I missed half a day at work yesterday. Not true. I missed half a day in my classroom because I was pulled out for a regional training. It was a Very Good Regional Training and I am so much the better teacher and employee now for it. I actually ended up working two and a half extra hours without compensation, just for the privilege of saying I received this Very Good Regional Training. However, it would have to happen on the day that my assistant and friend, previously referred to as “ReGifting Friend” experienced another near death experience. It was rather exciting, she actually did almost die and they called the paramedics and everything. Tons of cool drama. Sorry I missed it. I experienced nothing quite so exciting or adrenaline boosting as that in my Very Good Regional Training.
When I returned to work today, there was ReGifting Friend, cute and skinny as ever. Her near death experience certainly didn’t add any stress pounds to her body. She told me the story and, like most of her stories, it is definitely worth retelling here.
At lunch, it seems ReGifting Friend was eating her very healthy low cal (that’s why she’s skinny) salad with cherry tomatoes on it. In one particular bit, seems a fiesty tomato got a bit excited and decided to jump down her throat. Well, being the obstinate tomato that it was, it lodged right there in her throat. It wouldn’t move up, it wouldn’t move down.
ReGifting Friend definitely exhibited all the signs of a choking individual, the most notable being she could not talk and she was turning blue. Two others in the staff room with her tried the Heimlich maneuver on her. They were not successful. Well, as we all know the human body cannot function well for very long without air and ReGifting Friend had exceeded that point. She was quite aware that if something didn’t happen in just seconds she would be blacking out and in serious trouble.
In those few brief seconds before she passed out, ReGifting Friend remembers thinking, “Oh My God. I’m going to die right here at the school my children attend the very week of my daughter’s birthday.”
At a place your children have to revisit daily.
During week for your family that is usually celebratory and not sad.
ReGifting Friend’s last thoughts before she went unconscious were not of her own well being or even fear of dying. It was for her kids and how they would be impacted, not just temporarily but in weeks, days and years to come. This is the friend I’ve come to call ReGifting Friend. Like the Energizer Bunny she does keep giving and giving… and going and going.
The fiesty tomato was downed with one final thrust just below the sternum. ReGifting Friend’s airways were clear and she was still, though only barely, conscious. A few minutes later she was fine and laughing about the mishap but later weeping about the impact of what she thought may have been her final moments.
She goes on to tell humorously of the 5 buff paramedics who walked in and would not leave until they checked her out completely. (Yeah, uh huh. I only wish I’d been there to see that! I do miss all the fun!)
Later that day, my youngest who had to go home with ReGifting Friend for the afternoon while I was at that Very Good Regional Training bounced up to her and said, “Hey! Did you hear? Somebody almost died at school today! The paramedics were here.” ReGifting Friend just laughed.
More than 24 hours later when she told me the story, ReGifting Friend’s eyes welled up with tears again as she remembered those thoughts of dying before the tomato was dislodged.
And I ask you…what would you want your last thoughts in this life to be?