I am currently looking after the two girls from next door tonight while my neighbour rushes her husband to the hospital, his war wound? He managed to drill a hole through his finger. My son rushed back from their house, the two girls in tow, told me the story and I let them in and trotted next door. After I barged in there and found him squeezing his finger with a tonne of blood soaked tissues while his wife was in the process of getting the whole tissue box I got down to business! I went and got their first aid box out from the top of their pantry, grabbed a bandage and began wrapping it tightly over the top of the tissues while she searched frantically for the car keys. Then they were off to emergency! But this got me thinking, why was I so quick in this situation, but I sucked when it came to my own son?
A few months ago my son got a tool box for his birthday, he absolutely adored it! One of the prized and treasured tools inside this precious tool box was a Stanley knife. One day he asked if he could use it to cut a huge piece of cardboard left over from a flat pack outdoor table. I said,
“Yes, but be careful. Cut away from yourself.”
Now before I go any further I want to tell you why (in my defence, not that is it a good one) I walked away from him while he was using it. My step dad had a Stanley knife and for years, from the age of 9, my brother and I used that rusty old thing for all sorts – carving our initials in trees, cutting back the plastic on the brake cables on our bikes, cutting ropes down to size while making our dangerous, structurally unsound cubbies, also cutting windows into our own large boxes. We were creative and unsupervised and you name it, we probably used it for that purpose, and we never cut ourselves with it, not once, not even a scratch. I assumed my son, who has always been quite handy with every tool he ever picked up, would be ok to use it.
So my son was outside cutting the box when after a couple of minutes I heard him yell,
“Muuuuuum, I cut myself!”
I ran out there not knowing what I was going to see. There were drops of blood on the cardboard and on the brick paving, and when I saw his arm and hand I saw a stream of blood, still dripping from his finger tips. I tried to get a good look at it but I was just so distracted and panicked by all the blood that was coming out and that horrendous feeling in my tummy and that creepy feeling the back of my legs under my bum. It looked bad, real bad because I couldn’t see the cut at all, the blood was coming out too fast. Luckily, my friend who is a carer knocked on my door at that moment, I urgently yelled out,
“I need a bit of help hun!!”
She rushed in, saw his arm and quickly tied it off with a clean tea towel. It stopped the bleeding. I then thanked her so, so much and rushed off to the nearest walk in clinic. The cut was only half a centimetre long, but it required a local anaesthetic and two stitches. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I had let him screw around with that Stanley knife! The guilt I felt was the worst I had ever felt in my life. And I deserved that horrible feeling.
Needless to say I have hidden that Stanley knife (in the bin which got picked up months ago) but it made me wonder and worry. I have had countless encounters with people who I have had to administer first aid to. My brother took every pill in the house one day so I had to keep him alert on the drive while rushing him to our nearest doctors clinic in the country, the longest five minute drive of my life, with all of the pill packets, for medical help and to wait for an ambulance. Another incident I recall was where a friend slashed her wrist in front of me. It was the same thing – first aid box, gauze, a bandage, and straight to the hospital. I was fast, clear headed, focused, yet I had a major brain fart and froze up when my OWN CHILD had much more of a minor cut by far! I was like a dear in the headlights and I was a fumbling mess! Why? I will probably never know. Maybe it was because he was my own flesh and blood. I can only speculate.