So this week has been interesting. I made a post on my Facebook page yesterday and it has gone “viral”, at least among my friends and I thought I would add a little clarity to what actually happened here on my blog.
I was at a company event yesterday and part of the event included lunch. the lunch was a salad bar along with some great looking turkey wraps, shrimp, chicken, and shrimp. I prepared my plate and sat with some fellow co-workers ready to enjoy some good food and some great company. I took a bite out of the potato salad but a piece of potato decided it was gonna get lodged in my throat. I can usually get relief by drinking whatever is in front of me and in this case it was iced tea. I tried to swallow the tea and the potato decided it wasn’t going to budge Tea started to come out of my nose, and although I drank more the potato wasn’t moving. I started to choke and realized that I was having trouble breathing. I got up out of my seat, but not 2 seconds later was on my knees realizing I was in trouble.
People at my table realized I was in distress and started asking if anyone in the room knew the Heimlich maneuver. the noise level started rising and then all of a sudden I felt these arms around me and the person performed the Heimlich and I was able to finally get the food down and breathe. I was scared, I was embarrassed, and I was thankful this person was able to help me. I went outside and got some air, but after a few minutes I realized just how shaken up I was. I realized I actually could have died, and panic ensued in my head. I started shaking, tearing up, and wanted to just run away and hide from all 91 of my co-workers. but something amazing happened, when I came back inside, there was a huge amount of people that came up to me and just wanted to hug and hold me to make sure I was ok. You really never know how much people care about you until something like this happens. I was overcome with emotion and although I wasn’t showing it on the outside, inside I was losing it. I wanted to break down sobbing and lose all inhibitions, but I was afraid to show that kind of emotion in front of people I respected. I kept it all in and decided to be strong and assure everyone I was ok, and it was a minor issue.
24 hours later and I have had time to think about all that has happened. You see, yesterday’s events wasn’t all about how close I was to death, it was an event that made me realize how much I love what I do, and how much I love the people I work with. I was presented with a couple of opportunities to make a difference in the company, and because of that, realized how much people look to me for advice, leadership, and comfort. My entire career I have always been the guy that stayed hidden in the background, not making waves and just doing enough to keep my job. After yesterday, I feel a larger sense of responsibility and an expectation to make a difference. I embrace this role and look forward to what the future holds.
To my friends and relatives, look for me to be a more active participant on social media, and to my co-workers, look for me to be more involved and accepting of responsibility and accountability. I’m not just going through the motions anymore, I want to make a difference, and I look forward to the challenge. I want to be a leader to those I work with, and I want to make an impact on everyone I come in contact with.
To Melissa King, the wonderful woman who saved my life… there aren’t enough words in the English Language to describe how thankful I am to you. Your quick response and action saved my life, and although we may not work side by side on a daily basis, I will always feel connected to you, and I will always be indebted to you. To the rest of my co-workers, your outpouring of love, caring, and concern did not go unnoticed and I thank you so much for showing me not only how much you care about me, but making me understand and realize just how much I care about you, the company, and the relationships I have with all of you. I am looking forward to the future for the first time in a very long time, and understanding how much I am loved allows me to move forward with hope, and expectations of great things.
stay tuned… the future looks bright… and I am thankful to be alive…