Emily has increased her physiotherapy sessions. We now attend for three hours of fun packed exercise and stretching. Afterwards we return to the car for a late picnic lunch whilst diving home. Today we were enjoying cheese and pickle rolls listening to FM radio tunes. I passed Emily her Jazz apple and remarked how delicious and crunchy they tasted. I chatted amicably to myself before realizing that, rather like Sleeping Beauty, Emily had inhaled an apple shard and was silently choking to death.
Our outreach physiotherapist had recently taught me the assisted cough maneuver, her instructions were clear but unfortunately we hadn’t practiced them in a vehicle traveling over speed bumps while each individual was safely strapped into their car seat facing front. It was at this point I placed my foot heavily on the brake and started walloping Emily across her back.
I asked the rather pale, gasping for air, Emily if she could have alerted me earlier to her demise. “Could you make more noise, wave a hand but never choke quietly.” After our emergency stop and several hard thumps, Emily started laughing. When she caught her breath she couldn’t stop chuckling at the thought that I would have driven home completely unaware of her predicament, singing, car dancing and happily chatting to the radio.
Postal delivery vans and council refuse trucks have informative notices for the car behind alerting drivers of their frequent braking. I would like a sticker on the back of my car to alert anyone not three full car lengths away that I may brake heavily and frequently during CPR or the Heimlich maneuver. My sticker would alert other road users that In the case of an emergency the passenger will be dramatic, causing the driver to be erratic.The choking rescue viewed from a car behind probably looked much the same as my usual car dancing routine. An alternative approach would be if my car rego reflected my driving ability at times of drama –