Today, something strange happened.
I was at Muay Thai, sparring with this buff rocky (big-boned!) version of Mr Snuffleupagus.
Well, he bruised me in many places,
the eejit, and worst of all, I rammed the tender bony surface of my foot into his hip bone.
I got home, the frozen peas came out of the freezer, on to my foot – and then I caught myself thinking, almost saying –
ten minutes on, ten minutes off.
Apply ice pack, ten minutes on, ten minutes off.
I thought, how on earth – where did that come from?!
So many years ago, it was so long ago. But five years of that, first aid training.
When I recall it I find it slightly silly, that we were memorising and chanting – yes, chanting – all these lines while we practised.
But it has stayed with me.
And I remember too, RICE. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.
I remember…all the bouts of messy frustration with bandages and splints…
and I could never do a neat arm sling.
We were never quick enough. Time would be up and our patient would not have made it into the ambulance. We would be sweating buckets, unable to properly lift him or her – a ragged doll by now.
I’ve never actually had to apply any of this knowledge in a serious situation – nothing beyond fainting, or a small wound. And changing a diaper for a woman at the hospital. She lost her leg to diabetes.
I do vaguely remember the embarrassment of having someone fall off a stretcher right in the middle of the field during Sports Day – but that wasn’t me carrying the stretcher.
Is it frightening that all this comes back to me?
The swelling on my foot is growing.