I was about three years old when I discovered that people, including me, had blood inside them. I’d stepped on a piece of glass at the beach and red stuff began oozing out of my foot. I thought the whole thing over while I was screaming my head off and decided it was a disgusting, upsetting arrangement and I still feel the same way.
During my early years I was happy to learn it was somebody else’s job to stem the red flow and I marveled at the way grownups calmly dealt with lacerations and punctures. I thought I’d never be able to perform that way and I was absolutely right.
The sight of escaping blood, my own or anybody’s, gives me a decided feeling of angst, disquiet, okay, panic. I can’t help thinking the victim is losing his life-sustaining fluid with only ten pints to his name and right now it’s leaking out. Something has to be done immediately, I think, as he lies there with his dripping wound while I run around in panicky circles.
“Daddy gave me worst aid,” my little daughter Carolyn told my wife as she returned home from shopping one day many years ago. She proudly displayed her tiny arm, swathed in a bulging mass of gauze and adhesive tape.
“Oh dear!” my wife gasped. “Maybe we should take her to the ER!”
“Not necessary,”I replied. “It really isn’t much of a cut. I got a little carried away and probably over bandaged.”
“Does your arm hurt, Sweetheart?” she asked.
“No, Mommy, but it’s very tired,” Carolyn replied. “The bandage is very heavy. It’s only a little cut, Mommy, and it’s not even bleeding anymore. Do you want to look at it?
“I don’t think we should disturb the bandage, Carolyn.”
“We don’t have to, Mommy. The cut is on the other arm. I tried to tell Daddy, but he was so excited.”