All throughout my early-teen and adult life, I've been CPR and first-aid certified. I had to go through the certification as a teen so I could attend girls' camp. Here we learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver for choking, CPR, cast a broken arm or leg from random items we had in our backpacks and learn how to survive in the mountains if we were ever stranded.
As a Personal Trainer, I've had to keep my CPR certification up-to-date for those times where it's been needed in the gym; like the time a gym member had a diabetic seizure at the front desk, the time another trainers' client had a heart attack in the middle of their session and the time one of my clients had a hypoglycemic attack and almost passed out after doing triceps pull downs.
There have been moments in my life where I've been the first person on the scene of an accident who was qualified to assist. One of those times was when I was coming home from a Personal Training seminar where we just went over CPR and emergency protocols. In this moment, a car accident happened where one car flipped over and the passengers were fine, crawling out as I was running to assist. The other car, the man was not wearing a seat belt and did a face plant into his steering wheel. He was choking on himself and needed his airways to be cleared. As he gurgled and struggled to breath, people were just standing there watching, probably in shock themselves, doing nothing.
As I ran to the truck to help, people yelled at me to stop and not to touch him. The choice was to either tilt his head back and clear his airway so he could breath, taking the risk of paralyzing him or watch him suffocate to death as we stood there waiting for the ambulance and fire department to arrive. The side of his truck had been hit and the door was jammed, so there was no getting him out. I positioned him so he could breath waiting for the fire department to get there with the jaws of life. I have no idea what became of this man, if he fully recovered or if he was paralyzed, if he lived or if he died.
In all of these medical emergencies, I've known what to do and how to treat shock. It's actually pretty simple. Lay the trauma victim down, cover them with a blanket and elevate their legs. Easy as that. Sometimes the trick can be convincing the person that they need to do this since confusion is a major symptom of shock. It's not uncommon for a trauma victim to jump right up, dust themselves off saying that they're fine with blood pouring out of them then attempt to get back in the car to drive to Target to finish their errands.
But this is all for shock from physical trauma. What about emotional trauma? How do you treat that? It's not as simple as kicking your feet up with a blanket around you. After the darkness from the last few months, sometimes I wonder if I'm in emotional shock. I wonder if I'm one of those people who have collected all of the fallen pieces in an armful of disarray and stumbled onward with life, one foot in front of the other, assuring everyone that I'm just fine and going to finish my errands at Target.