I’m writing this on the 15th because, to be honest, yesterday was tough and I needed some time to process what happened. So after work I came home and Lydia and I decided to go to Lexington. We needed some things and kind of just wanted to get out-of-town for a while.
We decided to go eat at Chick-Fil-A while we were up there. We love eating there and it’s the closest Chick-Fil-A to us. So we sat down to eat and enjoy our chicken nuggets. A few minutes in to us eating dinner Lydia stops talking. She kind of coughs and tries to take a drink to swallow some of her food. She couldn’t get the drink down and she quickly stood up. That’s when I knew this was not just a usual little cough or swallowing something that goes “down the wrong tube.”
Here’s what scared me. As I was watching her to make sure she was alright she stood up quickly and began pointing at her throat. I could tell she wasn’t breathing. In her eyes I saw desperation and fear. She wasn’t just slightly choking. She couldn’t breathe. She was panicking. Barely even knowing what I was doing I grabbed her and spun her around and gave her the Heimlich Maneuver. (This is the first and only time I’ve ever had to actually do that.) It dislodged whatever was choking her. It made her throw up so she went to the bathroom. I got one of the employees to help me clean stuff up and went to check on her. After a little while she was feeling good enough to be able to sit and finish eating her dinner.
It really shook both of us up. From her perspective she realized how quickly you can suddenly stop breathing and be in serious danger. It made her really consider how close to not being here she could have been.
For me, I was freaked out by how serious the situation was and the measures I suddenly had to take to save Lydia’s life. Seeing that kind of terror in her eyes was crushing. I hope I never have to see that in her eyes again. She was absolutely helpless and desperate. It was a look I will never forget.
We were not the only people in the restaurant, but for an average evening/dinner time at Chick-Fil-A there was unusually not a lot of people there. We sat at a table that was in a corner, but was the closest table to the front counter where all the employees take orders. Apart from being in that corner we were in plain sight of quite a few people. And yet not a single person was looking at us or knew what had happened. Within less than a minute Lydia’s life was threatened, I jumped up and helped her to dislodge the food, and she was headed to the bathroom and I was getting an employee to help me clean up. And no one seemed to have even seen it. This is God’s providence. If it had become a big scene and a bunch of people had been around it may have been a larger panic and a more dangerous situation. And knowing how inadequate I am with medical stuff God cleared the way of any type of interference and gave me the peace of mind, virtually outside myself, to do the exact right thing at the right time to save my wife’s life.
At the moment it felt surreal. Then as a little time passed we began to talk about it as if maybe it wasn’t actually that big of a deal, I think because we were both so scared we didn’t know how else to feel. And then later on in the evening (and today) it began to sink in; the magnitude of what had just happened, and what God had done to protect us.
I’m thankful I was able to do the right thing to help my wife. I can’t imagine a moment in this world without her. And as God always uses bad situations for good, I’m even more aware of how blessed I am to have her as my own love of a lifetime.
God is so good. God is SO good! God is SO GOOD! He’s so good to me!