Many years ago when Christopher and I were still engaged we took a first aid class together. It was very dry and very serious. These were life saving measures and there was no fun to be had. Although it was very dry, I have to say that I walked away from it feeling like I could handle a medical emergency until the ambulance arrived, should the situation ever arise. It included learning emergency first aid and the heimlich maneuver, but no CPR.
For the last 12 years I have been talking about wanting to take a CPR course. I know 12 years, because that is the length of time it has been since my father had his massive heart attack. It's one of those events that is vivid in my mind, no matter the passage of time. Dad at that time was working shift work. It was October 2 when I got a call from Mom, could I come over and take Dad to the hospital, he wasn't feeling well, it looked like the flu. I was in pjs and pretty grungy. Gracie was just just over a year. I showered, changed, and then went to pick up mom and dad. I was shocked when I saw Dad. It rapidly became apparent that he did not have the flu, and I should have come right away instead of cleaning up. He was grey. We helped him to the car, basically we carried him to the car. The whole while I'm suggesting that it would be better to go by ambulance, but he said he wouldn't go to the hospital by ambulance. I don't recall ever driving so fast as I did that night. Every so often Dad's head would feebly peek up from the back seat to tell me to slow down.... I ignored him. That night in the sterile, white hospital we didn't know if Dad would make it through the night. I'm not sure I have ever prayed so much in my life as I did that night. Mom and I sat huddled and afraid in the waiting room, waiting until they could get him stabilized. He lost most of the bottom of his heart.
Last year Dad received a defibrillator/ pacemaker. It sits like a pack of gum under the skin of his chest. It's a visible reminder of Dad's heart damage. That visible reminder of Dad's weakened heart was the final push that sent me in the direction of CPR training.
I am a member of my school's School Council (it's what we call our PTA, but I honestly like PTA better). We as a school council decided to host four week First Aid / CPR sessions that anyone in the community could attend. I was in charge of setting it up. I surfed the internet and made several phone calls looking for he perfect person to teach our group. I found that person in Corin Vail. http://pushforlife.ca Her credentials were amazing. She was so easy to speak to, and so willing it fit into our schedules.
So now it's over. Christopher and I are both card carrying Red Cross First Aiders. Please feel free to have a heart attack, choke or have a traumatic injury in our presence, we are ready! All joking aside I am really glad that I finally took the class, it feels good to feel prepared for the worst. The class was fun, Corin was an AMAZING teacher and put up with my stupidity. I think that more people would take these classes if they knew that it could be so relaxed and affordable. Because Corin is an independent teacher, she can come to your home and teach a group of you, and she can make the classes suite your schedule. Just think how enjoyable learning first aid could be with wine and cheese. Don't keep putting it off like I did, just do it.