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Monday, September 28, 2009

Adventures at the Taco Bell

I thought for quite a bit before writing this post today. I certainly don't want to come across as seeming immodest or bragging, but I went through a very unique experience today (at least for me), and I really wanted to blog about it.

I might possibly have saved a guy's life today.

OK, there, I said it. There's the immodesty part of the post. Sorry.

Today was a student holiday/staff development day. We sat in the cafeteria all day long while we had a math meeting, watched some required videos, filed papers in students' cumulative folders, etc. When it came time for our lunch break, my colleague, Mrs. Math, and I went to the nearby Taco Bell for some delicious and healthy food.

We had eaten our food and were sitting around talking when I started hearing some odd sounds coming from someone behind me. Progressively louder burps, odd gurgling sounds, throat clearing, and so on. At one point, I whispered to Mrs. Math, "What the heck is going on behind me?" Instead of saying something along the lines of, "Some weirdo making disturbing sounds," she started describing the wallpaper behind the guy.

Not long after, the sounds started really getting to me, so I suggested that we leave. As we stood up, the sounds from behind became markedly more choking-like, and I turned to see the guy. He was definitely choking and turning red.

I don't really remember what I asked the guy -- I know I didn't say, "Are you choking?" like you're supposed to. I think I just said, "Are you ok?" But it was clear that he wasn't.

I think of the Heimlich Maneuver in the same way I think of CPR and driving stick shift -- I know how to do these things IN THEORY. Actually putting them into practice is another matter, though.

It was pretty obvious that this guy needed help fast, however, so my worries about breaking a rib were short-lived, and I stepped over to the guy and did my best version of the Heimlich on him. The first thrust seemed to work, as a lot of crap came out of his mouth. But when I pulled away and asked if that got it, he shook his head vigorously. So I did it a couple more times, finally getting a little more out.

And that was pretty much it. The guy thanked me, he actually offered to pay me, I declined, and we left.

And to think, we probably would have had a boring old time had we gone to Subway instead...


normalee said...

wow, so glad you were there. I always seem to feel that we are exactly where we are meant to be and it makes it easier for me to deal with long lines and crap like that, so i truly beleive you were really supposed to be there. Good job.

Anonymous said...

So many times, we look away, and someone may really need us! You were brave to get involved. We all need to remember the Golden Rule--we would certainly want someone to help us out if we were in that man's place!! Way to go!

J said...

wow! you're an honest to goodness hero! way to go doing a great thing!

Almost American said...

That was worth blogging about! Not immodest at all! Imagine if you had done nothing and heard later that he'd died . . .

loonyhiker said...

I'm so glad that you were there for him. I once stopped a car beside me because I saw her baby in the car seat behind the driver's seat choking on a piece of candy. She never knew it because the baby wasn't making a sound. It kind of gives you goose bumps to know that you probably saved a life. I applaud you for taking action!

Mister Teacher said...

Thank you all!

And Loony, nice catch with seeing into somebody else's car!! I think in my situation, even if I was a jerk and had just run off, somebody would have stepped forward, because there were plenty of people in the restaurant. But probably nobody else would have seen that baby choking in the back seat!