Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Life and Laughter – Coming to the rescue

Apr 01, 2021 01:52PM ● By Peri Kinder

 Teaching yoga at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center means I need to stay certified in CPR and first aid. After completing my recent CPR class, the only thing I know for sure is, “Hi, I’m Peri Kinder and I’m certified in CPR” is not the same as “Hi, I’m Peri Kinder and I can save your life.”

My previous medical training was years of watching M*A*S*H episodes, specifically the one where Father Mulcahy performs a tracheotomy on a wounded soldier by slicing open the man’s throat and sticking a pen down his windpipe. We didn’t learn how to do that.

Theoretically, we learned how to identify serious injuries, how to administer aid and how to use an AED (not to be confused with an IED or an IUD).

We were taught the signs of shock, which include being irritable and restless, and I realized I’ve been in shock for a half-century. If someone is in shock, you should cover them with a blanket. I do that after work. I wrap up in a blanket and tell my family, “Stay away. I’m in shock.”

Another technique we covered was how to make small talk with people who are injured. We’re supposed to put them at ease until emergency personnel show up. But I’m terrible at small talk. Someone could have a bone sticking out of their thigh and I’d say, “So, do you like to eat food? Have you always had legs?” Then I’d throw up. And pass out.

Concussions are all the rage, so we studied how to recognize signs of a brain injury. (After banging my head against the wall for the last year, I’m permanently concussed.) The concussion lecture reminded me of a time when I was 12 and running with a friend. I jogged backwards so I could talk to her, then turned and ran smack into a telephone pole. I saw stars and birds circling my head, just like in the cartoons. My friend didn’t warn me I was going to hit the pole. She wasn’t a particularly good friend.


We learned about the signs of a stroke. The instructor said if you think someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile. But here’s the rub – you should never ask a woman to smile, even if it could save her life. Because if she isn’t having a stroke, she’ll murder you.

Did you know a wound from nuclear radiation is considered a critical burn? Here’s my idea of a critical burn: “Your hair is so ratty it squeaks when you walk.” 

Anaphylaxis (a.k.a. severe allergic reaction) is pretty nasty, too. If you have an epi-pen, I hope you’re conscious enough to use it because needles make me faint. And don’t you think anaphylaxis sounds like the name of a Jane Austen character? “Anna Phalaxis was prone to consumption and frailty.”

During the class, I expressed concern that I wouldn’t be able to remember all this info if there was an actual emergency, but the instructors were truly kind. They said, “Don’t overthink it. Let your training kick in.”

So, if you’re in my yoga class and have a medical emergency, I’m trained to get someone else to help. You can thank me later.