Operation: WTF (Day 217)

Combat Life Saver

In the event of battlefield injury, hopefully the person that comes to save you has some sense and a strong stomach.

As a change of pace, I am taking the combat life saver course this week.  I’ve done it before and it’s not really something I’m into but I do recognise the importance of having this skill.  Far too many soldiers are dying on the battlefield from wounds that could be treated by anyone with a bit of common sense and some training.  That is the purpose of the class, and not really to teach people how to perform surgeries, or whatever.

Like I stated, I see the importance of the class, but it’s a person’s constitution for this sort of thing that actually makes all the difference.  I cannot imagine how much of a help I would be after I’ve finished passing out over the sight of blood and other body fluid.  The crazy thing is that I am possessing of a rather stable mentality.  Yes, I do a lot of carrying on and whatnot, but that is mostly because I do not have anything better to do with my time.  When it all comes down to it, I can pretty much set my mind to do anything. With body parts?  Not so much.  I think I can manage to apply a tourniquet without vomiting.  I am not sure if I can stick that thing in someone’s chest to relieve chest pressure.  It sounds so ghastly.  And you can forget about giving someone a hypodermic needle.  I won’t leave a fallen comrade, but let’s just say it would be better for me to prepare the 9-Line Medevac while someone else takes care of the wounded.

If you should require a hypodermic needle and an IV to save your life, please do not hesitate to ask someone else first.

The first time I took the class, about four years ago, they required the students to stick each other with hypodermic needles.  I absolutely abhor needles.  When I get my own shots, I always tell the medical person to just stick me.  I ask them not to do a count down or anything.  I don’t want to look.  Just stick me and get on with it.  Unfortunately, when you are doing the sticking, you actually have to pay attention.  So, when I went to stick my partner, I was the one who passed out.  My hands were shaking so badly and I told the instructor that if there was a lot of blood that he might have to take over.  He said, “Well, you’re not going to pass if you don’t do this.”  I stuck my partner and promptly fainted.

When I came to, the instructor said usually the people getting stuck pass out.  He has never seen the person doing the sticking pass out before.  Then it was time turn to get stuck and this is where the shenanigans began.  My partner was putting on his gloves and I noticed how absolutely filthy his nails were.  I was like, “Oh my God, look at your nails.  They are so gross.”  Instead of washing his hands or applying hand sanitiser, he started licking his hands.  Then he said, “It’s because I never wash my hands.”

Uhm, excuse me?

What do you mean I can't cook you dinner? What's wrong with my hands?

Yeah, I don’t think so.  I told him under no circumstances was he going to touch me.  Then he says, “I don’t see what the problem is?  I never wash my hands, even after I go to the bathroom and I have never been sick.  I don’t believe that washing is supposed to keep you healthy.  I think that is something they made up so they can sell you stuff.”

Do you know I almost died.  So the instructor comes back over there.  You know, everything I do is always difficult and I knew the instructor was pissed at me because I first asked a million questions during the class instruction portion and then I fainted during the practical exercises.  I told him that I was not going to let my partner stick.  I said I would stick myself and he busted out laughing in my face, asking me how I was going to stick myself if I can’t even stay awake.  The instructor told my partner to go wash his hands, but he refused.  Can you even believe that?  Later on, he was observed biting his nailsthrough the latex gloves he was wearing.  At any rate, I was lucky and did not have to get stuck.

I get to jam things up people's noses and not get in trouble for it.

The good thing is that they don’t do needles anymore in CLS.  Now we get to jam things up each our noses.  They test you on the nasopharyngeal tube now.  It’s this tube you stick up your nose in case you are having trouble breathing.  I am not sure which is worse, getting a needled jabbed in my vein or getting a tube rammed up my nose.  I will let you know how it goes.


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