Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surviving a First Aid course

I went on a first aid course this week. I will confess that I was somewhat nervous. There were three reasons for this:

#1 Responsibility scares me

I find it difficult remembering my own name* and anything else which is remotely connected to real life. Once a friend asked me for my telephone number, which I duly gave her. But the number wasn't mine: it was another friend's. I'm sure my friends thought I was trying to matchmake. It didn't work out either way. I also forget my brother's birthday even though we're twins. Having responsibility for someone else's life is terrifying.

This conversation actually happened. It really didn't help.

#2 I have an aversion to exercise

The idea of doing five minutes of chest compressions disturbs me. If I ever have to do it to someone in real life, I'll be expecting at least a thank you card. A box of chocolates wouldn't go amiss either.

#3 I faint

I have an ability to faint at a moment's notice. I faint at injections. I faint in hot classrooms. I faint when treading on something sharp in the garden. In other words, I faint. This and first aid don't go well together. In fact, at the last first aid course I went to, I passed out. They showed this video about heart attacks, and I fainted. Way to go, British Heart Foundation.

Ironically, nobody noticed me slouched unconscious in my chair. Or if they did, they obviously decided (quite rightly) that I'd prefer to possibly choke on my tongue and die than face the embarrassment of being pointed out at a first aid meeting.

So all in all, I was pretty nervous. But, thankfully, it went quite well. I didn't pass out even though they showed a video of someone who nearly drowned, which was a plus. And not only did I do about 10 minutes of chest compressions, I also got to do some abdominal thrusts, and got to use a defibrillator. I'd love to use one in real life, just so I can shout, 'Clear!' in my most melodramatic voice. Yes, I take human life very seriously.

*Someone once asked me, 'Is your name John?' to which I replied, 'yes'.


  1. Well, I've repeatedly told people I'm you.

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