Sunday, November 6, 2016

I didn't fully realize what was happening till it was over

When was the last time you did something brave?

Brave can be an adjective that means possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.

I was trying to think of when I did something "brave" and I thought of an incident that happened a few year ago. My daughter was in elementary school at the time and it was just the two of us in the house. I was in our home office working on the computer and she was in the living room watching television. Since my daughter was an infant she made noise. Even when she is not talking, you hear her giggling or doing something with her hands or a game; she always makes noise. When you don't hear noise, you know something is wrong.

This particular day she had grabbed a piece of hard candy. A caramel or something. I could hear her in the living room and then I noticed I didn't hear her. I heard the TV, but not her. I stood up and walked into the living room and there she was standing in the middle of the room, her head sticking out more, her mouth opened and she motioned her hand to her throat. She was choking.

At the time I was a Girl Scout leader and one of the requirements was to be CPR/First Aid certified. I had taken a course given by the American Heart Association and learned about the Heimlich maneuver. While in the class I wondered if I would remember how to do this move in an emergency. I would have my answer today.

I immediately moved toward her, told her that I that I knew she was choking and that I was going to get behind her and help her. She didn't resist and let me start. I wrapped my arms around her, clasped my hands together like I was taught and pulled in and up towards her chest. Nothing happened. I relaxed a brief moment, took a deep breath and told her I was going to do it again. This time I pulled in harder. That time the candy dislodged and out it came of her mouth and fell onto the floor. I let go and immediately examined her face (she never changed color fortunately) and asked her some basic questions: "How do you feel? Does anything hurt? Are you breathing okay?" She was fine. I threw out the candy, pretty sure I gave her some water to sip on and went back into the office.

I sat down in the chair and the adrenaline rush that I was on subsided and my legs and arms went to jelly. I put my head in my hands and exhaled. Oh my God, I just did the Heimlich on my baby, I thought to myself. My strength was gone for a few moments and I was shaky and on the verge of tears. I allowed myself to feel these feelings and then regrouped. I did the Heimlich. In case of an emergency, I could and would remember what to do. A year or two later, I went back for another training in First Aid and CPR. This time I learned out to use the automatic defibrillator machine. Those things are cool.

During the training I offered my story of what I was able to do because of the training I had. I reassured the other participants that they would know what to do in case of an emergency. The skills become innate, automatic and allow you to do the unthinkable. They allow you to be brave.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I look forward to hearing from you. Let me know what you think.