Daily Archives: November 18, 2005

In case of dire emergency, please do not resussitate!

I thought of having this tattooed on my forehead, but people might get the wrong idea. I mean, a nice hunky paramedic would be more than welcome to give me the kiss of life. You wouldn’t find me arguing (particularly as I’d be unconscious at the time… unfortunately). But I’m more than a little concerned about my safety if my Boy Scout son should try to save my life. I’d rather take my chances.

This weekend he has a night hike with the Scouts – his first ever. It’s a four hour hike in the middle of the night, navigating with a map to various check-points and carrying out challenges there with a team of four others. (I am trying extremely hard not to be a worry-wart of a mother). One challenge will definitely be first aid, so we’ve been practising and going over what he’s learnt.

M: OK, you come across a casualty lying unconscious on the ground, what do you do first?
T: I check for any danger, like the tide coming in or them holding something electrical.
M: And if they have some bare wires in their hands, how do you stop them giving you an electric shock?
T: I’d put my woolly gloves on and then take the wire off them.

M: Right, the casualty is safe, what checks do you now need to do?
T: I need to check their level of consciousness. I’d shout at them and see if they answered. And to see if they responded to pain I’d thump them on the chest.

M: You’ve found out they’re unconscious, so what do you do now?
T: First of all I’d check their airway is clear by tilting their head back and making sure they’d nothing in their mouth. (Good, good). Then I’d put them in the recovery position.
M: Would that be a good idea if they weren’t breathing? Is there anything you need to check first?
T: Ah yes, I’d check they were breathing. How would I do that? Hmmm… I’d lick my finger and stick it up their nose.

M: Right, the casualty is not breathing, you now need to check whether their heart is beating. How do you check circulation?
T: I could put my hand on their heart. Oh no, I remember, I need to check their pulse.
M: Where would you find their pulse?
T: I would hold their thumb and squeeze it between my fingers to see if there was a heartbeat there.

M: You’ve established there’s no pulse and no breathing. It’s up to you to save their life. What are you going to do?
T: I’d talk to them in a calm voice.
M: Is that all?
T: Hmmm… I suppose I could put them in the recovery position.
M: And you think that would help?
T: Well, you said that hearing was last sense to go, so it’d be good to talk to them, ask them some questions or something, until the ambulance gets there.

M: You have to get some oxygen into them. You’ve learnt how to do the kiss of life. How will you do it?
T: I’ll make sure their airway is open and breath into their mouth. Then I’ll hit them on the chest for fifteen minutes. Then I’ll give them another breath.

Tiddles, darling. If ever you find me unconscious on the floor, please please don’t try to save my life.

Alton Towers

Up.. down… up… down… who’s for a ride on the roller coaster?

Sinusitis is back with a vengeance so I’m back on the antibiotics and waiting for the rhinos to depart from my skull. Honestly, guys, there isn’t really room for the twenty of you to hold a party in there, really there isn’t. And the dancing is a bit heavy-footed, if I may say so. Still, I had a couple of days peace and quiet in between, apart from the frog which has taken up residence in my throat.

Dad’s coming home on Tuesday. It will be strange not to go venturing off to Shankling most afternoons (and not having a good excuse to eat out far more often than is really economical), and strange to be back into the old routine of getting up at the crack of dawn and sleeping with the telephone by my side. It’s been a real rollercoaster ride emotionally, seeing him so ill, and then getting better, but then realising that he’s not going to get back to his pre-op level of fitness and mobility, probably ever. So far he’s handling that thought fairly philosophically, but I’d guess that once he’s home and the constant stream of cards and visitors dwindles and there aren’t the nurses fussing around him all day, the depression at finding himself less mobile instead of stronger may begin to sink in. Shame it’s the dark and wintery days setting in. But on the plus side, he’s agreed to have someone come in once a week to help him shower (I’ll do the other bathroom duties) and to have some of his meals delivered from Wiltshire Farm Foods (highly recommended by our friends.. I’m looking forward to trying some of their rather tempting looking puddings!). Having spent an evening mourning the fact that he’d be housebound, unable to leave the bungalow because of the steps, we’re now delighted to report that they’ve got him practising on a little flight of stairs in the home using a pair of crutches! Hooray!!!!

Returning to school was interesting – One good thing about being off sick is that it reinforces to senior management how difficult my classes are to teach and how the air of calm and hard working atmosphere in my classroom is actually down to a lot of hard work by yours truly (and my able assistants M and S and D). Needless to say, my little groups were in turmoil. I think the best moment of my return was hearing one lad, who’s a real trouble-maker and makes my life hell most of the time, greet me with a smile and whisper under his breath “Yes, Miss W’s back!!!”. But the best news of all is that the little group I was teaching last year and had to hand on to another teacher while I worked as a support teacher in another teacher’s lessons (which I must admit I am really not enjoying, and they can tell!) is going to be returned to my tender mercies as of Monday. It means more preparation, teaching, marking, reports to write but I’m delighted. I even did a “happy teacher dance”. Wonder if the kids will feel the same way when they find out!