Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.


Direct Pressure Works! Part 1 175/365


I asked the REI store manager if he had a pair of scissors I could use to cut the zip ties on our WFA gear containers. He pulled out his knife and started helping.

And it turned out his knife wasn’t particularly sharp. He really had to saw at the zip tie to cut it. I know this because he told me later when I was holding direct pressure on his wrist in the men’s bathroom. The knife slipped when he finally made it through the zip tie and he’d cut the heck out of his wrist. I’d turned away to unload one of the bins and when I heard an “Oh!” from his direction. I turned back and saw the poor guy clutching his wrist, blood dripping around his fingers and onto the gear box below.

He said “I can’t get this on the carpet!” and ran from the room.

My co-instructor and I looked at each other. There was bleeding to stop and students to let in. (The store was still closed.) I hadn’t had a cup of coffee yet, so I went with the direct pressure job. I picked up the box of gloves from the instructor bag and our wound demo kit and walked to the men’s bathroom.

I found him inside, holding his wrist under running water in the sink.

(In case there’s any question, that does not stop bleeding.)  There was a good deal of blood.

I put my gloves on, got a roll of gauze and pressed it into the wound. At which point, the REI guy turned to me and said, “I should probably tell you about my heart condition.”

Um, yeah. “Go on.”

“Some stressors cause my heart to slow down until it stops. Then I start to seize.”

“So when you say “stops,” what do you mean exactly?

“Well, they can’t shock me because it’s a flat line.”

(OK, so he knows what he’s talking about.) His face had turned gray at this point.

“I’d better lie down.”

I’m going to finish this story tomorrow because the other aspect of this adventure is that I was sick as a dog with stomach pain while this was going on. And I still am.

What’s making me happy:

Running: Too sick.

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