"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
September 08, 2015
Most Embarrassing Moment Ever #342
by Janae Stubbs

Girls camp. The lone Mia Maid stood, teaching one of the first aid groups about CPR. It was a hot summer day but there was a large tree giving plenty of shade for the ladies and the insects alike. Hands waved casually like horse tails.

The group consisted of Beehives from another ward and a handful of their adult leaders, but it was all up to this Mia Maid to run the show. She was so ready for this. She had passed off her own CPR certification at the camp meeting just a few weeks earlier and there was no way she had forgotten anything. She even had one of those creepy dolls for everyone to practice with.

“After you’ve checked the person and sent someone for 9-1-1, then you start compressions. Does anyone know where to push?”

No movement from the crowd. The hands that had been shooing the bugs went mysteriously still. The Mia Maid may only have been two or maybe three years older than the Beehives, but she was infinitely smarter, she knew.

“That’s okay, I’ll show you. Come closer so that you can all see.”

She waited for the shy Beehives to crawl forward toward the Annie doll. (She remembered once being told why they were called “Annie” but must have immediately forgotten because of the freaky look on the doll’s face and the thought of having to touch it.)

“Our manual says that you start in the center of the chest, and you want to try to find the end of the ribcage. It’s called the scrotum. Once you’ve found it, you put your hand about two fingers’ space above the scrotum and start pushing.”

Leaders were looking at each other.

The Mia Maid noticed their looks, but couldn’t quite figure out why they were giving them, or quite what they meant. She could see the whites of their eyes, which meant they were either scared or standing too close to an opposing army. No… that couldn’t be it.

Oh, great. Now the grownups were whispering. And smiles were being passed from one leader to another. Though the Mia Maid noticed all of this she continued her fine instruction to the younger girls, who were now taking turns practicing compressions.

“Ahem, Janae?”

The Mia Maid looked toward the leader.

“I believe you mean the sternum.”

The Mia Maid thought about this.

Yes, sternum had to be the right word because she had heard it before. Sternum sounded familiar. So what on earth was a scrotum? She knew she had heard that word before, too. Baffled, she finished her lesson — taking care to use the leader-preferred word, “sternum.”

Days later the Mia Maid returned home from Girls Camp sunburned, stinky, and still smarting from the CPR correction. She related the tale to her mother, to whom it quickly became obvious that the Mia Maid still had no clue what her anatomical substitution meant.

“But you’ve changed your brother’s diapers.”

“Yeah, so?”

“...” said her mother, with a Look.

“Oh. Ohhhhhhhhh...”

The moral of the story is this: if human anatomy is not your specialty, you should probably not be the person sent to call 9-1-1.

Medical Advisory: If you thought that any of what the fourteen-year-old Mia Maid said about CPR was accurate, you should probably head over to The American Heart Association website and look around for yourself (or find a class near you).

You can also find a brief CPR refresher on the Mayo Clinic site, which basically takes all the information from the AHA but puts it all in one spot for you and is a bit easier to maneuver than the AHA site.


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About Janae Stubbs

Janae and her husband were an inseparable, delightful pair before the coming of their children. Now they are just as delightful and inseparable but with quite a bit more mass—mass that won't go to bed on time and asks so many questions that Janae often wonders if college was enough preparation for motherhood (it's not).

Janae currently serves as a senior primary teacher, a temporary sunbeam teacher, an assistant ward organist, an assistant primary pianist, and the choir pianist. And maybe some others. If you're bored on Sundays you should move to her ward.

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