Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Cure for What Ails You

First Aid is gross! Gross! Totally grody! My two new-hire cohorts and I had a mandatory all-day class in it today. (I'm now certified to administer CPR, so if you happen to feel a heart attack coming on, be my guest! You might not have quite as many ribs when I'm done as you started out with, but it's all in a good cause.)

At the end of the course we filled out a standard evaluation form to rate the instructor, the material, and whether we felt the course had achieved its stated objectives, as well as say what we thought was best about it and what we felt needed improvement. The last question was, "What did you like least about this course?" After some thought, I took it at face value and answered:

"The reminder of the frailty of human life and the fact that all of us are ultimately doomed."

Just as well those forms are anonymous.

I meant it, though. I don't think I'm any more squeamish than the average person, but all those images of punctures and burns and sucking chest wounds (which means a chest wound that punctures a lung; though I can't help thinking that pretty much any chest wound would really suck) seriously bring home that fugly sense of mortality that often wakes me up with the cold heebie-jeebies in the middle of the night.

Is this normal? I am so not reconciled to the whole concept of death. It really bothers me. A lot. Not even that I'm horrified of being taken out by an axe murderer next Wednesday; no, the thought of only having, say, forty or fifty more years and then *poof!* oblivion! cessation of existence! nothing! is fucking frightening, and there's nothing I can do.

It was a bit like that before Mom died, too, but ever since then it's been so much worse. Not having her around anymore continues to be just as unendurable when I think of it - I just end up thinking of it less and less frequently; and that's awful in and of itself, as if by letting go of the grief and moving on with life I were betraying her, abandoning her.

Maybe I use humor to cope because Mom was so crazy funny, and had a really quick wit, and she wasn't embarrassed to act like a huge doof in public, and since she died I've become more like her. That's not a bad thought, although it should scare the shit out of my kids.

There are much worse ways than humor to cope with the inevitability of death and the ultimate futility of existence. It's just a damn good thing my mother wasn't, say, Albert Camus, or my blog would be so incredibly depressing that The Cure would have to write a song about it.

And you'd better not say "it already is," or I'll practice CPR on you.


At April 20, 2006 9:46 PM, Anonymous omie said...

CPR?! Primerica!? WHAT THE FUCK?!?! this is what my tax dollars are paying for? what the hell does CPR have to do with a desk job at the dept. of transportation?!? or are you the nurse?

At April 21, 2006 7:24 AM, Blogger Bainwen Gilrana said...

It is normal. Death is the last Great Unknown.

And wow, there are some truly disgusting pictures in those First Aid training books and videos. Did you see the one where someone somehow got a screwdriver stabbed into his eye and they bandaged AROUND it? My uncle is an EMT, and when he was going through training, he'd take great delight in showing me the grodiest pictures out of his textbooks.

At April 22, 2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Noemi said...

I'm not sure if I could handle the pictures in those books. I have a hard enough time dealing the descriptions of injuries I have to read at work. Luckily we have nurses at our office so we don't have to take first aid classes. ;->


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