Ready or Not #218: Bandages Do More Than Protect You

A few months back I bought a bunch of bandages.  I mean A BUNCH.  I like to keep an assortment on hand; knuckle and fingertips, 1”, 3”, bigger ones, medium sized ones, and more.  I also have an assortment of tapes and wraps.  I had left them in the brown paper bag that I purchased them in because I really didn’t have any permanent place to store them; it was just too much for my regular first aid kit.  But keeping it in the bag made it a pain to find what I needed without unloading the entire bag each time.  I needed a long term storage solution.

Recently, my mom moved and she gave me a lovely dresser that was perfect for all of my first aid storage needs.  It fits perfectly in my home and the first aid supplies fit perfectly in it.  I can now see all of the finger, wrist and ankle braces, a variety of tapes, and ALL of my various sizes of bandages and gauze pads.

As I was finding a place for everything (so that everything could be in its place), I was looking at the 12 boxes of character bandages that I had bought for the grandkids to use (Transformers, Batman, Spiderman, Barbie, Pet shop and more).

I thought that it would be better to take them out of their boxes, label them, and put them all in one container; it would save space and the kids could pick and choose from one container instead of 12 boxes.

Sitting there writing “Batman” and “Barbie” 40 times each (not to mention the rest of the characters), gave me a few minutes to think about the bandage and what it really does for us.

Other than covering a wound from the outside elements and helping to keep protective medication on our wounds to stop them from getting infected, what else does the bandage do for us?  For adults maybe not much, after all we make them flesh covered so we can disguise them.  But what do they do for the children?

To a child a bandage can be much more.  It can be a badge of honor and bravery, and a good distraction to forget the pain – especially when choosing a really cool bandage.

I am not very good at nursing type stuff.  I have a lot of first aid training, but I just don’t want to have to use it.  The blood and gore doesn’t really bother me (you get over that stuff when you grow up on a farm), but the pain that is attached to the blood and gore is what sends me over the edge.

When my children were small, my husband handled the practical first-aid part of the accidents and I handled the hand holding and crying with them part, with a few get-better kisses thrown in.  I don’t know if my kids realize how lucky they were that when they hurt themselves – really bad – that their dad happened to be home at the time.  Actually, there was this one time that I made my son wait 20 minutes for his dad to come home to remove a fish hook from his knee; I hope that someday he forgives me for that.  But I did hold his hand while we waited.

I digress.  Fortunately for me, my grandkids have only had small owies and minimal blood leakage while visiting my house.  But during their moment of crisis there was one thing that I learned – a really cool bandage  distractes them from their immediate pain.  There is nothing as important as holding the bandages up to the light so that you can see what character is on it and then picking just the right one to protect their wound.  After all, if you are going to be showing EVERYONE your bandage, you have got to be wearing the right one.  Right?

(*A tip when applying a bandage: put the salve ON the bandage and NOT on the wound.  It is easier, not as messy and much less painful for the wounded.)

Sometimes our pain is like that.  All we need is a good distraction to take away the pain (physical or emotional), and if a really cool character bandage will do that, then thank goodness for easy fixes.  But sometimes a really fun character bandage just won’t do it and we will need to do something more dramatic – like talking to a trusted friend, taking some time off from life and going to a movie, or serving others to help keep everything in perspective.

If all else fails you can always pull out your emergency chocolate reserve. (A food storage necessity.)

I haven’t needed a bandage lately, but my husband needed one the other day and he had a really cool Spiderman on his leg – and he felt better.

And you thought that building up your first aid supply was boring.

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