Today I was all set to write a funny little piece about the Sisyphean task of trying to maintain clean laundry in a household with four children. And then, this morning, while at the gym I saw a man go into cardiac arrest and, in all likelihood, die.
Having watched my own wife go into cardiac arrest a few years back, I have what I am pretty certain to be Post Traumatic Stress whenever I witness CPR. Even CPR on a CPR dummy causes my heart rate to increase, my throat to constrict and tears to come. It is troubling to have such an involuntary response yet I recognize that there is very little I can do about it.
This stress that I experience is intense and more than a little bit embarrassing . Why should somebody get teary eyed over chest compressions on a dummy? I recognize the ridiculousness of it, but my body doesn’t. My body decides it is experiencing trauma again.
Despite my troubles with CPR, I try to maintain my CPR certificate because I’ve seen the benefits. You see, my wife was in cardiac arrest for over an hour and a half. Pretty much that entire time someone was straddling her, pumping on her chest with all their might and blowing air into her lungs. She survived. I know that CPR can save lives.
This morning I was blessed by the fact that in the Gym there was a firefighter and a former firefighter and numerous YMCA staff that handled the actual CPR. I ran to find a defibrillator, dropped it off next to them and was perfectly happy to get out of the way and pray. I did not have to do it this morning. But I am prepared to do it if the time comes. I am certain that I will be terrified. I am certain that I will cry. But I am also certain that I will do everything I can to save a life.
So I am going to use today’s post to reach out to whoever reads this little blog and beg you – PLEASE get certified in CPR. A few hours out of your life could mean saving somebody else’s. God Bless.