Public Service Announcement for Singles

How to unchoke yourself if you’re dying alone.



Just drink some water.

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Finish the job off quickly, you mean?


Self Heimlick does work. Just don’t panic.

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Years ago, one of my cousins was telling us a story about how he, in effect, saved his own life. He’d be out for dinner with his wife and friends and, in his own words, was pretty “well oiled”. He couldn’t quite recall exactly how it happened but he managed to inhale a bay leaf from the casserole that, from his description, seemed to be sitting on his larynx and acting as a sort of a one way valve…allowing passage of air out (as he tried to cough) but flapping shut when he tried to breathe in.

He actually was getting more and more panic stricken as folk tried to ineffectually pat him on the back or offer him sips of water (srsly :roll_eyes:). He recalled something about punching folk in the belly but couldn’t manage himself or communicate to the others what to do so, in a panic, flung himself on the back of a chair which was just enough to do the business.

He obviously survived to tell the tale and, being a good storyteller, had dh and me in stitches describing and demonstrating his would be survival antics. Mind you, his wife was really mad at us for not taking the story more seriously (per my cousin’s account, we probably weren’t supposed to)…which I actually thought was a bit nervy seeing as she was one of the assembled posse were clueless enough to be doing exactly what DIDN’T work!


A self Heimlich should be taught in grade school. I am with your cousin, as the “funniness” of his story makes it more memorable as useful to others.

d fb

I was choking on a hamburger bun at a bar. My wife saw it and started running up and down the bar yelling he is choking, he is choking. Somebody came over and performed the heimlich on me getting rid of the obstruction. I never laughed so hard in my life. Picture a woman with her hands over her head running up and down the bar. Our friends didn’t help because they were laying on the floor laughing so hard. That is when I knew, when it comes to an emergency, I better be able to handle it myself.



If you are truly choking that doesn’t work because the water just sits on top of the blockage.


Not quite. While I have only gone down the road of choking and then drank water on a few occasions before a panic set in the esophagus is somewhat flexible. Water is the universal solvent. Water will find its way around the blockage unless it is absolutely wedged.

I have been very close to that eating quickly at home by myself. I reach for water and clear it.

Your esophagus is a hollow, muscular tube that carries food and liquid from your throat to your stomach. Muscles in your esophagus propel food down to your stomach. One of the most common symptoms of esophagus problems is heartburn, a burning sensation in the middle of your chest. Problems with the esophagus include acid reflux and GERD.

This means something here. While you would not eat something on top of a blockage, water will be propelled down the esophagus into the blockage which will then also be propelled. That is our nature.

When the water hits the blockage it becomes an object to propel. It is not just running water but a small body of water. The motion of the esophagus will loosen the food.

Unless you die first.


Just do not try anything on a 737 with the door open.

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Choking happens when a foreign body blocks the airway, not the esophagus.

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Fully admit I did not know.

Again unlike the blow-hards I believe in admitting when wrong. I hate debates where ejits can not do that.

People can have a JD or Ph.D and not be up to anything worth a damn when they are always right. It means they never found any worth in themselves when they entered their profession.

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It’s an easy error to make. When something does get wedged in the esophagus it’s not uncommon for folk to call it “choking”

My sis in law has esophageal strictures from persistent acid reflux. She should be on a regular pro active regimen of dilatation but my brother in law (yes, a PhD who thinks he knows) reckons only to get it done “when necessary” As a consequence, it’s not uncommon for her to periodically have food get stuck. Whenever we’ve been there she tends to panic and reckon she can’t breathe. All the time drawing in deep breaths …in order to say she can’t breathe/she’s choking.


Was your sister in law using Tums or Rolaids for years?

If so that causes the body to produce more acid. Common stuff. Those two should not be legal OTC.

No idea. I do know that she’s been a heavy boozer for years, developed ulcer disease and stopped taking her proton pump inhibitors after she’d read something online … no doubt with the approval of bro in law PhD.

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I love that my BIL MD/Ph.D in a discussion of science in his field will say we do not know yet.

He and I, Q > A > Q > A > Q > we do not know yet, it is possible but we just do not know…that can happen in the space of five minutes six times.

Q = question
A = Answer

Ulcers in the stomach?

The antibiotic for that stomach ulcer-causing bacteria is needed to protect the esophagus from cancer.