Today I took a First Aid course at work. I always enjoy them because learning about different lifesaving techniques is fun, even though I certainly hope I never have to use them. It’s an opportunity to be silly with coworkers as you mime lying motionless on the ground as they assess why you aren’t “breathing” (though I failed at that completely, as I was laughing too hard). The lame acting on the videos is always a treat too.
As I’m sure you have gathered by now, I’m a fairly clumsy person, so taking a first aid course is beneficial just so I know what to do in the very likely event that I injure myself. For instance, as I was watching the lesson about burns, I remarked, “That guy is dumb” because the actor was juggling two cups of coffee in one hand when they spilled and burned him. This is coming from the same person who, just several months before, burned herself because she grabbed a hot pan that she had just taken out the oven moments before.
Watching the various first aid emergencies depicted in the video reminded me of the fun I put my parents through as a clumsy child. I have an entire list of them in my misadventures tab, with the promise that I eventually will blog an entry for each one. You know what? It’s time to start.
I’ll start with…the time I was trying to lose my index finger from lack of blood supply.
I distinctly remember that it was nighttime and that my mother was pregnant, so this had to have been 1987. I was three-years-old and playing in my room with my stuffed animals. My dad was watching TV downstairs, and my mother was relaxing in their bedroom, about ready to go to sleep.
For some reason, I decided that twisting the tag on my stuffed teddy bear around my finger would be a great idea. So I ran around my room, twisting the tag around my index finger.
I then noticed that the tag was wrapped around my finger pretty tightly. I tried removing it but had no luck. Since I was three and thus stupid, I had no idea that this was a bad thing.
At some point, my dad must have noticed that I was quiet, because he came by my room. “What are you doing, Jennifer?” he said. “Look Daddy!” I said and thrust my index finger in front of me with the teddy bear attached to it.
My dad took a look at my finger. I can only imagine what must have been running through his mind – Are all toddlers this stupid? Maybe the second one will be smarter. Maybe she’ll grow up to be pretty, at least.
“Come here,” he said, and I followed him to his bedroom. My mom was reading a book, her pregnant tummy making a round shape in the covers. “What’s going on?” she asked. My dad showed my mom my finger. I don’t remember her reaction, but my dad must have calmed her down, because I don’t remember her participating in any first aid.
Luckily for me, my dad was either training for first aid at that time or was about to train to be an EMT. Either way, I was in good hands and he knew what to do. He took a small pair of scissors and gingerly cut the tag off my finger. It was starting to turn a different color. Maybe blue? My memory is only so good…I want to say it turned blue, but then I think my dad would have been more freaked out about it if it had.
My dad applied first aid and then had me stay up with him so he could monitor my finger. I remember snuggling up next to him, watching TV and feeling special because I was allowed to stay up so late. My finger was fine. Crisis averted.
The next day, my mother went in my room and cut off the tags on every single one of my stuffed animals.
Next time, I’ll share how I tried to kill myself at age two by sticking a key into an electrical outlet.