Well I survived the First Aid course this past weekend.
It was a re-certification. Mine expired in February and I have to have it in order to be a riding instructor.
When I took the course the first time, in 2008, I had a pretty serious panic attack. With that kind of precedent, I was a little nervous going in. At least I could assure myself that I do have a clue what I'm doing now. I've been teaching for two years (not much but it counts) and I've had time to build up some confidence. I'm quite sure if you were riding my horse and you fell off, which believe me, I would do everything to avoid, I could scrape you off the ground and put you back together until the professionals got there! But like I said, I am on a mission to never have to use my First Aid training.
I left home at 7:30 am and got home at 6:30 am. In between, I had 40 minutes of driving altogether, about 20 minutes of break time, and an hour for lunch. So I'm not good with numbers, but I think that means I did 9 hours of All The Awful Ways People Can Almost Die And What I Must Do To Not Have Them Die.
This could also be known by its alternate title, What To Do When A Person's About To Die A Horrible Accidental Death.
Or, the whole thing can be referred to as just, Boneheaded Injuries To Fix.
Being me, I can't stop my brain from taking off in a different direction. Rolling an unconscious victim into "recovery position" makes me think of that time on the beach when I was 13 and my buddy was kinda drunk and kept barfing, so the other buddies kept rolling him over, because this recovery position will prevent a person from choking on their own barf, which makes me think not only of drunk buddies but also the amount of rock stars who die of choking on their own barf, or even, somebody else's vomit, which is even more complicated, because you might not ever find out whose barf it was. You can't dust for vomit.
I'm not kidding, after about Hour 6 this all starts to morph away from Serious into Unbelievable and all the way into Ridiculous. By that point, I'm looking at videos of people hacking sharp things into themselves (accidentally) and I'm holding back the giggles. Or maybe that's just me being weird and nobody else in the room felt the same way.
The creepy little plastic rubber mannequin torso starts to morph too. I'm bitching at the thing for having such a stupid little mouth. How the hell am I supposed to pretend to scoop a grape out of there to stop the choking, when I can't even get the mouth open? I'm pressing on its chest, counting compressions, and thinking about how a real person's chest wouldn't squeak like that... or at least it shouldn't...
Try as I did, I could not think up a good name for the creepy torso mannequin.
(and now I find myself wondering if that term will ever come up on an internet search. THAT would be weird.)
I was one of 12 people pretending to get hurt, grievously injured I could say, and then taking turns pretending to save each other. It really reminded me of my son Bucky at 4 years old, wearing a plastic fireman's hat, dragging a wagon up and down the lane, between little orange pylons, clutching a Cabbage Patch baby under his arm. He'd set the baby on a step ladder, then with the most serious face in the world, go Rescue The Baby. He'd put the doll under the wheel of his tricycle, then go Rescue The Baby. We were talking about that a few weeks ago and giggling about, you know, GOOD TIMES in our past. Bucky's 15 now. He has a babysitting gig. He shook his head and said, "Man, that kid got into a lot of trouble."
Ahhhhh yes. People get themselves into a lot of trouble.
I remarked to one of the other girls, during the bandaging part of the course, that I've spent long hours bandaging horse legs after an injury. She asked if horses get hurt a lot. I rolled my eyes and said yes. What do they hurt themselves on, she asked with surprise. My answer? EVERYTHING. They're worse than toddlers. They see a nail sticking out of the fence on the other side of the pasture and they take a flying run to impale themselves on it. You spend a day looking for every sharp protuberance in their environment, and they kick themselves in the bone with the other hoof. They cannot be trusted.
Humans aren't much friggen better, though.
Just when you think you've seen enough video dramatizations of people having heart attacks, or brain implosions, or lawn rake fractures and garden hose strangulations, I dunno, it started to blend after two hours, you get to learn about how trying to help can make a person's problems worse. Then you start thinking, what have I gotten myself into here I am never going to teach another riding lesson because if I person trips over a dragging latigo strap on the way back into the barn carrying a saddle they'll break every bone in their spine let alone if the person actually falls off my horse which I don't want to happen screw it I'm never leaving the house ever again.
By the time we got to the part where we got to watch videos of people slicing off appendages - oh lucky us eh? - I was finished. I couldn't stop the howls. It was like watching Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd. You know it's fake. You know it's all buckets of red paint. You know it's all ACTING. But when that fake red-paint-blood comes squirting out of the fake-wax-arm, I'm the one right up at the front (better to pay attention, right?) cringing my knees right up to chest, shrieking with nervous laughter, wiggling sideways in my chair, plastering my hands over my face. How embarrassing! I might as well be the chick in Grade 10 who pokes the formaldehyde frog in biology class, exclaims how gross it is, then pokes it again.
Seriously? How can I not laugh though. All I could think of was...
Do you believe this? Just call me Mr Butterfingers! This hardly EVER happens... to me....
You have to watch this youtube video. Please. I beg you. If you haven't seen it before, you won't truly be able to understand why I was unable to control the giggles. If you have seen it and you get it, oh heck just watch it again. It'll feel like you're 14 again. Just watch it.
So yeah. That was this year's First Aid Course experience. If I'd had a panic attack instead of a laugh attack, maybe people would feel sorry for me instead of thinking I'm rude and insensitive. Ohhhh well.
Then I didn't watch the MTV awards. Dammit, I always say I'm going to but then I don't. This time it's because the Canadian Government has decided we all have to watch high definition digital broadcast, because we need to see every forehead wrinkle on every actor or newscaster over 16, or something, and they've been running commercials all year telling us that if you watch TV over cable or satellite, but if you're still getting signal off your rabbit ears antenna THAT WOULD BE YOU, HEIDI'S FAMILY then you have to either spend out for a new TV or spend out for a little plastic box that will take four weeks for a brilliant recording engineer to set up leaving me to wonder how the hell all the normal people do this and why the hell do we have six remotes in front of Grandma's couch now....
But I found out the next day that I'm not the only chick with a split personality...
Heck if people wanna speculate that she's a guy, why not mess with their heads a little? I guess? I mean, I didn't watch it, but the pictures are hilarious.
Heck who am I to criticize? I've done it. Except it was HALLOWEEN.
If you wanna get the highlights, you have to just do what I do and go read Go Fug Yourself. They get all the good pix and they're WAYYYYY FUNNIER 'N I AM.
I can't... I have to go catch three horses who need their hooves trimmed. Sigh. I know. Busy life.