I was rather pleased with myself last night. After a particularly hard boot camp, I came home and made this gorgeous, delicious, and (most importantly) healthy dinner.
Salmon (this salmon, to be exact), asparagus, sweet potatoes. I plopped down in front of the TV with my plate and a big glass of water and proceeded to happily (if a bit smugly) enjoy each bite, thinking about how a few months ago I probably would have gone for a frozen pizza and a pint of beer when eating late after a tough workout.
As I speared one of the last flakes of fish and dredged it through the remaining sauce, I felt a little prickle in the back of my throat. So I swallowed the sweet potato I’d been chewing and chased it with a big glug of water.
But that didn’t help. It felt like I’d taken an unlatched safety pin down the hatch.
My first instinct was to cough. Hard.
I turned around and stood (I’d been sitting on the floor) so that I could, you know, get my back in to it. Or something. My husband gaped in shock as I stood there hacking, hinged at the hip over our brand new white sofa.
By now it was clear that I had a rusty nail stuck in my tonsils and no amount of coughing was going to dislodge it. Without my really thinking about it, my body engaged its next line of defense and began to move stuff back up from the other direction.
I think my husband knew this was coming before I did, because he sprinted to the kitchen for a bowl and returned just in time for me to grab it and deposit my entire gorgeous, delicious, and healthy dinner.
But this fucking thing – which was now a giant prehistoric wooly-mammoth-slaying spear – was still stuck in my throat.
At this point, things got a little gross. I apologize if this makes you squeamish.
With the threat of upchucking out of the way, the gag reflex was far less threatening. So I reached down my throat and, using my thumb and index finger like a pair of clumsy tweezers, probed around the squishy maze of tonsil and trachea and uvula until I grasped the world’s smallest salmon bone and triumphantly pulled it out.
“Look at this!” I called to my husband, who was standing five feet away regarding me with a saucer-eyed mix of concern, horror, and awe.
We marveled at the fact that such a tiny piece of bone could cause such drama. I said something about how I had a newfound respect for bears, eating fish straight out of the river and all. My husband noted that Gollum must have been, in this respect, a total bad ass.
“Also, I’m really glad you didn’t puke on the couch,” he confessed.
I nodded. This was understandable. It is a brand new white couch.
“That was scary, but I’m really upset that I parted with all of that food,” I admitted. Wild salmon isn’t cheap.
So that’s my PSA for today: careful with them bones. I had never experienced anything like this, but it was sufficiently frightening and gross that I’ll definitely be more cautious when eating fish from now on.
Since I had to replace those lost dinner calories somehow, I ate a chocolate-dipped vanilla bar.
Junk food. It may kill you in the long run, but at least my ice cream has never tried to choke me.