Food gets stuck in my throat a lot.  Lots of different sorts of food; chicken, peanut butter, bread, steak, crackers, etc. I'm starting to get a bit paranoid from it.  It really doesn't fit my previous M.O.  My parents called me guzzler as a kid, denoting the fact that I could down anything in a glass faster than anyone in our family.  I still can.  It really doesn't matter what the liquid in the cup, mug or glass is, it is finished off long before anyone around me is half done with theirs.

I don't know if you've ever seen the "30 Rock" episode where the always single Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) chokes in her apartment where she is yet again alone?  Later she comments that she has a fear of choking while alone in her apartment.  I have a bit of a fear of getting food stuck in my throat without a bottle of water nearby.  Actually, it happened just the other day, again.

We live on the 3rd floor in a condo loft downtown.  As I dumped my crap from work on the counter the other day, I reached for 2 saltine crackers to eat as I walked back down 3 flights of stairs to the mail. [You might be thinking, why don't you have the key with you so when you pull in the garage on the first floor after work you can just get your mail BEFORE you go up!  That is far too lazy.  I want the added climbing of stairs so I purposely leave the mailbox key in the loft.  This exercise concept might be foreign to a handful of you, especially my dear friend Big D.]  Who would think one would need water with them to just walk down some stairs while eating two saltines. 

I took a bite of the first cracker as I hit the first flight of stairs down.  Though not a kid starving after school, it was after work and I was a bit hungry.  I chewed and swallowed but it didn't go all the way down.  I was hungry and naively thought maybe the other half of the cracker might force the first half down. [Don't panic Nancy.  Just swallow.  Pool some saliva to create moisture.  Did I not drink enough water today?  Am I dehydrated?  You know better than to not have water with you.  This isn't the first time!]  I really did try to calm the rising tide of panic inside that was battling against my Zen-ish self-talk.

If I had an Adam's apple, that thing would have been moving up and down like the pump handle of a well. I kept swallowing hoping that just the mechanism of repetitive swallowing would take over where the lack of spit and moisture had failed me. 

There is a bathroom across from the mailboxes in the lobby of our building.  I flew down the stairs hoping to unstick the cracker pieces that seemed stuck to the walls of my throat. OCD or not, I needed water!  There was a brief fleeting moment where I wondered what I would do if I met up with one of our neighbors in the stairwell.  I quickly decided I didn't have time for those thoughts and went back to panicking over dry crackers in my throat.

Water dribbled down my cheek and neck as I attempted to turn my head to get my mouth under the sink faucet.  I guzzled in as much water as I thought dry stuck saltine crackers needed to dissolve.  My panic subsided.  I looked down to see the second saltine cracker still clutched in my left hand.  Was I hungry enough to risk it again?   I waited to put it in my mouth until I landed back at the top of the third set of stairs.  Water was nearby.

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