Perfect Heart

As we all know, when you live with chronic pain, it can be difficult to get out and DO things in life.  As a social worker, former daycare teacher and former Emergency Medical Technician, I have always maintained my CPR certification.  Unfortunately, after getting injured a couple years ago, I let it lapse for the first time in over a decade.  Sitting in class, however, can prove to be difficult for me because my back does not appreciate hours of lecture.

I found a great site that allows me to get my CPR and First Aid certifications online!  I went to “CPR Select” at and I am doing it on my own time.  My back is thankful because I am able to take my time and, since my medication and fibromyalgia can occasionally cause “fibro fog,” I can use the online practice tests before taking the final test.  Even better, it is a two-year certification.

I am sure some of my readers are thinking: why would you need CPR and First Aid?  I have always been a big proponent of arming myself with knowledge, especially when it comes to health.   For years my family has used me as the unofficial family doctor because I have always been certified in First Aid.  I kept recertifying even after I stopped being an EMT because I thought it was important to know how to remain calm during an emergency and know what to do.

Basic First Aid comes in handier than you think.  I have, on several occasions, used what I learned in First Aid to help friends and family.  I am the boo-boo fixer, having learned long ago how to properly bandage cuts, splint fractures, treat burns, etc., all stuff you learn in First Aid.

The CPR has never, thankfully, come in handy with a loved one (I did it a few times as an EMT and even have a save under my belt), but the class teaches you more than just the technique of doing CPR, it teaches you about the cardiovascular system and it is very interesting, at least to a medical junkie like me.

The CPR course includes adult and child CPR and choking.  I hope to never have to use this knowledge, but the truth is when you are an aunt who does a lot of babysitting, it’s beneficial to take some time to learn to what to do if a child is ever choking or, worse, not breathing. I can tell you that when kids start eating those darn puffs and cheerios for the first time, there has been more than one occasion where my heart has nearly stopped and I have run through the “What to do if a baby is choking” steps because I hear the all too familiar sound of gagging.

As I have said in previous posts, when you live with chronic pain, sometimes it feels like you are cut off from the world and learning becomes centered just on chronic pain.  I try to combat this by learning as much as I can about anything and everything and getting involved where I can.  In this case, I get to learn something that can potentially help others and I can do it from the comfort of my home, so it’s a double score!

Have you ever taken a course like this?  Has living with chronic pain made you the “Family Physician” too?

Photo courtesy of Caro Wallis via Compfight