Everybody used to make fun of me for way I cut Hank's Tofu Pups and Not Dogs into microscopic pieces when he was a toddler.
I am afraid of choking. I know where this fear comes from. We had family friends with whom we would go skiing each winter and Larry, the dad, told us a vivid story of his daughter, Melanie, choking on a cookie when she was little. He described in great detail his feelings of terror and the dark blue color of her face when she had that cookie lodged in her airway.
Cut to graduate school and classes dedicated to dysphagia, aspiration, (i.e., choking). I won't touch those patients with dysphagia with a 10-foot pole.
Cut to last night. Hank comes stumbling into my brother's kitchen with the look of terror on his face. He can hardly speak and his face was white, eyes wide. He started crying and coughed out the word, "CHOKING!" He had lodged a piece of hard candy in his airway. By the time he got to me he had managed to cough and swallow. At first I was sure it had lodged in his lungs but he assured me he swallowed it.
He cried for about 20 minutes.
He's all over it today but announced to me that he will never eat candy AGAIN.
Me? I'm starting to come down from the adrenaline rush. And tonight when the pizza comes out of the oven, my knife is ready to cut it into 5mm X 5mm pieces.