Tag Archives: waiting

A Week I Wouldn’t Want Again (Part 1)

Sorry, I know everyone has problems, and some of them are worse than mine, but how’s this for a week?

Last Tuesday I had a phone call as I was packing parcels in the shop. Julia had collapsed at work and they had called an ambulance. They were using words like “fit” and “seizure”, which didn’t seem hopeful. (Despite this, you do not need to worry – she is fine).

Eventually the ambulance arrived, checked her out and took her off to Queen’s Medical Centre. Having established where she was going, I took a taxi to the hospital. Parking provision is poor at the hospital and, if anything, has become worse over the last few years. It is quicker to take a taxi than find parking. Of course, that would be the morning when they had an idiot on the switchboard and a glitch with the system.

It took twenty minutes for the taxi to arrive, but seemed longer.

At A&E I queued to find out where she was.

As I did so, I heard her say, “Hello.”

Looking round, I saw Julia standing next to me as if it was completely normal to take an ambulance to hospital and scare me to death.

“You’re supposed to be ill,” I said. “I thought you’d be lying on a trolley looking poorly.”

“They needed the trolley for somebody else.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Forsythia and Photinia “Red Robin” – can’t remember the exact names

I took this to be a good sign. I was to be the only good thing to happen in the next four hours. They took her blood pressure, which was high. I am not surprised, mine was probably high too. Hospitals, worries and the cost of taxis will do that.

Then they took a blood sample.

In front of us a man moaned in pain as he sat in a wheelchair. Behind us a woman moaned about her Sky TV contract. Her son-in-law tried to explain it to her and her daughter added a few random complaints of her own.

The TV on the wall droned on about corona virus, the information screen kept increasing the waiting time estimate and the Sky TV contract continued causing concern.

Eventually she saw a doctor. While I sat and waited I tried to read, but the complaints about Sky TV cut my concentration to ribbons. The man in the wheelchair got up and went to the toilet. At that time, of course, he was called through to see a doctor. It never fails.

There were two manacled criminals in the waiting area. They both had two police officers with them. I checked with one of our customers when I saw him later in the week – they have to have two police with them for health and safety reasons in case friends of the prisoner launch a rescue attempt. No wonder we’re short of police on the street.

The doctor told Julia she would have to consult with the rest of her team as she couldn’t find anything wrong. So we waited and the man with the mother-in-law was called through. I’d assumed they had come with the older lady, but no, the womenfolk were simply treating it as an outing.

He was soon out, having been told that his chest pain was probably due to a bout of coughing he’d had in the morning. At the word “cough” we all moved away from him.

He said the doctor had advised him not to lift anything heavy, so he was clearly going to be OK if he had to carry his IQ.

Daffodils at Mencap garden

Daffodils at Mencap garden

Shortly after that Julia was called through to the doctor again and told they definitely couldn’t find anything wrong apart from dehydration (because she doesn’t look after herself). We went for a coffee and had a lemon tart whilst the hospital pharmacy sorted out some aspirin before taking a taxi home.

All in all it was a worrying day and one I wouldn’t want to repeat. It was, though, just the beginning…

The photos are random yellow flowers from the last week. I haven’t taken many photos.

Disclaimer – no wives were hurt in the writing of this blog.

 

All Went Well

Well, that was easy.

I arrived in plenty of time, sat down, opened my book and was called through before I’d had time to read the first page.

Of course, they didn’t want me, they just wanted to move me to the next waiting area. This was crammed with men of a certain age, mostly with a slightly haunted air. This was due, I found out, to the next instruction.

“We’re going to do a flow test today, so I need to ask you to have five or six glasses of water.”

She pointed to the water fountain and left me to it. The slightly haunted air of my fellow drinkers was now explained. Take a man with a dodgy bladder, fill him with water, and it’s not exactly a recipe for comfort and jollity.

I was able to read plenty more of my book, though I wasn’t exactly able to concentrate as the water worked its way through.

Eventually, as I was beginning to feel a touch urgent, I was called through by the consultant.

All is good.

He turned out, despite his formidable qualifications and reputation, to be a warm and charming man with a sense of humour. This is not, as I have discovered over the years, always true of consultants.

He discharged me, told me to see the GP about the disturbed nights, thanked me for my patience and shook my hand.

I shook back then made off in search of a toilet. I may have avoided the flow test, but I still had six glasses of water to unload…