On Friday night, The BF and I returned to the place of our first date to consume some margaritas and relax after a hectic week. While sitting there, a woman seated behind him started to choke. At first she was coughing and sitting down with her friend patting her on the back. Then the woman stood up, grabbing her throat and the coughing stopped. The restaurant came to a standstill watching this woman suffer.
With no management, waiter, or another diner rushing to her aid, I got up and grabbed her from behind and began the Heimlich maneuver. Two hard thrusts and she seemed to be getting air. Not sure if I had dislodged anything or not, but she was breathing again. I stood there holding her from behind, more supporting her weight than anything, while she held her friend's hand. I told her to take some deep breaths with me, in through the nose and out through the mouth, slowly and methodically. She was trembling all over. I told her we could stand there as long as she wanted.
Once she was on solid footing, I sat her down in her chair and her friend thanked me. The management was now paying attention to her and I passed her along to them to care for. She sat for a bit collecting herself and then seemed to be fine. And I sat back down with The BF. We had dinner and as she was leaving, she thanked me for saving her life.
I think I felt a little embarassed and a bit unsure as to what had just happened. I had always wondered what I would do in that exact situation: if I saw someone choking, would I react? And if I did, would I do it correctly? Did I hurt her? Was she really choking and did I do the right thing?
On the way home, it all began to sink it. I realized I did what no one else in the room seemed willing to do; I jumped into a situation and helped a stranger. Would I jump into a frozen lake to save a drowning person? I don't know. Would I rush into a burning building to save someone from a fire? I don't know. And I hope I never have to find out.