Thursday, 3 September 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #176: Safety in my Life

Caghs' Challenge

Write a story about what safety means to you, without it becoming an ‘essay’
It must flow in natural form, not sound like something you’d hand in as homework.

Safety! When I hear the word I feel that there is some monster around the corner waiting to pounce. I am surprised that the nurse did not drop me when she took me out of my cot in the maternity hospital. That would have at least put me in the picture from the beginning. I must say I do admire my mother by bringing me through my childhood without any spectacular accidents. Well I did nearly fall down a cliff once but just managed to save myself by hanging onto a plant that was growing out of the steep slope. I kept that one to myself otherwise mum might have got worried. I had many falls when training with my roller skates. Even then mum was spared with the actual view of the accident, but that was because she would shut the door and go inside. She just had to clean the blood off of my legs when I ran in crying after falling on the concrete.

So I actually managed to get through childhood in one peace. I did nearly fall off a bus once. It was one of those old London busses with the open deck when you got on it. I jumped on the bus and it started when I was not prepared. I found myself hanging on the pole with one hand with the top half of my body hanging down towards the road. No problem, the bus conductor pulled me up.

I managed to get through married life and the birth of my sons with no great problem as I think I was too preoccupied with making sure that they were safe. The real trouble started when I reached middle age, sort of fifty years old. There was no warning, it just happened. My first “accident” was walking up three steps with a cup in my hand at work. Nothing special you might think, but as I reached the top step I fell and dropped the cup on the floor which broke. OK, you can mend china, but unfortunately I managed to fall cutting my nose on the edges of the broken cup. My work colleague took me straight away to the doctor as an emergency, but a plaster healed all problems, sticking the cut together. Another little problem was when I was cleaning the kitchen machine. The one with the laser edges. I managed cut through the middle of my thumb. It was a straight line and looked perfect, the only problem being that it seemed to have cut through one of the main arteries (do we have arteries in the thumb?). No problem, but it was still bleeding when I got to the doctor. Again, it is amazing what a piece of sticky tape can do to mend an injury. The doc decided there was no need for stitches. He was probably keeping that idea for later.

The things that come to my memory when talking of safety; I was on my way to my car after a visit to the physio therapy. I had problems with a fall that I had in the bath, nothing serious, just broke a piece of bone off my back. I did have some problems afterwards with one of my legs so needed therapy. There again the doc in the emergency department of the hospital decided that the bone could stay as there was no immediate danger from it. So, where was I. Yes I was on my way to the car to go to work, but alas there was street work being done. The lid from a manhole had been removed and …. No, I did not fall down the manhole but tripped on the edge of the cover. Result: I was lying on the floor like a nun that had just given her vows, sort of spread out. It is really amazing the help you get from passers bye when something like that happens. You are ignored; after all you could be an embarrassment. I picked myself up and found that apart from a few dirt stains on the jacket I was wearing I was movable. However, my knee was hurting. Luckily this accident happened just a few doors away from my doctor’s surgery, so I decided to pay him a visit just to make sure. He did not even seem surprised to see me. I was attended to by him and his assistant. Did I see a slight smile on his face as if to say “here she is again”. At least I got a new pair of glasses from the insurance after this accident as they did happen to get broke when I landed on the ground.

Then came the day when I visited my father in England. I was there for only five days, three of which I spent in an English hospital. Yes the jinx was upon me again. I tripped and fell on Tower Bridge in London; a famous landmark, which is now really etched in my mind. Unfortunately I broke the lower half of my left arm and it had to be operated. I returned to Switzerland with my arm in a sling. I think it was then that Mr. Swiss started to get worried about me.

Just to finalise things, I did it again. This year on a memorable day in June, I managed to fall on the concrete floor of our patio and again broke my left arm, but this time it was the top half. I had my first ride in an ambulance and spent a week in hospital accompanied by a three hour operation.

Needless to say my husband now gets worried when I leave the house alone. He is always prepared to hear that some mishap has occurred and I might not come home straight away, making a detour to the local hospital.

And now you expect me to talk about safety. Perhaps if when I leave home I tie a pillow to my back and one at the front, wear a helmet and strong leather boots I might be lucky. I must perhaps avoid walking on streets and stick to a wheelchair, although I am sure a wheel would fall off, or the breaks would not work. The safety laws for me have not yet been written. I do actually belong to our local first aid group in the village, but no longer attend the exercises. I know everything about accidents and how to deal with them, but the problem is they always happen to me.

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