Monday, November 26, 2007

Can You Choke on Your Tongue?

Now I don't go around asking myself this question every day, but it is a question I asked myself just this past week. How often do you find yourself in a park, kicking a soccer ball around with your brother, and out of the corner of your eye you see a 45+ year old lady (while throwing some bread to the ducks in the pond with her two sons) drop like a rock, clutch her chest with her other arm stretched out stiff in the air, and start foaming at the mouth? I lie not, it happened to me.

Mark and I were just finishing a newly invented, highly competitive, accuracy game with the ball when I realized something was seriously wrong. Mark gave me a strange look when I suddenly broke into a run toward the pond, obviously premature to his to his momentous victory. I could read the expression on his face..."Come on Matt, it's just a game. I promise not to beat you next time as long as you don't jump in that pond." Then he quickly realized that something had happened, and as any good sidekick would do, followed me to see what had called my attention.

When we reached the small family the little boys (probably about 9 and 4 years old) looked terrified as their mother's eyes had rolled back and only the whites were flickering. Incredible amounts of saliva appeared to be choking their mother as the unexpected seizure took over. My adrenaline was pumping and I felt unsure what to do to help. I searched my memory back to the good old scouting days, almost half a life time ago, when I proudly received my First Aid merit badge. What was I supposed to do in this situation? Neither Mark or I had our cell phones with us, but we quickly noticed the lady's cell phone which had fallen a few feet away. I called 911 and started telling Mark...."don't let her choke...don't let her choke."

Later that night when I got home I did a Google search on the subject (naturally). I realized I need a refresher course on First Aid. We didn't do anything that we shouldn't have done, but we didn't do a few things that could have helped.

It took a police officer about 8 minutes to arrive and the paramedics about 10. By the time they got there the lady had regained consciousness and seemed more concerned about the 2 twenty- year-olds (one almost 30....that would be me) who were crouched by her side asking her how she was. I'm sure my scruffy beard didn't make me look all that friendly, and she had no recollection of having had the seizure.

At one moment during the seizure it appeared her body had given up and that she had stopped breathing. In that moment I told Mark (I was still on 911) to give her a blessing. For those of you who aren't LDS (Mormon) I should explain. All males in the LDS church may receive the priesthood, which we believe is the power of God. This allows us to perform God's work with his permission. One of our duties as bearers of the priesthood is that of giving blessings of healing and comfort. These blessings are similar to a simple prayer where the priesthood holder acts as voice and says what they feel inspired to say in that moment.

Mark gave the blessing and immediately her body relaxed. It really was quite amazing to see how dramatically things changed from that moment on.

In the end, I'm still not sure if you can choke on your tongue. At least Google confirmed that you can't swallow your tongue. I often find it funny that I put so much trust in Google as my all-knowing source. There is something to be said about putting our faith in God when we feel helpless. Maybe I should try it out more often than that.

p.s. -- If you want to know more about what to do when having a seizure you can check out the following links. I can't promise that the information is perfect....I found it on Google.

By the way, her son said this had never happened before.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I should be....

job hunting, but I decided to go for a short bike ride that turned into 26 miles today. Beautiful day though. I'm glad I did it, although the last mile had a nice steep hill that just about killed me. Ten bucks I'll be sore tomorrow. So my job "options" right now are as follows....

(Option = I have applied, am currently applying, or waiting to hear back)

(I wish Option = They made an offer and I have to say yes or no)

1. Partners of the Americas Student Exchange Program Officer (waiting for an offer...not sure how I feel about the salary range)

2. Time Keeper at the local indoor soccer facility (master degree not required)

3. Sales Assistant for local non-profit (who knew non-profits had salesman?)

4. Almost duped by a get rich quick scam (I usually see them a mile a way, I must be getting desperate)

5. Community Coordinator a high school student exchange program (in the process of applying, but appears to also be a sales position, which I'm not extremely excited about)

6. Consultant/Trainer for an organization in Wisconsin (most interesting to me)