Friday, December 19, 2008

Save Me!

I think my dad was exceptionally proud of knowing that at one point in my life, I was a card carrying First Aid/CPR certified individual. He made a point of showing me his own card. It was a bonding moment for the both of us. Mind you, my card stated that I was certified to bandage or save a life . . . whether I could remember how to bandage or save a life was another question. But it felt exhilarating to know that I had accomplished such a huge task, and having the card in my wallet was pretty cool. Dad had a much cooler card, but I won't quibble.

My First Aid/CPR certification has long since expired and I never got around to renewing it. I've always thought that if the occasion ever arose I could probably still swing the whole First Aid/CPR . . . no sweat. I've watched enough ER shows to be able to pull it off. How hard could it be? 

I was put to the test. It shook me to my core -- and even now, I'm sure I did it all wrong. The thought that someone's life was in my hands and in my ability to count and breath life back into their body, was frightening. Even though I appeared to be calm and collected, inside my heart was pounding out of control and my mind was racing trying to remember, "Was it 3 quick breaths and 2 compressions or is it 2 breaths and 3 compressions? Or is more than 3 or less than 2?" My cousin was able to get a hold of the paramedics and fire department and they came quick. I pushed every conceivable thought out of my mind for fear that I might start screaming words! thoughts! phrases! gibberish!

The sound of sirens in the distance never sounded so beautiful to my ears. They were coming, I told myself. Help was coming. They would help. They can help. They were calm and reassuring. I never doubted that they would know what to do. It was like watching a well oiled machinery up close and personal. My father was a fire fighter for over 30 years, and watching these men (men of his own calibre) working in such close quarters and still appearing cool, calm and collected; I was so proud of them...of their effort, their care and their compassion. It's an image that I will carry with me always. Thank you!


Ipo said...

What a frightening experience. It is terrifying to think that someone's future may depend on you. I hope that whomever it was you were administering life support to came through and that all is well. And you need to get recertified....they are valuable skills that everyone should have. BTW, happy holidays to you!!

twelvekindsofcrazy said...

I need to learn CPR. It's important. Thanks for the reminder.