The blue light of the ambulance flickers in tune with the siren. Scores of buildings, trees, people and vehicles zoom past. The ambulance is privileged. It is carrying a dead person – well almost. I am Vidur.
I am being carried away to the hospital as I have stopped breathing.
A man in a white coat is rubbing my hands. Another one is sticking something into my chest.
“Let’s do the CPR quickly.” said someone.
CPR – I know what it is. Yes I know a lot of things. Socially I am deemed unfit to live in this society because I have behavioral issues. Medically I am unfit to manage things on my own because sometimes my nerves do not carry message from my brain to body effectively. Yet I read and even understand beyond the lines. I have always scored high during my brain tests. I have read medical books lying on my doctor’s table while he explains to my mother about my deteriorating condition.
It was during one of these doctor visits that I learnt about CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Its main purpose is to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart. The basic process of this emergency procedure combines chest compression with artificial ventilation as an attempt to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken.
It isn’t as simple as it sounds. The rescuer has to place his hands on the centre of the chest just above the mount of the rib cage. The hands have to be one over another, palm down with fingers interlocked to give the right kind of pressure. The hands should push down in the center of the chest 2-2.4 inches 30 times. The rescuer has to pump hard and fast at the rate of 100-120/minute, faster than once per second.
This needs to be followed by blowing breaths. To do this first the head of the patient is tilted backwards with chin in upward position. The nose is pinched closed and mouth covered by the rescuer’s mouth. Air is blown until the chest of the patient rises. At least two breaths are given simultaneously of one second each.
The process of 30 pumps and 2 breaths can be continued till further aid arrives.
Not in my case. I do not like the touch of other people’s skin. My heart sinks at the very thought of it. Neither do I appreciate any one putting their mouth over mine. My mother understands this. She doesn’t kiss me like other moms kiss their children. Sometimes we express our love by just interlocking our index fingers; sometimes I make her a card. She never bothers me with this kissy gooey stuff. Today she is quiet. She is allowing strangers to touch me. She is allowing them to breathe into my mouth.
I do not like this. I have to take charge. My brain will send a message through my nerves. “Do not respond to this intrusion.” This time, my body will listen.