Monday, November 24, 2008
I bit into an organic Macintosh apple and immediately, a piece of peel got lodged in my throat, causing me to choke, wheeze and turn blue.
"Heimlich maneuver," I gasped to Flip and turned my back.
He put his arms around me and I tried to cough it up. It was clear he didn't know how to do one, so I quickly looked it up online. While choking. Luckily I can type fast. It could save my life someday, assuming I live through this one.
Step 1: The directions said to ask the choking person to stand if he or she is sitting. (Check.)
Step 2: Place yourself slightly behind the standing victim. (Check.)
Step 3: Reassure the victim that you know the Heimlich maneuver and are going to help. (We can skip this one. I know better but my options are limited.)
Step 4: Place your arms around the victim's waist. (No, not like that. You're saving my life -- it's different. Cough, cough.)
Step 5: Make a fist with one hand and place your thumb toward the victim, just above his or her belly button. (Didn't go so well. First I had to roll down my sweat pants to find my belly button, not the C-section indentation that resembles it. I kept trying to force his hand into a fist and he kept opening it.)
Step 6: Grab your fist with your other hand. (I grabbed his other hand and tried to grasp his fist with it. He resisted. In fact, he was beginning to get angry and told me to drink some water. That's his cure for everything. I was afraid it would lodge the apple peel further down my esophagus. Coughed some more, unproductively.)
Step 7: Deliver five upward squeeze-thrusts into the abdomen. (The angle was wrong. Flip is very tall. I am not. I wondered if these directions actually help anyone who really needs them.)
Step 8: Make each squeeze-thrust strong enough to dislodge a foreign body. (Right. We don't even dance well together. See above. I said, "Forget it" and tried to give myself a Heimlich Maneuver. It can't be done.)
At this point, I gave up and began looking for the bright light to go into, which seemed imminent.
There is more.
Step 9: Understand that your thrusts make the diaphragm move air out of the victim's lungs, creating a kind of artificial cough. (I'm still coughing. Nothing is being dislodged, though.)
Step 10: Keep a firm grip on the victim, since he or she can lose consciousness and fall to the ground if the Heimlich maneuver is not effective. (Get away from me, loser. I'm choking here.)
Step 11: Repeat the Heimlich maneuver until the foreign body is expelled. (Heimlich can kiss my ass. I should have used this time to make my Will instead.)
Checking further, there are instructions for doing it to yourself by leaning over a chair and driving your fist towards yourself with an upward thrust. This sounds a lot like Hara-kiri for Dummies. It didn't work either. Impressive bruises, though.
Flip suggested I make an appointment tomorrow to see the doctor. I'll get right on it.