Status
Not open for further replies.

pamwagg

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
28
Reason
Friend was DX
Country
US
State
CT
City
Wethersfield
My best friend Joe has ALS and my friend Karen and I are the only ones who can care for him. He has a feeding tube but doesn't want to use it till it is absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, he keeps making "mistakes" (his word) in what he chooses to eat or the care with which he eats it and starts choking. Several times, Karen or someone at a restaurant has had to do the Heimlich. So far I have not been faced with that, having had only to pound him on the back to dislodge the food. But how to do I do the Heimlich if he needs it? I weigh 95 pounds; he weighs 185. It scares me that I could face that situation one day. Does anyone know alternate techniques?
 

Paty

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
194
Reason
PALS
Country
Mexico
State
Baja California
City
Mexicali
Hi pamwagg

:confused: Hi pam:

You've made me think about asking my son who's a doctor and works on Sundays as a volunteer at the Red Cross, maybe he can teach me the Heimlich, although like your friend my husband is a big man and I am petite, but as he insists on not getting a PEG, I am confronted three times a day with his coughing spells which makes me very scared he will choke with food.

I am thinking that maybe we can also look for information on the web.

Paty
CALS to husband DX 10/17/05
Baja California, Mexico
 

Pearl

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
77
Reason
Friend was DX
Country
US
State
Georgia
City
Atlanta
You might want to take a CPR class (usually offered by local Red Cross - they even have a free offering once a year on CPR Saturday which should be coming up very very soon). It will teach you the heimlich and you will feel better knowing the procedures (for Joe and anyone else you might come into contact with who may need it.)

But keep this in mind (and I'm not trying to offend anyone by any means) -

ALS patients know what they are up against. And they make choices. They have every right to do so - to live out their days the way they want to live them. Sometimes those choices might put caregivers in an awkward (or nervous, or uneasy) position. Caregivers do their very best with what they know and are physcially able to do. But if a patient ends up leaving this earthly life due to a complication of the illness (ie., choking for one) -it happens and it's just the way it is. It's NOT the caregiver's fault or the caregiver's responsibility to "make SURE it doesn't happen" - caregivers do their very best and what will be, will be. Joe has been faced with the reality of choking twice and still has decided no feeding tube - it's his choice and he, obviously, is aware of the potential consequences.
 

pamwagg

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
28
Reason
Friend was DX
Country
US
State
CT
City
Wethersfield
Hi, Pearl and everyone,

I know how to do the Heimlich but I am not big enough to get my arms around Joe, that's that problem. As for the other, I understand that Joe is making choices, but he does NOT want to die. Not inadvertently, not yet, not unnecessarily. In fact, he says he thinks he could live like Stephen Hawkings if push comes to shove, and definitely wants a respirator. He just wants to keep eating as long as possible, before using the feeding tube he has had in place for months now.

So the question is, are there any alternatives to the Heimlich maneuver that a very small woman can to for a big man, or any techniques I can teach him -- he is still reasonably strong -- to do for himself?

Thanks,

Pam
 

liz

Senior member
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
642
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2006
Country
US
State
NY
City
Albany
Pam -

I have seen demonstrations of people giving themselves the Heimlich by leaning forcefully into the back/top of a kitchen chair. It is shown in some First Aid/CPR classes. I would think you'd need a certain amount of strength to do this.

Liz
 

patricia1

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
1,149
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
7/1999
Country
US
State
newjersey
City
lopatcong NJ
Lay the person on the floor and with both hand push up under the sterum with aall you got. that proceedure is done when the person passes out and you cant get the person to stand while you put your arms around him. so I guess you can do it while the patient is choking. hope that helped.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top