Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Other things…

Lest you think our days are completely filled with puppy, let me tell you about my Saturday afternoon spent learning CPR. I’ve always thought I should learn it, I’ve always meant to learn it, and this year, when I saw it offered by our local fire department I decided to just do it.

Of course I registered for the class weeks ago, long before I knew there would be a Penny in my life. It was hard to leave her but she was in good hands with my husband and sister who is visiting. So I drove off into the snow to see what there was to learn.

There were 7 students total, 4 women, three men, all of us past middle age, with assorted creaking knees and backs, though one of us (not me!) was a long time yoga instructor and she was much more nimble than me getting up off the floor, and stronger doing the compressions too.

She made me want to try yoga again.

Anyway, I was kind of nervous, hoping I would catch on, and I did, but let me tell you, it’s harder than I imagined it would be to do compressions. 30 compressions, two breaths on adults, then 30 more compressions, two breaths and continue like that until trained help arrives. You can skip the breaths if you don’t have a mask and are uncomfortable, but the patient has the best chance if you can do both. The compressions are the most important, though, so don’t stop for more than 10 seconds.

It’s not easy.

We practiced on the dummies, down on the floor and I had a hard time getting the two green lights, located in the dummy’s shoulder to stay lit. Yellow was too fast, red was too slow, no lights meant you weren’t compressing far enough into the chest. I bounced around between yellow, red and green.

I’m pretty sure my dummy would have died.

After we practiced we watched some more videos about heart attacks and cardiac arrests, and how to use the AED if one is available. Then we broke up into 2 groups and role played an actual event. I was up first and with the aid of another student counting, I was able to do 2 sets of 30 compressions, another student simulated the breaths in between, and a third student simulated putting on the pads from the AED.

It felt good to keep those green lights glowing in that dummy’s shoulder, but it was really hard work, and I don’t know how long I’d be able to keep it going while waiting for the paramedics and EMTs to arrive.

I guess, when it comes down to it I’d just do the best I could.

That was the take-away from the class, other than the factual information and practice, that doing something is better than doing nothing and waiting for help to arrive. Imperfect CPR is better than no CPR, and people have the best chance of surviving if someone steps in and begins CPR right away.

If you have a CPR certification class near you I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and enroll. You’re going to learn a lot. You’re going to feel better about your abilities to help in an emergency, even outside a cardiac event. And you’re going to meet some of your neighbors.

Can’t see how you could go wrong.

Here’s a puppy picture just because she demands the attention. Can’t go wrong with her either.