Don't take life for granted

January 12, 2012
As I clean out my old backpack, that I stopped using in fifth grade, I pull out a plastic bag. I glance at it, and see nothing but a scrunched up paper towel inside. Just to double check, I opened the plastic bag, and pulled out the paper towel. Then I saw the white circle with red stripes around its edge, and remembered that day, clearly.







* * *
As I sat in the bus line talking with my friends, Abby and Lucy, I suddenly couldn’t breathe. I started to panic. As a million things were running through my head, I knew one thing right away, that I was choking on a peppermint I had in my mouth.
I frantically tried swallowing it, expecting that to work, but it wouldn’t go down. I purposely coughed, thinking that would work, but the peppermint wouldn’t come up. I still couldn’t breathe! Without thinking much, I ran up to the the first group of teachers I could find. At this point, I had just enough breath to mumble “choke,” but that was it. With my face already bright red, also turning blue at this point, and hand motions with my neck, the teachers knew what was going on.
One of the teachers ran me up the steps to the nurse’s office. I start to think I could even die, at 10 years old! I panicked even more. As the teacher quickly explained to the nurse (Ms. Ford) what is going on, she already knows. “Should I call 911?!” exclaimed the teacher. “Yes!” Ms. Ford replied quickly. When I heard “911” is when I got a good idea of how serious this was.
Ms. Ford performed the Heimlich maneuver on me. On the second try, the peppermint flew out of my mouth and landed about 6 feet away from me. I breathed, relieved. I was without air for approximately 45 seconds, and I am not the kind of person that can easily hold their breath for that long.
Out of the corner of my eye, I notice two men wheeling in a stretcher, one of those beds on wheels that goes on an ambulance. They see me, and one says to the other, “She’s fine,” and they are gone.
As a police officer talked to me, Mrs. Ford took the peppermint, wrapped it in a paper towel, and put it in a small plastic bag. “Here” Ms. Ford said to me, “You should keep this”. I politely tried to decline by saying, “Oh, um, no thanks”. At the time, I wanted to forget this day, and I didn’t think keeping the peppermint I choked on would help. But for some reason she really wanted me to keep it so I stuffed it in my backpack.








* * *

Even though I didn’t want to keep it then, I’m glad I did. It is a reminder to not take life for granted.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

babysteps said...
Jan. 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm
I like this a lot! It is really sweet, an I like how you put detail into what you were thinking while you were choking, i've always wondered what people would be thinking it that sort of situation.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback