TRUE STORY: 1974, living by myself in Deland, Florida my ex-wife, Maria, called and asked if I would be interested in taking a two-hour seminar. Why she thought I would want to learn about a recently popularized medical technique, the Heimlich Maneuver, I could not ‘fathom’. I was not involved in the restaurant business or any other activity in which it might come in handy. Maria was a nurse and thought it would be a good skill to have. So I agreed.
Six years later I was married to Laurna who was sitting at the dinner table with Adam our 1 year old. He began to choke. Laurna leapt up, turned Adam upside down and proceeded to slap his back. Nothing. He began turning blue. My adrenalin skyrocketed. What to do?! The hospital was 20 minutes away. Should I? Administering the Maneuver to a young child must be ‘measured’. I grabbed Adam, put my two connected fists under the arch of his rib cage, took a breath and pulled in and up quickly with about half force. Out came a ‘glob’.. Two minutes later Adam was laughing and eating as though nothing had happened. One thing I neglected to mention: When Maria invited me to the seminar, I harbored some bitterness towards her. I almost said no to her invitation. The choices we make.