Monday, March 30, 2009

Mrs. 4444 Asked About It

A few weeks ago over at she talked about the Heimlich maneuver. I commented and said that it had saved my life. She asked me to tell my story. So here it is.

I was working for a client in Bakersfield. He was sponsoring a lunch for the unions that would eventually build his power plant (he worked for Enron, but don't hold that against him). They had signed a contract with him to build the plant. Big celebratory lunch, which was my idea.

I was busy talking and eating...that's the important point. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe: meat was caught in my throat. I knew to do the universal sign; put your hands up to your throat. I was gasping for air. The first guy who tried it wasn't successful. Finally as I was about to pass out, another fellow came up and literally picked me up off my feet with the force of his fist. And that's the key point. The other fellow was trying to be nice. This guy knew that force would do it.

The meat actually went down not out; I started to breathe. Another guy from Enron guided me into the bar where he got me a big glass of water. I was shaking like a leaf and scared to death. On the flight home I began to feel real pain in my abdominal area. I had the biggest and darkest black and blue mark I had ever seen.

A few days later I had my annual pap smear. Well, as you women know, all is uncovered during those exams. My doctor saw the horrible bruising on my upper abdomen and assumed I was being abused by the man in my life. She started in on her talk about how help is available. She was visibly relieved when I told her what happened. Turns out she had been helped by the Heimlich maneuver when she choked on some pineapple when she was in med school.

So have you been saved by the Heimlich Maneuver or have you saved someone else? Tell me about it.
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Rondi said...

Just last week I got my annual Red Cross CPR certification! The Heimlich is step 2. Here’s what you do first:

Stand behind the victim. Put one arm around their front to hold them and bend the victim forward. Then pound the victim on their upper back. The point is to dislodge the stuck item.

Switch to the Heimlich if the back-pounding didn’t work. And both sides will be bruised --- but it sure beats the alternative.

I had a near-death experience at a tailgating party in grad school in 1975. Everyone watched; no one did anything. I’ve still not forgiven a few of those people.

blogauthor said...

I have - was a teen at the time. Kid at camp was choking on popcorn. Everyone just sat and stared - so i ran from wayyyy across the hall, thwacked him on the back really hard - nada. Then i did heimlich and the popcorn flew out at least 10 feet. Was scary but gave me confidence that i can do it.

Kirby3131 said...

I was sure I hadn't clicked on Mrs. 4444's blog, but kept getting a deja vu. LOL Oooh, so you read her blog, too!

I choke on a daily basis and thankfully have never needed the Heimlich, but I swear it's been close. I have not needed to do the Heimlich on someone, but I do know how to do it.

what a scary incident for you. Whew.

Mrs4444 said...

Wow! I'm so glad there was someone there who knew what to do! I'll bet you don't talk so much while eating any more... :)