Has your body ever done something that was really scary or even terrifying?
Something you did not understand?
Just a week ago mine did.
It did something so scary, it had me thinking this might be it and call 911.
It was sudden and shocking and it did not make any sense to me whatsoever.
Only a few minutes after eating three teaspoons of cooked (but dry) quinoa and taking a sip of water, I felt a sensation that resembled an air bubble trying to escape from the stomach.
But then, all of a sudden, it became quite painful.
So I reached for my glass of water and took another sip. That did not go over well.
The pain increased and I was not able to breathe. And this was the very scary part, I could not breathe and I didn’t know why.
I was puzzled but convinced that whatever was going on would pass as quickly as it showed up.
I was wrong.
There I was alone in the house, significant pain halfway down my esophagus, and each time I swallowed I struggled to take a breath. I had no idea what was happening to my body.
Nothing I could think of made sense.
I was not choking and I swallowed the food fine. “WHAT IS HAPPENING???” was a question my now frightened mind did not know how to answer.
The inability to draw a breath in would pass after a few seconds, not that it felt like it at the time, but it would return every time I was compelled to swallow. My body kept doing it on its own.
As you probably know, for the most part, swallowing is an involuntary function of the body (a very complex function, as I found out later).
To my astonishment and terror, my body did its thing while I was trying to figure out what was interfering with my breathing, and how to make it better.
After about 10 minutes of this, I finally gave in and called 911.
I had to. I was too scared not to as I still felt no signs of any improvement.
Needless to say, I am okay now and I did not have to go to the hospital, thank God. By the time the first responders arrived at my door I was able to take a decent breath in so I knew things were improving and I was going to be okay.
I’m writing about this to inform you and others that such a thing can actually happen. Before it happened to me I have never heard of anything like it. Still not sure what to call it other than ‘my terrifying quinoa incident’.
Chew your food well, very well!
Don’t rush like I did that day because whatever you're rushing to can wait – it did for me, it had to.
Just to be clear, this was not quinoa’s fault, not at all. And I made friends with it the next day.
Yes, I made myself eat some so I would not be afraid to eat it going forward. And I chewed the hell out of it, too! And guess what? No problems at all and I’m glad because I love it.
DON’T eat fast because, under the right/wrong circumstances, the food will get stuck in your esophagus which will then go into spasms and cause a cascade of other issues you won’t enjoy, not at all.
The whole thing lasted about 25 minutes and many thoughts came to my mind during that time; here are the ones most meaningful to me:
- Use your time wisely because you just don’t know when it will run out.
- Do what you love and share your passion while you can.
- Really enjoy every hug.
- Be grateful to wake up each morning as life can change in a second.
I am so grateful for so many things and on so many different levels.
Life is so precious.
Our time is so valuable.
We are so important and needed.
Each and every one of us is a beautiful blessing.
Take care and be well,
If you know of similar experiences or have any additional information please share in the comments below. You just might help someone when they need it the most.
About the Author
In early Spring of 2011, as I sat with my journal at a family cabin, I felt the seed of my creative writing come through from beneath the surface. As I picked up my pen to begin my first journal entry, I felt a feeling of profound peace and indescribable comfort. All was well. I felt I was Home - finally!