Friday, January 29, 2021

All I Could Think of Was That There Were Better Ways to Die


I seriously thought it was going to end me. As is the case for most people who meet their demise unexpectedly, it all started like any regular day with no warning of what was about to happen. I had gotten some easy chores out of the way, did some exercise, and then had my late breakfast. Then came the time to take my daily supplements. 

I took out the pills out of the pill box and laid them on the table as I poured myself a full glass of water. I needed to take 7 pills, 4 of which are ginormous, at least by my standards. And because time is precious and I just wanted it over and done with, and also because I didn't want to drink more water than I'd have to, I decided to swallow the two biggest pills together. 

As soon as I gulped the two with a bit of water, I immediately felt something had gone terribly wrong. I felt the tablets stuck in my throat, as if they had gone down horizontally. I began to panic, with grim thoughts coursing through my imagination as I simultaneously gripped my full glass of water and started drinking furiously...

"Oh my God, I'm gonna die! I'm choking and this is not how I imagined it will all end. Shouldn't it be more dramatic, more meaningful, less stupid??"

"Does my husband know how to do the Heimlich maneuver? If not, can I do it on myself against this countertop?"

"Is this how it all ends, me choking on my vitamins? Can there be a more ironic death? How stupid is this going to look on my obituary?!"

My husband had just left the table and didn't even notice something was wrong until he turned around and saw water dribbling down my chin. I didn't care anymore, my instinct was just to keep drinking as fast as I could. I managed to wave my hand at him as if to say 'stop' and then mumbled, "Wait, don't go, I might be choking."

I ran to the sink and kept drinking more water. At some point, my husband emphatically said, "Swallow hard!" and I hurriedly complied. After about three full glasses, I finally felt the pills had 'unstuck' themselves, and I'm sure had partially dissolved from all the water I had drunk. 

I let out a sigh of relief and assured my husband I was going to be okay. Then I immediately made a pact with myself never to swallow more than one huge pill at a time. 

I also wondered if I'll keep having more of these embarrassing 'almost fatal' experiences like this one, or that bike accident in CO in 2016. I hope not. It's beginning to be more annoying than entertaining. 

But if there's really anything I've learned from these experiencesother than chewables being the safer betit's that up until the end, I exhibited both vanity and pride as I helplessly desired to dictate how death should take me. I suspect this tendency is more common among us humans than most of us would care to admit. 


  1. Scary, but a good lesson for all of us. As we age, it can also be harder to swallow. I try to find petite versions of certain vitamins, especially the calcium supplements.

  2. Ugh. Horse pills, we call them. I think I take two of those same pills. And every time, I think, "Swallow carefully! You wouldn't want one of those stuck where it shouldn't be!"
    A timely lesson for me, Joy!

  3. So scary. I often think those thoughts when I'm eating my baby carrots and make sure I chew them carefully. So sorry for what you had to go through, but at least lesson was learned.

  4. Believe it or not this too happened to my grandmother many years ago...very scary.

  5. Ate Joy! I swallow 4 times that amount in one gulp!

  6. I felt for you! I was happy to find a smaller Vitamin D that’s also gel sooooo much better. Last year for the first time ever I swallows a fish one. It was so fine I didn’t feel in my mouth when chewing. It has made me slow down on eating fish. It had been filleted. Anyway I did all the things - balled up a piece of bread and it did not move. I finally got a mirror and looked and It was lodged sideways. I reached passed the gag zone and pulled it out. Thank goodness you can breathe passed a fishbone.


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