One sister texted me at the hospital, “Think how interesting your next blog post will be!”
Another sister texted, “Did they let you keep the piece of chicken as a memento?”
A friend called, who I was meant to be meeting for lunch that day. “Oh God,” she said. “You poor thing.” She paused. “You always did scoff your food.” “Thanks,” I said. “And what about that weird thing you have with spoons!? Where it has to be like, a really small spoon? Even though you have these really huge mouthfuls?” She was still laughing when I hung up.
On Tuesday night at around 8.45 pm I was eating green chicken curry when I felt a lump of chicken lodge in my throat. I coughed. I drank water. Nothing would move it. My husband thumped me on the back with great enthusiasm. Then he tried the Heimlich Manoeuvre. Numerous times. I could tell he really liked doing the Heimlich Manoeuvre and I’m sure he did it very well, but it didn’t work.
We googled. Of course we googled. I put ground coffee behind my teeth. I drank olive oil. I ate a banana. I was retching. Every now and then I felt quite sure I was about to stop breathing.
We ended up at Emergency. “Was the chicken yummy?” asked a nurse, with some relish, as I projectile-vomited saliva.
At 3 am, they gave me a general, intubated me, and yanked it out.
Nurses, anaesthetists, specialists were all called from their beds, because I didn’t chew my food properly. “You just have to stop eating like a pack wolf,” said my husband tenderly.
In my last post I tempted fate with this foolhardy remark: “Who knows what my next blog entry will hold?” Who knew that it would include one of the most mortifying and terrifying experiences of my life?
If anyone would like to share a similar story, ideally one that is even more revolting, please do so. In fact, I will send a signed book to the person who shares the most horrifying story, because you will make me feel less alone and ashamed.
I will be here, chewing. Chewing, chewing, chewing. And who knows what my next – no! Shhh. Let’s all stay very, very quiet and still.
PS. In my last post, I mentioned that I’d finished my new book. It would have been sensible to mention when it was going to be available, but no, I just babbled on about hairdressers and whatever. THE HUSBAND’S SECRET will be out in Australia in May 2013. I expect it will be available in the US in June, and in the UK in August.