Sitting in our rather large dining room at our workplace after work yesterday, I found I was the first to arrive for a four hour CPR/AED certification class offered by the American Red Cross and sponsored by our workplace. Soon the rest of the group arrived. A grand total of 7 students and one instructor. The instructor was a bundle of energy arriving with seven mannequins for us to practice on and a bunch of videos for us to watch. He did not insult our intelligence by walking over things that were already in the handout. Instead he focused on the practical aspects of handling an emergency.
The four hour session was condensed to less than 3 hours and I walked out with sore knees and wrists thanks to having performed chest compressions on an uncomplaining mannequin. The little wallet size card now proclaimed I was ready to act in an emergency. Only I hoped I would never have to use these skills anywhere.
There were a multitude of thoughts crossing my brain as we partnered up and learnt how to safely position an unconscious person or help someone who was choking. For one, when choosing partners I by default partnered up with the other lone Desi in the room. Not sure if it was a conscious decision because it was not just me, the other girl gravitated towards me and the non-desis away from us. So, as we practiced on each other, I was uncomfortable with the invasion of my personal space and a little hesitant to perform the navel thrusts on the other girl. In each of these ‘uncomfortable’ situations I was reminded of how many behaviors I have imbibed in my short life that I need to unlearn and change.
As I performed compressions and CPR on a dummy, I found myself freaking out at the thought of actually having to use this on a real human in an emergency. I imagined my dad lying unconscious and I found within myself a wellspring of energy and readiness to act. It is amazing what the power of imagination can do.
I guess I will never know if am really ready but if I do at least I am equipped to deal with it.