Trauma Care in the Wild, part one
It hurt so much I thought I would faint. Or maybe throw up. Or mess my pants. No, I didn’t think, no thought was possible. My world narrowed down to my wrist, which was rapidly swelling and looked grossly distorted, and HURT!!! It hurt too much to cry.
I willed myself to breathe out, a long breath, like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Again. And again. Long . . . slow . . . breaths . . . out, until the pain diminished, ever so slightly, true, but enough for me to remember that I am spacious.
I am made of atoms, which are mostly space. The volcanic rocks of the river pool are made of atoms, which are mostly space. My space passing through the rock space. No impact. Just space.
Alex and Eaglesong sat on either side, holding and supporting me for eternity (five minutes). Their calmness a balm to the panic trying to grab me.
“My glasses are gone.” At my words they began to search the pool. Somehow their absence allowed me to roll onto my belly, and then to elbow and knee myself across the rocks until I could rise to a squat.
“They are gone and no point in searching,” I heard myself say. They immediately came to me and – clinging to them and a rock – I came to my feet and shaky knees. With help and frequent stops, we finished the last quarter mile of the walk back to the car, where the women waited for us, unsure of how our adventure would continue.
At top speed! No, not to an emergency room, but back home, for first aid: Removal of my wet clothes. (And into dry ones.) Application of Arnica gel. (To prevent/moderate swelling and bruising.) A glass of nourishing herbal infusion with seven drops of skullcap. (To cut the pain.) All done with me lying flat on my back with my injured arm held out to the side.
RICE traumatic injuries. Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate. I couldn’t stand – I was still dizzy – so rest was easy. Ice was too hard and edgy on my wrist, so a kitchen towel was soaked in ice water and applied. An Ace bandage was at hand for compression. Elevation seemed a trifle risky, and increased my pain, but pulling my fingers straight out felt great.
Time for class. Time to talk about minerals. “My wrist and arm are injured,” I told the women, “but my mind and mouth work just fine. If you are willing to accept teaching from a prostrate teacher, I am happy to teach!” And I did.
To be continued....