I began a First Aid course last Saturday and was introduced to ABCs. ‘A little late in life,’ I hear you cry but in the First Aid world ABC refers to Airway, Breathing and Circulation. See, I listened, I may yet be able to save somebody’s life if the panic doesn’t engulf me and send me into my own private heart attack , that is.
I must admit, when asked to imagine that a dummy was a casualty in front of the whole class I stared at it with pressure induced blankness. I mean, the situation wasn’t even real and I froze. I wasn’t completely alone in my shame, two other girls were also called up to demonstrate their new skills. Desperately, I tried to hide behind one of them. This was only ever going to work if she was a giant as I am 5t 8 and was wearing heels. She was not a giant. So, I looked like a great big cowardly custard and began to tremble like one too. After a few seconds (which felt like eternity) I gathered the power of speech.
“The airway,” I croaked in a voice that didn’t sound like mine, (well, I did have a cough that day). “We need to open the airway, tilt the chin using two fingers.” Next, I attempted a rather clumsy ‘top to toe’ examination which apparently wasn’t ‘thorough’ enough. So no credit for remembering I had to do the thing at all? The First Aid world is tough, my friends. Well, I suppose it is life or death.
Later, I struggled with the sling tying section. I’m guessing the kind of woman who can deftly tie a sling was a proud girl guide and has matured with smooth efficiency. She isn’t afraid to iron, has ‘packing light’ down to an art form and abides by lemon fresh. I will never be that woman so please, don’t break your arm around me, unless you really have to.
I left the class with my ears full of stories from the ambulance.
“Remember the guy who belly-flopped onto barbed wire?”
“Yeah, and the guy whose lung was punctured by a church steeple.”
They even tried to mercilessly weed out the squeamish among us by showing us close ups of mangled limbs. I must be tough because my stomach only gave the slightest flicker of protest, (just glad I ate a plain lunch.) I can’t wait until next week when I get to spend all day with my friend ‘the dummy’. At least there is no cloth or tying involved in CPR. I should be able to manage it if I can only control my stage fright 😉
The positive side of all this is that I’m going to be left with some really valuable knowledge which could make a difference in an emergency. Meanwhile, the acute embarassment will provide me with great ideas for writing romantic comedy! And no, the dummy will not be the hero . .
Picture sourced from http://redcrosspdx.blogspot.com/2010_06_01_archive.html