Comedy in Tragedy

Now, I'm no expert but surely there are too many bandages on that arm? It's called tying a sling, not mummification!

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 . .

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