Monday, June 29, 2009

Daddy Knows the Heimlich & Annie Better Practice


From Wikipedia: The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. per side of beef.

I won purple ribbons at the Klamath County Fair when I was in high school preparing a tri-tip sandwich. I may have even competed at the state fair with that same recipe.

At my wedding, tri-tip was served.

At my college graduations, tri-tip was served.

At big family gatherings, tri-tip is served.

The recipe for our marinade is wonderful. The meat tastes great warm and cold. My dad is a beef producer. Beef - It's what's for dinner.

Little did I ever suspect that Beef might try to knock off two of my beloved family members in a matter of weeks.

In May, my mom and dad traveled to San Francisco to promote Country Natural Beef at an in-store demo. My dad was outside the store working the BBQ. My mom was in the store, answering questions and providing samples for customers. Toward the end of the day, as my mother tells it, 'there was a break in customers', so she decided to take a sample herself. No sooner did she plop a piece of tri-tip into her mouth, a customer wandered up with a question.

In a rush to answer the customer, she swallowed quickly.

The meat immediately lodged in her throat. She grabbed her water bottle to try and wash it down. No luck. She motioned, 'just a minute' with her fingers and exited the store. She knew she was in trouble.

Dad was right there at his BBQ. Mom came up and made the 'I'm choking face' apparently.

He asked, "Are you choking?"

She nodded yes.

He then whipped her around and on his second try dislodged the piece of tri-tip from her throat.

A near by customer was very impressed. She asked if he had ever done that before and he told her no, but he couldn't let her die, it would be too hard to explain to the children.

Fast forward now to the week before school was out, Pendleton, Oregon, Sokoloski residence, location of the Washington Elem. end of the year BBQ.

Tri-tip was on the menu.

Marc at the BBQ - meat is done - slicing begins. He gets the last of the tri-tips carved and on the platter when he tosses back a bite of tri-tip...

The party continued with rave reviews. Everyone wanted to compliment Marc on his wonderful meat... but he was no where to be found.

I assumed he was inside using the bathroom, but when he still hadn't returned 30 minutes later I went to investigate. I found him upstairs in the bathroom, basically throwing up. He said he had 'lodged' a piece of meat in his throat and was trying to 'get it out.' He was breathing and talking fine, but if he tried to swallow the water would gurgle back up in his throat. He continued to gag and sputter about.

To protect you from all the nasty details, it wasn't working. So three hours later I left the party and my children in the hands of the last few staff members hanging out and hauled him to the hospital.

He was admitted directly into an ER room. (Apparently if you are 'gagging/throwing up' you get to skip the waiting room. The nurse administered a SOFT MUSCLE RELAXER* in the hopes his throat would relax enough to allow the piece of meat to pass- up or down.

(*Can you imagine the fun I had when I learned that is what they were giving him?)

Eventually the meat came up. It wasn't pretty, but we were ready to get home and get some rest as it was almost midnight.

Marc followed up with Dr. McBee today and will have a small surgical procedure in August called an esophageal dilation. Hopefully that will help his swallowing problems. He also may need to take medicine like Prilosec to keep his acid production down.

Hopefully we will be able to keep tri-tip on our menu for future gatherings and events. Marc's discharge directions were, 'small bites, chew thoroughly.' Mom take note those directions apply to you too. Dad, when I'm down I may want you to show me your technique on the Heimlich. Who knows which genes my children inherited from their grandmother and father...

Rest assured...Beef, it is still what is for dinner!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Don't give up on me...

I swear I have blogs left in me...I just need hours in the day. Keep posted for 'better late than never posts to follow'. More as a reminder for me, but also a taste of what should/will come soon:

Daddy Knows the Heimlich & Annie Better Practice
Fairs & Ribbons & More...Wanna See My Rosettes?
Minnesota - The Mall of America
Minnesota - The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis
Wisconsin - Vacation at the Cabin Then & Now
Wisconsin - Fish Tales
Minnesota - Duluth & Lake Superior
Wisconsin - Gambling, It's a Family Thing

I am sure there are more that I have already forgotten... and I am sure there will be many more blog-able moments this summer... stay tuned... stay patient (yes, you too Jason) and I will fill you in on the adventures.