top of page

The Heimlich Maneuver Works. Period.

By the time I got home from work Friday, Bob was in distress.

Thank goodness I have help with him. Deanna comes Thursdays and Fridays which gives me a couple hours extra at work. Thursday, she leaves at 11 a.m. and Friday, she leaves at 10. Each day, I work until 11ish and then come home.

I haven't worried too much about leaving Bob when I dash to the store or go out for a walk. Each task takes approximately 35 to 45 minutes depending how social they become. On our small island we see our friends at the market and on walks near the airport. Seeing friends can add a few extra minutes but is also fun.

And, in my humble opinion, this is how God works...

This past Thursday, I asked our healthcare provider who happens to be a Nurse Practitioner, if she might prescribe antibiotics for Bob because his nasal mucous was "colorful," let's say.

On Friday, when I got home--an hour after Deanna left--I trotted upstairs to tell him I was home and just basically chat with him.

When I peeked in, he had vomited onto his stomach, had a fecal accident, and was gasping for air. After stomach compressions, he was slightly better but not much. I lifted him out of bed, wheeled him around, and bent him forward over the bed into a half-slung position.

"Relax. I know you're struggling. Try to relax."

I gave him three violent pulls around his gut but he was still in distress. I ended up doing eight more in quick succession. Finally, the obstruction dislodged and he could breathe but only a little better because his mucosa had inflamed and became juicy. I sat him on the side of the bed and told him to try to clear his throat. He did. Again, though, he was extra snotty because he had been in distress. Everything ignites when a person chokes--the histamines go berserk, the mind reels. No air or even a reduced amount of air creates distress and becomes a very scary experience.

Sitting there, wiping his active nose, I rubbed his back, talked calmly (although I was flipping out inside), and gave him a minute to regroup. I kept talking him down...

I'm getting the suction for your nose.

I'm getting your briefs.

We need to get you into the shower.

I'll call the doc.

"He aspirated on vomit," I told her. Within minutes, his doc ordered the prescription I'd asked for the day before--a 10-day dose of doxycycline, an antibiotic strong enough to battle pneumonia. And, on a side note, it's what vets give tropical birds when they get psittacosis--a respiratory infection that leads to pneumonia and will kill the bird.

She ordered doxy because anytime someone aspirates food or water into their eustachian tube, there is a real chance for that person to get a bacterial infection in their lungs from the aspirate. Even when you can clear it by performing the Heimlich Maneuver.

Anyway, between the constant nasal suctioning and the strong doxy, he's better now. It took three days for him to feel better. Which makes me wonder how long he'd been struggling for air with no one there to help him.

After telling Deanna, we both agree he needs someone there whenever I am not.

Either way, if you haven't yet learned to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, you might think about having a medical professional show you. And if you do, well, you're equipped to handle one of the scariest things that can happen to someone. Choking.

But you should also call your doctor to let them know someone you have helped or you have had a bad choking experience and may need antibiotics.

7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy

I'll tell you, I was shaken by this whole ordeal. Bob too. But we got through it. Still, questions and fears arise...what if's. What might have happened had I not shown up when I did? What might have happened if I had not learned the Heimlich Maneuver?

You know?

Thank God I got home when I did. Thank you, God.

God bless you all.

56 views1 comment

1 Comment

Jo szcz
Jo szcz
May 01

I'm glad you were there ... and that you knew what to do! 🛐

bottom of page