Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Try As I Might, Sometimes I Just Never Learn...

So, I think I've mentioned before that I'm really squeamish. Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, I did a bit of a search through my blog and I hope I'm not.
Anyway, this is my life. I've always struggled with blood and injury and that light headed feeling I instantly get which means I usually have to lay down for a bit.

Some time ago I got a call from my nephew, he'd fallen from his bike and felt he needed to go to A & E, so I hopped in the car, picked him up and we went on our way. We hung around for a bit until the doctor was free. Finally they called his name and we trotted through to be seen. Well I walked and he hobbled. He explained to the doctor how he had pain in both his knee and his wrist. I felt myself starting to get warm. Which is the first warning sign. The doctor started to manipulate his wrist and my nephew winced. Let's bear in mind, that there's no blood. Not a single droplet, just an invisible injury.
I said I'd just step outside of the curtain and wait for him.
I can't have looked good as I leant against a nearby wall as a nurse appeared and asked if I was ok. She had me sit down and I realised my hearing and vision were both a little fuzzy. A short while later my nephew reappeared, no serious injury having been sustained, he was just going to be pretty sore for a bit.
So now, let's remember that I have brought my nephew to the hospital because he is injured. I have no illness or injury.
So with this in mind the doctor suggests my nephew go and collect a wheelchair, in which to push me back to the car.

I'm ashamed.
I did, however, walk very slowly to the car on my own two feet.


What's weird is this. Many years ago I lived in a, shall we say, less savoury area. Personally, I didn't really have any serious problems, but there were some rough elements. I'd had a neighbour move in and she wasn't really the kind of neighbour you dream of and on this particular occasion there was some serious partying going on. The music was loud, I'd banged on the wall at midnight or sometime thereafter, needing to be at work in the morning it was getting more and more frustrating. Finally at some hour more like morning than night, the party still showed no sign of abating and I called the police. I had to almost plead for them to come out but they finally arrived and told them that the noise really had to quieten down. I could hear my neighbour screaming and calling me names through the wall and wasn't entirely looking forward to the next day.
The music died down and I sat in my lounge just trying to calm down before going to bed. There was still a lot of shouting going on next door and suddenly a door slammed, I looked out the window, saw a man stumble down the drive then lay down in the road. I debated what to do, deciding he was clearly very drunk and couldn't be left in the road when I heard, very clearly, through the wall "I can't believe you've stabbed him".

Shit.
I thrust my feet into trainers, ran into the street in my snowman pyjamas and discovered he was gone from the road. I looked down the street and he was stumbling along. I cautiously approached from behind, making sure no one else was coming from the party. He stopped, turned round and looked at me. Blood had soaked through his t-shirt and shirt and was dripping to the floor. It clearly wasn't good.

I uttered the immortal words "Are you ok?" (I mean obviously he had to be feeling great right?)
He looked at me and said "I've been stabbed. Have you got a light?"
I think he was committed to his cigarettes.

A random stranger had arrived, rung for the police and an ambulance. I made the guy sit down and told the stranger not to let him move while I ran home, grabbed tea-towels and ran back and did that whole applying pressure to a wound thing. But it's different when it's not just a tissue to a spot you picked.
That's a shit load of blood from a stabbing.
Weird thing though, not once did I feel faint. It never fails to amaze me how the human body will block out a normal reaction. It floods you with adrenaline and you feel like you can do anything. Until it's over, then it's one hell of a come down. I remember standing there in the street as he was driven off in the ambulance and the police took away the girl that had stabbed him, I was exhausted and suddenly alone. And really quite lost. I had no idea what to even do with what had just happened.

As an addendum to that, I later found out she'd taken a large kitchen knife and gone right through one of his lungs.
I saw him again, spoke to him and said how good it was to see him up and about, he looked down his nose at me and didn't even bother to speak. Nice guy. I felt a brief, insincere moment of regret for having helped him.

A second addendum would be that some time later there was a serious hammering on my front door, I ran down and came face to face with someone I didn't know, but someone that had clearly taken a bit of a beating. She begged me to call the police, the guy that had been stabbed had come back, and was currently next door beating up my neighbour.
I don't miss living there.


Anyway, it is clear that in times of trouble I am able to cope with injury. Given time to think about it I don't cope at all well. Which is unfortunate as I suffer so very many injuries myself.
Which leads me to this weekend.
I had some carrots and parsnips in the fridge that were borderline, so I decided to whizz them up into a soup and freeze portions of it. I'm working on being frugal, it feels good.
I let the carrots and parsnips simmer away and when they were ready I took out my hand blender and whizzed away with it, I love how the texture of the soup changes, as it becomes more velvety as the vegetables are liquidised.
Some time ago, I made soup and very foolishly didn't remove the pan from the stove before whizzing it with the hand blender, this meant the plastic got pretty soft and a little deformed.

As I was liquidising the carrots and parsnips I found myself wondering if the plastic was soft again and if I could pull it back into shape.
I pulled it out of the soup, placed my thumb and forefinger against it and pulled. Unfortunately, the thumb of my other hand was still resting against the on switch and the movement of pulling on the base pressed the switch against my thumb. The blender whizzed into action.

Bang.
Bang.
Bang.
I felt it hit against my finger.
No pain, just that feeling of impact. I pulled my hand away, dropped the blender and looked away.
Had I chopped my finger off? I really didn't want to know.

I braved a glance. Finger red, but in place.
Here's a question, why is it our first instinct to stick that in our mouth?
I ran upstairs to grab a plaster, hoping that was all I'd need. Sadly as soon as I removed my finger from my mouth it started to drip. This couldn't be good.
I am, at times, my mothers daughter and knew I had to have sterile gauze swabs somewhere.

I flung a gauze swab around it, applied pressure and went to lay on the sofa before I fell down. I just can't cope, but strangely, if anyone else had been around I would have been as bad. Since I was small I've hated and squeaked anytime anyone came near an injury.
I'm sure my Mum will read this at some point and it's safe to say that if she ever said she promised she wouldn't rip the plaster off, she'd go ahead and rip the plaster off. If she said she wouldn't touch, that pretty much meant she was going to touch. I remember many occasions.
"I've got a splinter"

"Let me see..."
"You'll touch it"
"I won't"
"Do you promise you won't touch it?"
"I won't touch it"
"Okayyyyyyy, but don't touch it, just look"
Then before you know it, your finger is in a stranglehold and the tweezers are upon you. You know it's true, Mum!
Still, it was quicker than the extraction of a splinter in my current life, which involves having a poke, feeling faint, needing a lay down, having another prod with tweezers, feeling nauseous. I'm really that pathetic. I am shamed by it, really I am.

I read a quote the other day, I didn't catch the author of it but I think I might be the exception that proves the rule:

"You live and learn or you don't live very long."

3 comments:

Sleepydumpling said...

I am quite fine in a crisis, in fact I am the one you can rely on, so long as there is no-one more reliable than me. I keep a cool head, act quickly and make firm decisions.

However, once help arrives, I then become a trembling, whimpering wuss!!

Carrie said...

You do live an action-packed life! I am glad you blog. It's a great read, in bed on a Good Friday morning. Have a good Easter, do try to keep your fingers out of any random blenders!

Flibbertigibbet said...

Sleepydumpling: I know exactly what you mean. I will jump into action, find my sensible head and deal with the crisis. After I dealt with the stabbing and the police abandoned me, I was so completely lost and scared. I'm usually very content with my own company, but I'd have given anything for someone to be there after that.

Carrie: Easter passed off without any injury or incident. I'm astounded to be honest. However, I feel sure this can't last for long. I've started wearing flip-flops to celebrate the sunshine. They're the most dangerous footwear ever so something bad is BOUND to happen!