There are many weird and wonderful phobias around. Some are well known, some are not….

  • Chirophobia – fear of hands
  • Nomophobia – fear of not having your mobile phone
  • Xanthophobia – fear of the colour yellow
  • Omphalophobia – fear of belly buttons
  • Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

My phobia is a fear of first aid. Not getting it, I have no problem with the idea of somebody putting my arm in a sling, putting my hand in cold water or giving me an eye wash. It is the providing of first aid which causes me so much grief.

My autistic brain finds the unplanned nature of having to deal with medical emergencies so terrifying that I actually feint. Working with the public means I am expected to get training every two years, by my calculations, this means I must have done at least 10 or 12 first aid courses and I never got through one without feinting.

The first time it happened was at high school, our entire year were put on a day long course. Most people got a document saying they had ‘gained a level two certification’, others got level one. My certificate said I had ‘attended a first aid course’.

Why is there a fork here?

The bits I can do:

  • Putting a colleague into the recovery position, although I am usually told off for rushing, yet none of my colleagues ever seem to mind getting it over with
  • Applying bandages to imaginary wounds
  • Chest compressions to the rhythm of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees (not a bad song choice for a first aid course, better than Knocking on Heavens Door which is too slow)

The bits I can’t do

  • Listen to the instructor talking.

This always makes me start sweating, feel light headed, turn so pale I resemble somebody from the instructional videos and eventually fall to the ground.

This bit it quite fun – just don’t ask me about EpiPen’s….

At least now I am aware of the pattern, I know when I am no longer able to see straight, I have to get out. I generally hide in the toilets until I think the instructor will have stopped talking and the class will have moved onto something else.

On my most recent course, I pretended to take a ‘very important’ phone call on my mobile, meaning I had to leave the room quickly “I didn’t want to cause a disruption”. I must have been gone for about ten minutes but sadly the veins and arteries chat was still going on so I was forced to pretend to take a second ‘very important’ phone call. Luckily, nobody ever calls me so I was in no danger of the phone going off for real.

It is curious that I am never given a choice about this. Simply having done the training course, does not mean I will be any use in an emergency, there are many examples of me failing to deal with a crisis, my preferred method is hiding and hoping somebody else will turn up, which they (touch wood) have always done.

Despite having missed very significant sections of the course I still passed. However, this morning I learned that because my certificate failed to arrive from the awards body, I will be required to do the course again.

I did the sensible thing and deleted that email. My plan is to pretend I never saw it and hope the manager forgets. Wish me luck.


4 thoughts on “First-Aid-O-Phobia

  1. I’m with you on this! I do OK with First Aid classes and even CPR. But my executive function is so lousy that the likelihood of me ever being able to pull it altogether to save a life is pretty low. I just hope I never have to respond to an emergency.

    However – first aid has come in handy taking care of my own stupid accident-prone self!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish you good luck with that hope. I do think that they over do the re-certification thing. Let’s be honest the basics haven’t really changed for some time now. So completing an online line course giving your actions in a number of situations would show that you still have the required knowledge. New methods would be the only time in person instruction would be needed. The problem is all the money that companies make from all the courses the employers need their employee’s have to take to cover themselves in case of an emergency and government regulations make this unlikely to happen.


  3. Wow, I rather fancy the peanut butter one myself?! Ironically, maybe you should be awarded an exemption certificate from doing first aid as you faint all the time? Fingers crossed that it all goes away if you ignore it long enough…good luck!


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