December 27, 2013

Our Unnecessarily Exciting Life


Peter had a fall today.  It was not, as falls go, a serious one.  He is nonetheless indubitably eighty-six and had a stroke less than a fortnight ago.  He tripped over the dog bed while reaching for GHOST BRIGADES on the table behind the sofa.  And hit his head on the way to the floor.  I was all of about a foot away—on the wrong side of the sofa, and covered in hellhounds and he was falling in the wrong direction, away from me.  But this at least meant I could say firmly to the A&E doctor that he had not blacked out.

He lay there looking mildly surprised while I erupted off the sofa, saying something intelligent like, Oh!  You fell!  He put his hand to the back of his head.  There’s rather a lot of blood, he said, as if apologetically.

THERE WAS BLOOD EVERYWHERE.  I do know that scalp wounds bleed like the very dickens* even when they’re totally minor** and superficial, but he had fallen down and cracked his head on the edge of a chair AND HE’S ON BLOOD THINNERS BECAUSE OF THE STROKE.  As well as the eighty-six years old part.  He got up without trouble (!) and sat in a chair, and I attempted to view (and staunch) the damage.

He was busy saying he was fine.  I was busy saying You are going to A&E.  You can either go quietly in Wolfgang with me or I’m ringing for an ambulance.  He went quietly.  I did agree to ring the out-of-office-hours thingy again just to prove I was right and we should go to A&E.  I was right.***

*&^%$£”!!!!! hospital &^%$)*~#@!!!!!!  You’re not at your best when you’re bringing someone to A&E, you know?  Even when you’re fairly sure it’s not a life-threatening situation†.  I should find out if they have a side door somewhere to let people down who aren’t walking too well:  the main entrance is only really theoretically accessible by anyone but ambulances††;  where pedestrians who are willing to hike in from the car park are allowed to walk is merely a swathe of red paint along the ambulance lane, and God help you if an ambulance in a hurry takes a slightly wide corner.  Because I didn’t know any better I frelling drove up to the ambulance-only door so I could put Peter down as near to the intake desk as possible.  I parked behind a pillar and put my flashers on, I was not blocking anyone or anything, and I hustled Peter in.  I was gone maybe two minutes.  When I came out some ambulance guy wanted to give me a hard time—he and his mate were ambling toward an empty parked ambulance with an empty made-up bed-on-wheels.  I said, I’m dropping off someone who is very tottery, what am I supposed to do?  And he said, charmingly, well, that’s your problem, innit?†††  Add him to the rotting dog turd list.

Because Peter is okay, I will further digress by remarking that I HATE THE HOSPITAL CAR PARK FACILITIES WITH INCREASING ARDOUR.  One of the few things going for the wretched coin machines is that they’ll take 5p pieces, which very few car parks will any more.  So the freller I was addressing rejected four 5p pieces before I found two that would work.  And a good thing too since they were the only two remaining and I was, of course, nearly out of change.  You don’t think in terms of necessary change any more:  it’s all plastic and the occasional bank note, especially at hospital-car-park prices.  Aside from the fact that when you’re bringing someone to A&E you may not be in a position to top up your change before you arrive, even supposing you remembered this was an issue.

Indiana Jones was going over a waterfall when I caught up with Peter.‡  And the day after Boxing Day and four days before New Year’s Eve is apparently the dead zone;  we were seen quickly and calmly.  The doctor was probably all of twenty-five;  I think the nice young (male) nurse she gave us to for the disinfecting and wound-glue-applying was about sixteen.  But they looked him over, asked the obvious questions, and told us to be careful going home.  Indeed.  We walked out to the beastly car park . . . and had a difficult time of it, okay?  It’s INSANELY badly laid out.  Well, it’s not laid out, that’s exactly the problem.  And I’m not frail, but I am sixty-one and a lot smaller than Peter, and when I can’t frelling see in the frelling dark and don’t know the best way for someone unsteady on their feet to go, the whole thing becomes a trifle traumatic.

However.  We got home in one piece.  Well, two pieces, one each:  Peter.  Me.  And had cold turkey [sic] for supper.  And tomorrow’s physio comes at NINE FRELLING THIRTY IN THE MORNING.  I’m waiting for my tea to steep at 9:30 and I’m probably still in my dressing gown.  So I’d better get my gratuitously whacked-out self‡‡ to bed.  Maybe I’ll ask the physio about navigating the frelling A&E labyrinth.  I don’t know what we do about tripping over the dog bed.  Hellhounds need somewhere to sleep.  Arrrgh.

* * *

* . . . the very Dickinson

** If falling on your head is ever totally minor.

*** They did however seriously put the wind up me by the 1,001 questions they wanted answers to as soon as I admitted it was a head injury.^  And finished off by telling me to take him to A&E anyway.  What a good thing I hadn’t been lying on the sofa with hellhounds^^ and the last glass of champagne.^^^

^ The one about diving the gentleman on the phone acknowledged was probably irrelevant.  Yes, I said, it happened in our sitting room, which is, despite local flooding, beautifully dry, thank you.

^^ No, no hellterror.  Hellterror had had a looooong lap this morning while the physio was here.+    And hellhounds unfortunately still find it more relaxing when she’s not around.

+Hellterror has decided she likes physios.

^^^ . . . and reading a book on the anthropology of the Bible, if you want to know.

† Which is what ambulances are for

†† Speaking of ambulances

††† It’s a funny thing about ambulance staff.  I’ve never had anything but good to excellent experiences with them when it’s me or mine who are the objects of their attention.  I think it may be the case that I’ve never not had crummy experiences with them when they’re nothing to do with me.  WTF.  If this is how they deal with the stress of their job I think there needs to be another training module, Dealings with the General Public, Who Have Lives, Genuine Urgencies, and Decisions of Their Own.

‡ Ah the wonders of modern technology.  Your hospital A&E has large-screen entertainment for the sick, feverish, mad and bleeding.

‡‡ Peter said drily on the way home, well, it got us through the evening.


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