November 24, 2007

First Response


I just got back from a trippy experience. I took my kid out to dinner at our favorite restaurant. Each with our book, we ordered our usual artichokes, spinach salad & chicken nuggles. Out of the blue, quite calmly and in a low voice, a woman said, "Call 911 - Please call 911".

I looked up & saw an elderly gentleman slumped in his chair. I walked up & said I knew CPR and reached for his throat pulse, finding none. I looked at the lady next to him, who was clearly terrified. "We need to get him onto the ground."

I put my arms around his shoulders and he slipped hard onto the floor, first his tailbone, then his back. Suddenly his eyes flew open & he started speaking in French. Since he was clearly breathing, I knew I didn't have to do mouth to mouth, just stay present. I looked in his eyes & rubbed in back, murmuring in French that he was going to be all right, everything was fine.

He started gagging and I called the waiter to bring a bowl, anything. The poor guy started barfing beyond belief, and I just continued to baby him. I looked up to see my kid across the room, watching with big round eyes.

The paramedics came in and took over. I went back to my table, pretty damn shaken. Thank goodness I took CPR this summer. Thank goodness I happen to speak a little french. "Are you okay?" I asked my kid.

Clinging to my arm for just a moment, all she said was, "You're my hero."