comma over-dosed (COD)

Do the intestines spewing out of my gut look suspiciously like sausages?

Kind of curious that the closest I get to meat is when it sits on my abdomen broiling in a broth of cheap hair gel and red dye.

And, yes, that’s a very special recipe for “Evisceration Simulation” straight from the kitchen cabinet recipe-rolodex of Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA).

That’s right. Eight 10-hour days later and scoring a 96% on the final exam, I am now an official and card-carrying WFR! Wilderness First Responder).

So what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that I encounter all the same things in the field (abroad) that I used to, but now I have fancy names, acronyms and systems to define, slang and organize it all: Heart attack (Myocardial Infarction)? Bee sting allergy (Anaphylactic Shock)? Hit on the head (Increasing Intracranial Pressure)? Numb, white, hard hands (Full thickness Frostbite)? Drinking too much water without enough food (Hypoglycemia)? Displaced knee cap (Patella Dislocation)? Bat bite (High Risk Puncture Wound)? Fell on your back (MOI Spine)? Nasty cough and nausea in Lhasa (High Altitude Pulmanary Edema)? Twisted ankle (Unstable Fifth Metatarsal Injury)? Scalded by the fire (Partial Thickness Burn)? Have no fear (assuming you’re more than two hours away from definitive care), for a WFR is here!

I’m not sure what the retention level is on this material, but as of this minute, I know how to swathe it, sprint it, sling it, inject it, NSAID medicate it, elevate it, body board it, motory skills test it, relocate it, TIP (traction into place) it, clean it, irrigate it, bandage it, disinfect it, uncork it, examine it, document it, triage it, resuscitate it, evacuate it, assess it, and in general, sustain it (wow, are you ever sick of my commas), till someone who actually knows what they’re doing can get their hands on it.

It might sound complicated, and indeed it was a lot of material, but actually it was all pretty intuitive information. In fact, I now have this sneaking feeling that I’ve somehow been swindled in life for not being taught all this really practical and user-friendly know-how about the human body (my body) before now. Why this curriculum isn’t included in high school basic ed or as a general prerequisite for parenting, is a question I’m left pondering. I feel like I just completed a Life 101 course and learned super useful skills that might one day actually save myself or someone in my company. (Now if only Apple offered similar courses for its laptops; mine is obviously limping around; and wow, I’m off subject.)

Anyway. If you like to learn and study, enjoy exploring the facilities of the human body, spend any time in the back country, have your ADD under moderate control (it’s a lot of class time), and can imagine yourself enjoying being a bloodied drama queen, then I can’t more highly recommend the WFR course to you.


A few *new* photos in the WFR Course (Leavenworth, WA), Dragon’s Staff Retreat in the Sierras, and California Photo Albums.


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