’s okay.

I only know the Heineken manuever.
It involves drinking skunky imported beer. It’s very technical. I won’t bore you with details.

Strike 2! :smiley:

Yes, I thought the same thing as well. Sometimes, people just can’t handle a scary situation. Sounds to me like her brain could not process the idea that he was actually in a life-or-death situation.

Thanks for the replies, all!

We’re about to hit the road back to L.A., so I’ll go into more detail later. Suffice to say, dad’s still okay, and I did give him that big hug. TTYL!

‘Manoeuvring’. Almost as bad a word to spell as ‘bureaucracy’. :slight_smile:

Oddly, this is one of the few words Canadians spell with the British ‘oe’; we don’t spell the name of the throat tube ‘oesophagus’, for example.

Glad things worked out with no-one dying, Rilchiam. I’m definitely :dubious: at RilchMom’s described reaction, though… in that situation, I think I’d be rather pissed off at her.

I think it’s “Rio” by Orchestral Manures in the Dark.

That comment combined with that username is frightening.
Very frightening.

Hey, I did the heimlich on PreTeenPundit a year ago. It still leaves me shaky when I remember how she might have died had I not been nearby to hear her choking. (shiver)

Anywho, you might advise your father to go to the doctor so that they can see if the food has really gone down. Having food sit in your esophagus can lead to complications. I’d have him call his doctor and ask.

My wife, a cancer doc by day, has had to deliver a lot of bad news over the years. She tells me that families/loved ones react to really bad news in one of two ways: either they circle the wagons, roll up their sleves, and do all they can to help and support the striken person, or they run like hell. Those who do the latter can basically cut off all contact with the sick person, refuse to even tolertate a third person even mentioning them in conversation, and basically try to pretend this isn’t happening. It can be very painful to watch, let alone experience, but it sounds like it’s what happened to your Mom.

Now that you’ve all had this experience, pretty much for free since your Dad is ok, you may want to talk to your Mom after a little while about it. Chances are she will be very ashamed of her own reaction and will not want to discuss it, but if you insist gently, in a non-judgmental way, you might be able to get her to examine her feelings a bit, and think about if she wants to change the way she reacts next time. Forewarned is fore-armed, as they say.

Glad your Dad is ok.

“What is it, Dr. Heimlich?”

“I’ve invented a maneuver! Okay, well it’s really more of a gesture…”

With many thanks to Eddue Izzard!