Time To Breathe When You’re Choking

from-the-desk-of-jc-dodge

While having a conversation the other night with a friend, he said “I keep getting emails and messages from people saying ‘Thank God we have some time to breathe now.’.”. This was in regards to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency (My friend Sparks31 says the “conservatives” all going back to sleep now LOL). My response to my friend was, “They think they have time to breathe because they’ve never been choking.” Of course my friend asked what I meant, so I explained my analogy which was based off of something that happened to me not too long ago.

A while back, my Wife (at the time she was my Fiancee) “Mason Dixon Vixen” aka “WMD”  and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie. It was a nice relaxing weekend for a change with no classes or “must do’s” scheduled, and all was right with the world. My Wife loves gummy bears, and had broken open a bag of them, and as she normally does, she was sharing some with me.

She had handed me a handful, and as I popped three of them in my mouth, apparently one of the little dastardly bastards made its way into my trachea/windpipe. Well let me tell you something. I have seen a lot of things in my life, and been in a number of harrowing life or death situations, but at that moment none of those incidents compared to realizing I couldn’t breathe.

So let’s go through the timeline:

  1. Realize I can’t breathe and I PANIC! Great…here comes “Fight or Flight”.
  2. Adjust my position by standing up to see if I could cough it out.
  3. Realize that didn’t work because I didn’t have the air for it, then trying to remember what comes next.
  4. Did I say I was PANICKING?!!!!!!
  5. Vixen stands up and calmly says “What do you want me to do?”
  6. I gave her the hands signal (hands under my sternum) for the Heimlich Maneuver.
  7. She applies the Heimlich Maneuver
  8. I didn’t appear to work at first, but apparently, it had loosened it up a little.
  9. I then realized I could get a small amount of air past “Satan’s Own Gummy Bear.
  10. I bent over, sucked in a little air, and was able to cough out the SOGB.

Now for some background info. I have been blessed with an ability to normally stay calm while everyone around me is freaking out. I normally feel most comfortable and calm in bad situations. Although having good training helps, I attribute that ability to being how God wired me, not because I’m such a “Bad Ass” or anything silly like that. Throughout the whole choking situation, the longer it went on, the calmer I got. I believe that was for a few different reasons.

  1. Even though I have never been choking, I have been trained in the proper response to this situation for 30 years. It is an ingrained, second nature response.
  2. Between #1 and #2 in the timeline above was critical. This is where “Fight or Flight” kicks in, and that is where constant repetitive training is gold because it will help in overriding the primitive responses everyone is born with.
  3. I’m a Victor, not a Victim. That’s not about being a “bad ass”, It’s about your mindset. I KNEW I would find a solution, but I also KNEW I was on a time hack.
  4. I know a guy who had this happen while driving, and he stopped, got out, and performed the Heimlich on himself using his truck bumper, AND IT WORKED!
  5. I had my Best Friend right there with me, and I know she is also trained in dealing with that situation/scenario.
whitney-shooting-the-lil-badger

My Hero, sighting in her Chiappa “Lil Badger” survival rifle.

Bottom Line, I was prepared and set up for success because I still continue to train and prepare for something I’d never experienced, but had always known was a possibility. Going through the same training year after year is monotonous, but that is what makes it second nature, and not something you have to “Pull up the file” on when it really matters. That monotonous training is what helped my mind rationalize that I would find a solution. Honestly though, having a squared away partner was probably the deciding factor.

Now your saying “JC, how does that relate to the “breathing room” we have been given with the Trump Win?”. Well here’s how it relates. I could have stopped doing a number of things on my own that related to training in First Aid/CPR, etc. years ago, because I “Had it down pat.”, right? I chose not to do that. I continue to go through the monotonous practice, to include “war gaming” different scenarios just to stay sharp.

Yes, we have been given a breather. I even talked about it here. This is not the time to sit down and take a 30 minute break on the ruckmarch (anyone who has done it knows what I’m talking about. and that it is a “wrong answer”). Take 5 minutes to readjust your pack straps, get some water and a power bar in your pie hole, and get back to doing what it is we do as Survivalists which is PREPARE and TRAIN.

Time is relative. You have got to treat what we are preparing for like you are choking. There was no lead in to that incident. One minute “Deadpool” was saying “What the ass?”, the next second I was gasping for air and my life. If you’ve taken a couple weeks off because you think we won, Great, good for you. Now get a reality check, and get back to work! The probability is we’ll be “choking on that win” before long.

I’ll leave you with this quote,

” On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died.”

P.S. The best takeaway from my “near death experience” was this. You might always wonder if your Wife/Husband/Significant Other can do what needs to be done under stress when a life is on the line. I no longer have to wonder, because I honestly believe my Wife’s quick and calm response was the reason I didn’t pass out and need EMS or worse. Thanks Darlin’, You were the “Bad Ass” in that situation.

Threat post12

My “Bad Ass” Wife

P.S.S. Sorry to disappoint those who would have liked to seen me “Bite it” in that situation. As I said to my command after a particularly bad situation in Iraq occurred that should have killed me, “I guess the man upstairs isn’t done with me yet.” Plus, I have a “Battle Buddy” (and future Mother of more of my children) that ROCKS, and none of her guns are blue.

cake-topper

There’s a reason this cake topper was chosen for our wedding cake.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

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23 thoughts on “Time To Breathe When You’re Choking

  1. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Giving me a boatload of credit here though. I don’t see the point in panic when something needs to be done. It doesn’t help in any situation. Guess I just have to watch you with my bears…. #bigdamnhero

  2. Pingback: MDT: Time To Breathe When You Are Choking | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  3. Congratulations to your wedding!!! Didnt even know you had become enraged! Wishing you the very best in life!

    Cheers,

    Fred

    PS: Oh, yes, the article was poignant and timely too, Will crosspost it.

  4. That is a hell of a wife you have there Sergeant.

    You appear to have chosen wisely. Both of you. May your days be peaceful and happy.

    Doc

  5. Glad your still kickin’ Brother;) If people aren’t using this time to get squared away then they are foolish… I think most like Sparks said will think they have at least another 4 years so they will put off what they need to do…I think it’s human nature to wait until the pain makes them do something and then their options are quite limited… You have people that still live in a city for God’s sake and have no intention of going anywhere until they have to “bug out”(which is a fantasy unless you have a predetermined bug out spot)…My offer still stands though so they do have options if they choose to use it…

  6. Damn JC,well,will say your instincts in having a partner when “Satanic Gummy Bears”attack spot on,thanks Whitney!With the life you live to be taken out by a gummy bear,well,just too weird but life certainly takes us down interesting roads!Perhaps we need a plan to take out these Satanic Candies!

  7. Great post as usual. Had a very similar thing happen to me years ago in high school. A buddy and I were alone at his house in the basement playing drums and guitar. I went upstairs for some reason. My buddy was still downstairs banging on the drums. I picked up a piece of hard candy out of a bowl in the kitchen and popped it in my mouth. Somehow it got down the wrong pipe and I started choking. I realized I was in deep trouble and started hitting my abs against the edge of the countertop. Really had no clue what I was doing but out popped the candy! By then my friend came upstairs and saw me bent over the sink. He started pounding on my back in a panic and asking are you alright?! It took me a while to catch my breath and tell him I was fine. Its pretty funny thinking back but scared the #!$% out of me at the time.

  8. JCD,

    I learned a principle when I went through Combat Diver training. Of course, I learned it the hard way.

    Here it is: When you cut a man’s air supply off, he gets very focussed, very quickly. It is a principle I applied a couple of times when I was a Drill Sergeant.

    God bless you and your lovely wife.

  9. In my case it was a cooked green onion that came on my fajitas.

    Ended up choking on it, and could not cough it out. That feeling as you use the last bit of air in your lungs is not something i ever want to experience again.

    And no self rescue via hiemlich was not working so i had to resort reaching down my throat and pulling the onion out.

    No way was i having “done in by a green onion” on my headstone.

    Awesome job by your better half in keeping calm and keeping you from going down.

  10. Congratulations to the two of you. You just spurred me to (FINALLY!) teach the Heimlich maneuver to my foreign-born wife, who had never heard of it.

  11. I too saw the mention from Sparks that he was cutting back on scheduling classes due to past experiences where patriots will tend to “go to sleep” when Republicans are in office.
    I think this is the exact opposite of what should be happening. Yes, we are not facing a known, immediate threat. That doesn’t mean we go to sleep.
    We still have Soros attending meetings behind closed doors, the main stream media pushing the agenda and up coming elections including local and state races which will have as much affect on us as the presidential election did. Locally, Louisiana is seeing a Republican and Democrat in a run off for US Senator. Democrats from across the nation have contributed to the war chest of their candidate who now has twice as much money raised as his Republican rival. We need as many seats in the Senate and House as possible and we are still involved in this battle.
    In less than two years we will be buried under political ads for candidates for the US House. If we are not organized we could loose that chamber. We had better not go to sleep or the balance of power could shift in less than 23 months.
    We don’t need to be urgently gearing up and cutting corners due to being on high alert but now is the time to get back to basics, work on fundamentals and get squared away. Now should be the time for every 3%/OKer/Patriot group to be singing up as groups for classes like those Sparks gives. If anything, instead of cutting classes he should be overwhelmed with requests for training. The same goes for any Mosby, Max Velocity or Sam Culper classes. Tactical medicine and TCCC classes should be booked solid in every state. I have a Doc Bones/Nurse Amy suture/staple class coming up in March I’ve already registered for. I’m upgrading to Extra class ham radio operator. I’m getting dental work I’ve put off done and planning abdominal surgery to repair stuff done during an emergency surgery I had done 6 months ago.
    And everyone should be working on PT. Ruck marching, going on hikes, etc should be increasing for everyone. Maybe these 3%ers could start incorporating Spartan Mudder 5K type events into their FTXs. Or they all take a 2 day Project Appleseed class together as a group.
    Everyone of these Neighborhood Protection Team type groups should be working on maps for their area, teaching map reading and land navigation, working on building up Intel on possible threats and training up.
    Yes it’s a long post but going to sleep should be the last thing we are doing right now. We have way too much we need to be getting done before the threat level goes back up.

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