The Importance of Chewing: A Lesson Brought Home

My mother and I recently went on a cruise vacation and there were some “firsts” for me even with this being my 21st cruise.  One of the most shaking was what happened to me a couple of days out into the cruise.  Here is what happened.

This day was landmark in many ways.  While on vacation we were at our first port of call and the weather was amazing.  We had a sea day with it cloudy and rainy all day long.  Secondly, at dinner tonight I got a piece of fruit, which I thought was pineapple stuck in my throat and it would not go down.  I drank water, nothing.  Got more water, nothing.  It was not impeding my breathing but felt like something was just stuck and would not go down.  I knew I had to get it out if it would not go down.  I walked out of the Lido dining area to a “lobby” of sorts and bent over and coughed.  It shot out into my hand. RELIEF!  Much to my surprise it was not a piece of pineapple but a piece of watermelon.  It should not have gotten swallowed when it did.  It was too large of a piece to be swallowed.  Luckily I could still talk and breathe while it was stuck.  A female crew member came over to me and asked me if I was alright.  I told her I was now, I had something stuck in my throat.  Luckily, I did not panic I did not cause a scene nor try to attract any attention or involving others.  AT the moment it was uncomfortable but not scary.  Afterwards, I realized it was scary!  Moral of the story is to make sure you chew your food thoroughly before swallowing it!  I think talking and taking a drink before I should have contributed to the situation.  It went down before it was supposed to!

Chewing not only aids digestion, the bottom line it can save your life!  CHEW before swallowing your food! Stop talking long enough to finish chewing or you could have a mishap!

In reflecting on this incident, this situation triggered a memory of my dad while he and I were out eating one day for lunch.  He too had gotten something “stuck” in his throat and had to leave the table. I knew he was eating very fast and wasn’t chewing properly luckily there were no life threatening incidents but it reminded me to not go down that same path.  It was scary for me when those times happened to him and I was an adult.  That memory scared me more than the incident but I am being much more mindful of chewing and talking and swallowing while I am eating.

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