It is exactly 3 weeks today before my boyfriend and I hop on a plane and jet off to Thailand. In preparation for this adventure, I decided to sign up for a First Aid course. You can never be too prepared right? Especially when there’s a tendency for people to get injured around me, a trend which seems to have magnified once my boyfriend and I got together. Let me explain….
I have personally been involved in 5 car accidents over the last 10 years (none were my fault…knock on wood), and witnessed 3 more. The most recent one was a car getting T-boned just outside my apartment. It ended up on the opposite side of the road, sitting on some guys lawn. Thankfully everybody was okay except the garden gnome.
There was also the leisurely bike ride my boyfriend and I were on. We watched a girl ram her bike into a pole, flip over the handle bars, and land on the concrete sidewalk. The guy she was with just stood there looking at her, and once I realized he wasn’t going to do anything, I asked her if she was okay. She was good aside from some road rash, but if she hadn’t been wearing a helmet it might have been much worse. Poor girl. She didn’t look super excited about getting back on her bike.
Another fun event was our scuba dive in Cuba. On the boat heading back to the dock, the water was a bit choppy. I noticed some of the scuba tanks bouncing around on the bench across from me, and I thought to myself that they didn’t look very secure. All of a sudden the boat lurched forward after hitting a particularly large wave, and one of the scuba tanks fell off the bench, landing full force onto the foot of the woman sitting across from me. It looked really painful. She held it together pretty good though, even when the tour guides seemed to have no idea what to do. I wonder what Cuban hospitals look like?
The one that finalized my decision to learn first aid was during a lunch date of ours. My boyfriend and I (see the pattern here?) were seated beside a mom and her two little kids. I noticed the mom was fussing over the little girl who was about 6 years old. The mom kept asking the daughter if she was okay, and when I looked over, the little girl was clearly having problems breathing. She was choking on something she had eaten and the poor mom looked frantic. The girl was able to breath a little because she was coughing, but she was getting scared. Finally she coughed really hard and the piece of food flew out of her mouth and landed on her plate. Her brother was laughing at her because she had been making funny faces. Boys.
There was also my broken wrist, and the unfortunate elderly lady at the airport who crossed our path and immediately slipped and fell (she was okay), but, due to all of these events, I figured first aid might be an important skill to have.
I happily showed up to my first day of class, excited to learn some new skills. A little over an hour after we started, a student showed up late. Let’s call him Joe. The instructor was clearly not pleased about Joe’s late arrival, but he had paid his money so he had no choice but to let him in. The instructor made a couple oddly placed comments regarding alcohol intoxication but I didn’t think much of it.
We then partnered up and headed over to the mats to practice getting in each other’s personal space and molesting plastic dummies. Joe was clearly not interested in this so, naturally, the instructor picked him to volunteer for the demonstration. He had Joe lay down on his back and then the instructor began talking to Joe very quietly. You could here phrases like “have you been drinking today”, and “maybe”, and “did you drive your car here”, and “it’s probably best if you come back another time”, and I’m thinking to myself “Is this for real? Did this guy actually show up drunk to his First Aid course?”
Alas it was true. Joe was drunk as a skunk and had to be sent home for the day. They even had to call a taxi for him because they were worried about him driving home. The rest of the class just stood there, not really knowing where to look or what to say. Awkward can’t even begin to describe that situation. Hopefully Joe was drunk enough not to notice. The instructor helped break the ice by commenting it was too bad Joe didn’t bring some for the rest of us. Crazy Joe.
The rest of the course went without a hitch and unfortunately there wasn’t anymore excitement. I passed my Standard First Aid exam so I am officially a First Aider. Hopefully that means I’m not in anymore situations where I’m going to need it, but with my track record, that’s unlikely. Bring on Thailand!