Sunday, 9 September 2012

Heimlich manoeuvre . . .

No Return District General Hospital
I am penning this note, with great difficulty, from my hospital bed dear.  (It is certainly not very easy to write - and definitely impossible to speak - with a plastic tracheostomy tube installed in one's windpipe.))  I don't know if the nursing staff have managed to contact you on the picket line yet?  In case they have not, I will supply you with the barest of details regarding this morning's misfortune with my bowl of Swiss cereal.  I don't know quite how it happened pet but, at around 8am, I managed to inhale a whole dessert spoonful of said cereal together with a quantity of milk.  Up until this point in my life history, I had always thought citizens who, for example, caught a fishbone in their throats were  a) somewhat careless and b) exaggerating the difficulties they had in taking in air with such an item installed in their larynxes.  But not now.  After some minutes coughing and gasping in my breakfast recliner chair, I realized that I was in a somewhat dire position and that it might be necessary to acquire some assistance of the fairly immediate variety.  Now you know how renowned I am for my lightning-quick faculties, don't you dear?  Well I scooped up my Stanley knife (still luckily littering my desk after the imbroglio with the kitchen flooring) and a biro pen and loped downstairs - tears streaming down my cheeks - to the front door. As you know, my residence is luckily situated in close proximity to Macavity's newsagent, which opens at 6.30am, and it is to there that I repaired for assistance.  I could see that Mr Macavity grasped the position in an instant because - before I could pantomime a throat-slitting session with the aid of the Stanley knife - he rushed up behind me and embarked upon the Heimlich manoeuvre!  I don't know whether you have heard of this method of removing tracheal obstructions pet?  Well the idea is that you stand behind the person with the obstruction, pass your arms on either side of their waist, clasp your hands into a fist, and do a reverse punch into the solar plexus!  It is a violent remedy which, so I have heard, often works.  But, unfortunately, it didn't have the desired effect on me dear.  In fact, I instantly collapsed to the floor - with my knife and biro winging across the airspace before me.  It was lucky indeed that Mr Macavity's nephew, Henry, also happened to be on the premises.  I don't know if I have ever told you about his interest in the modelling of balsa wood aeroplanes?  Young men of his ilk seem to have an almost-instantaneous grasp of the niceties of the Lego kit, Meccano, Origami, and so on and so forth - and he scooped up my surgical equipment in a manner I am bound to describe as positively gleeful.  I did manage to indicate the area of my throat least well supplied with blood vessels before he got stuck in, so-to-speak, and the plastic biro sheath - minus the pen itself - worked as an excellent straw through which to inhale air!  I really did have the most miraculous escape dear and will - in future - take the utmost care with my morning's imbibition of breakfast cereal.  In the meantime, I hope Chumley is faring well in his own attempt to catch his own live breakfast on the claw!
Really, the only positive aspect of the situation is that at least I am now situated in close proximity to dear Pom-Pom - also in the clutches of No Return District General Hospital - and will not have to motor tens of miles to see him or spend an exorbitant sum of money to acquire a ticket in the 'Orange' car park!
Yours (breathing with some difficulty)
Aunt Agatha  

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