Monday, 1 October 2012
I thought the ambiguity of this title might by eye-catching. Depending on your life experience, did you immediately think of (a) being drunk or (b) plastering a wall? I bet you didn't think it would be about applying a plaster to an injury? Aha! Now that my aging D-I-Y husband has been galvanized into action re fixing up our house before his retirement in 18 months time, my thoughts have turned to checking out our First Aid Kit and making sure I have it handy when he makes tracks for his garage. Last week-end, my vigilance (ear cocked for bad noises in the garage) lapsed for a few minutes while I went to hang out washing and sure as eggs is eggs, my husband's face appeared sheepishly around the back door, looking for me. "I fell a bit hard," he reluctantly admitted and limped over to show me a variety of wounds, mostly scrapes and grazes, a nasty wedge of skin around his shin bones (bleeding), but every part of his arms and legs seemed to have sustained some sort of attack. He was a bit shaky, so I hurriedly sat him down and applied First Aid. Need I say that I grabbed the nearest things - a bottle of Dettol, bowl of water and my best (cleanest) kitchen cloths - and not the First Aid Kit at all. When I inspected it later, the darn thing contains a whole lot of itsy-bitsy plasters and things, all hygienically individually wrapped so firmly that it is the Devil's job to get hold of anything if you are in a hurry. My own preference re Band Aid, is the kind that comes in a long strip in a box, from which you can easily cut off the desired length without difficulty. I had some of this, which is just as well as I needed a really long bit (about six inches) to successfully deal with my husband's leg. We treated it with antiseptic cream and a new bandage every day. Five days later, he woke up to find the bottom of this leg swollen and a strange, dark discoloration on the inside of his ankle. Despite his objections, I took him straight to the doctor. "Cellulitis" and a double dose of the strongest anti-biotics. Knowing my husband well, the doc commented, "if you'd waited another couple of days, we would have had to amputate the leg". (Wink at me). I had remembered the same symptoms had appeared on his mother's leg when she had grazed her shin on the buckle of an old-fashioned suitcase. Same story. How did he fall? Well, he has a Black and Decker Workmate, which he has used as a step-ladder for the last twenty-two years. Clearly, it wasn't designed to take a 200lb + weight any longer and it finally collapsed. I don't blame it. We have now bought a decent stepladder.