Disclaimer: Calm-ass husband, who I guess I can also call Cautious-ass husband, wanted me to point out that this method is not effective if you’re choking on solids. If you are choking on a solid item, seek medical attention or frantically wave down the person nearest you.
I am admittedly clueless about a lot of things in life. Like, things that everyone else seems to know but me.
For instance, recently the Calm-ass Husband and I were watching the movie Zero Dark Thirty:
CAH: Wow, look how many of our guys stormed Bin Laden’s compound
WAW: Wait, I thought there were only 6 of our guys?
CAH: No the-, wait….you do realize that they are called Seal Team 6 because they are team number 6?
WAW: No! I thought it was like the Jackson 5 – you know, the Seal Team 6. Like there is only 6 of them.
He’s wisely learned to just let some things go.
CAH has imparted a lot of wisdom on me in the past several years. So far, one of the biggest gems has been how to stop choking when spit or beverages go down the wrong way.
I have three main beverages in my life:
3. Water (to balance out my body being deydrated from all the wine and coffee)
Because 2/3 of my beverages are diuretics, when I do drink water, it is usually with a raving desperate gusto, like my cells are screaming for hydration and my stomach has become some endless blackhole (nutritionists everywhere are cringing right now).
When you drink water like a lunatic, it is common to end up choking on it. I’ve always hated choking on water but took it as an inevitability when you are caught in a cyclical pattern of drinking coffee to wake up, drinking wine to counteract your caffeine high, and then guzzling water because you’re chronically dehydrated.
Until I met Calm-ass Husband.
We were out to dinner one night when I started one of my marathon hoover guzzles of water, and promptly started choking.
“Take another sip,” said CAH, calmly. Between coughs and gasps for air I eyed him suspiciously. We didn’t know each other that well yet, and the way he so calmly said “take another sip,” like Hannibal Lecter saying “Hello, Clarice,” came across more like a psychopath about to bag another victim as he encouraged her to finish herself off with another sip of death-water. As I sat their gagging, sure that I was going to die in the middle of Red Robins with my serial killer boyfriend just waiting to take me home and dissect me, I finally reached for my water and took another small sip.
And it worked. I stopped caughing and gagging immediately.
“If you are coughing on water, more water simply washes it down,” said CAH, still calm, although I was then realizing it wasn’t because he was a serial killer, and more because he does well in panicky situations and is some kind of airway expert.
And that is how you stop choking on beverages.
Some of you probably already knew this trick and are thinking, “Yeah, hello? Welcome to Common Body Knowledge 101.” But for those of you who are as clueless as me, you’re welcome.