Salmon of death

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.

24 responses to “Salmon of death

  1. Them fish bones will getcha. Scary! I’m glad you got it out! I’m also glad you didn’t upchuck on the white couch. All kinds of crises averted!

  2. This is a legitimate uber fear of mine and you are now my hero. The ice cream was well deserved!

  3. Holy crap! That is crazy! (and it’s hilarious you posted it!). I have never choked like that!

  4. This happened to a friend of mine! He was out on a first date and she got a tiny fish bone stuck in her throat and had to go to the ER. Scary!!!! (Glad you are ok.)

  5. Yikes; very glad you’re okay! At least ice cream can help fix almost anything.

  6. I had that happen but had it stuck in my throat for almost 24 hours. The thing that finally got it unstuck was a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup. The noodles were magical.

    Hope you enjoyed the ice cream :)

    • I wonder if the heat somehow helped dislodge it?

      I shudder at the thought of having something stuck there for a full day!

  7. How scary! I got what I can assume was a bone stuck in my throat once, it hurt so much but I guess I swallowed it. It was incredibly painful, I can’t imagine how painful it would be to get it stuck like that.

    Too bad you lost your dinner, that is sad. :(

  8. So, it took almost choking to death on a fish bone for you to finally drop an f-bomb on your blog…No, but that’s scary. I did it once too, on some chicken. Didn’t yak, but I came close. Cheers! ::raises freezer pop::

  9. The same thing happened to me!!! I got a tiny salmon bone stuck in my throat and couldn’t get it out by myself, so I had to go to an emergency clinic (where they charged me $800…). I am SO paranoid about bones now.

    • I think my poor husband was getting pretty freaked out and ready to drive me to get medical help. For $800 I’m glad I got it out myself! Yikes!

  10. We used to fish for and fry catfish regularly in the summer. And I was always SO terrified of the bones. Not cool.
    Although I did giggle a little when you put your back into it. Sorry…

  11. oh my…that’s awful. Made me think of one of my favorite childhood movies and a scene where they sing about a guy who chokes on a bone in chicken soup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOrHs4kb-7c

  12. that is HORRIFYING. I think choking is one of the things I’m most frightened of. Especially if I’m ever home alone. I would totally go out that way, too. I just know it.

  13. I heart that last pic of you. Boneless ice cream gets me every time.

  14. Oh, this brings back memories of times down at the lake when I was a little girl eating fresh caught trout.
    Your grandma would just tell us to “eat more potatoes” whenever a bone got stuck….eew. (sometmes it worked!)
    Glad you are ok, Honey.
    We miss you!
    Love,
    Mom

  15. Oh hello cartoon post! I hate choking more than anything. Your face goes all red, and you get all hot, and everyone stares at you like you are a freak like NO ONE has ever choked before or anything. So embarrassing.
    My friend’s grandma is always raving on that if you swallow a bone it will cut your esophagus and then you may die, so you are lucky you escaped unharmed.
    Also, your mom’s comment was awesome.

  16. jyotirmaya mohanty

    LISTEN LISTEN PEOPLE I HAVE THE MOST BEST SOLUTION AND THIS IS A TRADITIONAL ONE AND A PROVED ONE:
    “JUST SWALLOW A PALMFUL OF DRY COOKED RICE . IT INSTANTLY RELIEVES YOU OF FISH BONE PAIN IN THROAT BUT BONE GOES TO STOMACH WHERE IT IS BROKEN DOWN.”

    I M NOT BLUFFING BUT I MYSELF BELONG TO “ORISSA” OR “ODISHA” AN EASTERN COASTAL STATE OF INDIA {ASIA}
    WHERE FISH HAS BEEN THE BASIC FOOD SOURCE FOR A THOUSAND OF YEARS. I HAVE FACED THIS ALMOST 60-70 TIMES . FIND ME ON FACEBOOK IF U HAVE DOUBTS I WELCOME CRITICISM . JUST THINK THAT THIS AN EMPIRICAL
    SOLUTION EVLOVED FROM A MILLENIUM

  17. jyotirmaya mohanty

    I m eager to help u mam

  18. jyotirmaya mohanty

    I UNDERSTAND BECOZ I MYSELF HAVE FACED THIS BADLY .
    SO IN OUR ODISHA STATE MOTHERS ACTUALLY SIEVE OUT THE FISH BONES MANUALLY BEFORE FEEDING THE FISH DISHES TO THEIR KIDS. I AM EAGER TO HELP OUT U MAM. SOMETIMES FISH BONES GET PINCHED ON MY TOOTH GUM AND A LITTLE BLOOD COMES OUT . BELIEVE IT OR NOT BEFORE MY TEENAGE
    I HAD THE SKILLS TO SIEVE OUT FISH BONES BY MY TEETH AND TONGUE DURING CHEWING . MY NEIGHBOURS USED TO GET SURPRISED .

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