I almost swallowed my mouthwash this morning. I'm really bad a gargling, and I don't know why. I didn't even get one good gargle in before having to spit out my Scope. It was actually kind of scary. I can just picture myself calling the poison control hot line, and having to tell them I accidentally swallowed my mouthwash. Embarrassing, but a near miss in reality.
I was reminded of some other things I haphazardly ingested when I was younger. No, not when I was a baby, when I was 10 and 12. I tried to eat 3 jello jigglers at the same time at an Achievement Days activity for our stake. And when I say "eat" I mean I tried to swallow three of them whole. It was half for amusement, and half for the sake of my curiosity and bewilderment at my esophageal capacity. I stopped breathing for a good 30 seconds, because my airways were completely blocked. I ran to the church bathroom and effectively regurgitated three mangled footprint-shaped jello jigglers into the sink. Too graphic? Sorry. You think I would have learned. But no. Two years later, I had another close encounter.
It all started out innocently enough. I was in the kitchen with my baby sister Michelle, who was about 5 at the time. I was pondering what I was going to eat for a snack, and I had a quarter in my hand. I thoughtfully pressed my hand to my chin, deep in contemplation. Michelle freaked out, and shouted something to the effect of "Don't choke on the quarter!!!" ... She was a worrier. So naturally, I being full of delicate grace and maturity at age twelve, put the quarter in my mouth and pretended to choke on it. Michelle squealed, and I started laughing. Then I started ACTUALLY CHOKING on the quarter. Michelle started crying, and I seriously thought I was going to die. The quarter was heavy, so despite my frantic coughing, it just kept sinking further down into my throat. I had no choice. I had to swallow it before it settled over my windpipe. I would NOT be known as the girl who died choking on a quarter.
By this time Michelle was bawling, and everyone else in our little house came to see what the commotion was about. Every time someone else came into the room I had to repeat "Yes. I swallowed a quarter okay!?" It was so embarrassing. And then the pain came. It was kind of like eating Doritos you haven't chewed sufficiently. You know, that spiky-chip-going-down-my-esophagus feeling. Except it lasted for a HALF HOUR. My dad had to call the emergency room and get their advice. We didn't know whether we should go in or just wait it out. He told the nurse the situation, and she asked him how old I was. "Twelve" he grumbled. She then asked how tall I was, and how much I weighed. "She's 5'8'' and weighs about 120 lbs." .... Pause. The nurse went on to say that I would be fine. But that I shouldn't put money in my mouth anymore or something like that. I still remember the look on Dad's face. It was solemn, with embarrassed disbelief at the fact he actually had to call the emergency room because his grown daughter swallowed a quarter.
I forever feared metal detectors at public transportation stations and other facilities after that. I'm happy to report there hasn't yet been any hold ups at security stations or body cavity searches.
As fun as this jaunt down memory lane has been. I need to find a cough drop. My throat hurts. Don't swallow scope.