Heimlich and Adrenalin…a Powerful Cocktail

Who strong-armed the bike off him? None other than me…and I’m no Hercules.

Heimlich and Adrenalin…a Powerful Cocktail

I want to say right now: I’m a big believer in taking courses or workshops that help save lives (CPR, the Heimlich Method), etc. Why? I’ve seen what these techniques can do.

Years ago, my husband and I were eating dinner, a nice little combination of grilled steak, potatoes, and vegetables. We had wine to accompany. All of a sudden, he clutched at his throat, telling me (without words) he was choking.

He took a gulp of wine, hoping to wash down whatever was stuck, but that didn’t help. Before my eyes, he began turning ash-grey. All the while, I watched, helplessly.

I hopped around nervously, agitating,…weighing whether to call 911, but then reasoned, “By the time they get here, he’ll be dead.” “I HAVE to do the Heimlich, myself.” On shaky legs, I got behind his chair and heaved him up, my arms encircling his waist and chest.

And then, I took a deep breath, focused, locked my hands together and began the pumping action into his solar plexus, just like I’d seen (and yawned through) on countless occasions of mandatory faculty meetings, throughout my 30 year career as teacher.

Fortunately, for me (and others) I stay calm during crises, despite imy initial delay.

Suddenly, I heard “Stop!…”Stop!” (said in a feeble voice); “…It came out already.”
I’d been so intent on what I was doing that I hadn’t noticed. In other words, my pressured pump action had really done the trick and expelled the piece of meat.

Did adrenalin play a role, too? You bet. Just like the time his 380 pound BSA motorcycle fell on him, when he turned it on top of himself, some years earlier. He was outside, wheeling the bike out of the garage, when he got caught (on the downside) between the bike and my parked Honda. Pinned as he was, under its weight, he failed to acquire the necessary leverage to raise it off his body.

From the kitchen window, I saw the motorcycle fall on him, heard his muffled “umph” and raced out to help him. Somewhere I recalled hearing on the news where a mother saved her child who’d been pinned under an automobile in their driveway. She witnessed the awful event, raced to her child, and lifted the 3100 pound car off his tiny frame.

He lived and so did their story—in magazines everywhere. “Mother’s Adrenaline-Fueled Strength Saves Child” became a folklore legend. That story leapt to mind in this instance and before I knew it, I lifted the bike, clear off him (and I’m no Hercules). It’s just I was bent on my mission.

So, survival tactics to be employed in “kitchen emergencies” (those common awful occurrences that happen around the home) such as the Heimlich Method, response action for suspected stroke, giving CPR to a child who’s almost drowned in a pool, knowing how to use EPI devices for allergic reactions, applying tourniquet pressure to open wounds. or knowing how to leverage something to lift heavy machinery off someone are critical to all.

Adults alone shouldn’t internalize these ready responses. The whole family should learn the procedures.

For instance, when my younger child was 10, she fell off a high branch of a tree in our yard that she and a friend climbed. When the little friend came to my door to tell me, “Mrs. Mellor, Amanda just fell out of the tree and she’s not moving,“ I raced across the lawn toward her.

In a moment of panic, I proceeded to try and raise her, when I heard her small, frail voice: “Mom, don’t lift me…Just get the ambulance. I’m not supposed to move.” Thank goodness she had the presence of mind I lacked, knowing that her head shouldn’t be moved until medical staff determined the nature of injury.

How’d she know this? She’d learned it in school.

I never scoff at these as beyond the pale of what’s necessary, for when you’ve got a family like mine (who’s always pushing the envelope,) you never knows when you’re going to need to perform some herculean effort to save a life.

I just want to be able to deliver (oh, yeah, that might be another first-aid technique I should learn.).

***Now, how about you? Have you employed your own kitchen emergency techniques? (those common everyday remedies that can save a life?) Tell us about it at Comment or Leave a Comment.

***Here’s some facts about the Epi Pen. You’ll be gald you read. Why Epi? Epinephrine. Site shows you how to inject and where (never in buttocks and never intravenously!) Great source of info. Share your own info with us, so we’re all a little safer and tell us, too, about the time you played Hercules.


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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