Archive for the 'Heartaches' Category

CPR, AED, Heimlich, Grief, and then Steak for Dinner

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Yesterday afternoon, I went through a two-hour refresher course on CPR. It included how to use an AED. Until yesterday, I had NO idea what an AED was. The letters stand for automatic external defibrillator. What an incredible machine! Although my last CPR refresher course was just a few years ago, the AED has changed the process. CPR is still done the same way, but if you have an AED, it makes it much easier. The machine literally tells you how to use it. Another part of yesterday’s training was to go over the Heimlich maneuver, and that made me think of Roger who died last week from choking on a sandwich. As I did the maneuver on the mannequin yesterday, I kept thinking of Roger’s death – what an absolute fluke that he was all alone at the time – and how it has changed Patti’s life. Patti called soon after I got home, and we talked for awhile. I feel so helpless that I can’t do anything to help her except listen when her grief gets too much to bear. I grilled myself a steak for dinner — and after watching the video in the class that showed a man choking on a steak, I ate more carefully than I ever have.

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Monday, October 24th, 2005

I just got off the phone from talking to my best friend, Patti. Patti is near my age — a few years younger – in her early fifties. We got to know each other in our church’s singles group, and have been good friends for six or seven years. We’ve seen each other through ups and downs, through various moves, various relationships, and we’ve sat together and boohooed over lost loves. Last year, though, she met Roger, and they had been together since then. I remember the first time I met Roger. All he could talk about was how wonderful and beautiful Patti is. I was so happy for her because she SO deserved having a good relationship where the guy really appreciated her. He danced, too – a definite plus in the boyfriend department. They spent this past weekend together, and last night, after watching the Titans game together at Patti’s house, Roger left to go back to his house. Patti got the call from Roger’s sister today – Roger apparently got up this morning and was eating a sandwich — and died. They don’t know if he had a heart attack or if he choked on the sandwich. Either way – he’s gone. His sister found him about six hours later.

Life is short. There are no guarantees.

Later note: The official cause of death was choking. He died eating a grilled cheese sandwich. He had knocked over a chair — apparently trying to do the self-Heimlich maneuver.

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