August 19th, 2002

boots

The journey home from BiCon.

I was going to do a BiCon report today, but I'm too tired. Apart from getting more than 3 hours per night less sleep than I needed for the last 3 days running, I had a blood test done this morning, so I'm extra-flaky. My arm doesn't actually hurt too much, which is good - due to reasons which I am far too squeamish to write about, people who take blood from me have to use my right arm, and I'm right-handed. They're testing for four different things which I can't quite remember - one is TSH - I'm kinda hoping that one or more of the tests will turn up positive because it would be some explanation for my health, but we'll see.

Felt pretty upset last night because we saw the most horrendous accident on the M1 driving back from BiCon. Alexa, Simon and I had stopped at the Newport Pagnell services to get some water and ice lollies, and we were sitting on the grass by the side of the motorway. I'd bought a copy of The Observer and was leafing through it idly when someone exclaimed "Shit!" very loudly. I looked up, and there was a large cloud of grey dust on the northbound carriageway. I immediately went for my phone to call 999, so I missed seeing the worst of the accident itself.

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Anyway, we got very delayed by that, and then there was a fair amount of traffic in London - we had to drive diagonally across it from Wood Green to New Malden. By the time we got near home we'd been in the car for 5 hours - so we went out for Chinese in the usual place and came home. Half-caught up with LJ, and went to bed.

I wonder why it is that I have such a calm response to major accidents when I am so panicky about minor injuries to myself? It helped that it was my second 999 call in a few months, plus there was a fire down the road that was big enough to need assistance, but the fire engines arrived just as I started to call them. (Although it was 4am, all three of us were awake because it was simply too hot to sleep, and obviously someone else had been up). Some of it is training, I think - I did a lot of first aid and lifesaving and emergency response stuff in Brownies and Guides, and later in adult leaders' training - and having it all thought through already stops you going into panic. I wonder if having chronic anxiety is actually a help in emergency situations? Because I worry about absolutely everything, I think through what I'd do if x, y or z goes wrong - so I have it there? Hmm.
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