Last Sunday 3 weeks, the 28th August, I woke with a bit of a chest pain and short of breath; I reported this to my wife as required, (her idea/instructions). I assured her it was not too bad and I wasn’t particularly worried or words to that effect; and I was told to let her know if it got worse. As the day wore on the pain, which had turned into a slight ache, disappeared. This information was duly passed on!
The following morning it returned, much the same as it was the previous morning, with the same result, except I had nobody to report to, as Mondays and Tuesdays are days when I’m home alone until after 5, XD I mentioned it in passing; the response was that I was to keep her informed if it got worse.
It was back again Wednesday and it was getting increasingly annoying and monotonous; especially as I was under orders.
Naturally, I was sitting at the computer doing the rounds of the newspapers, email et al , when all 138.5cm (4’6½” approx.) of my wife loomed large at my shoulder and inquired after my health; adhering to my credo, “it’s better to be a live coward than a dead hero”, I answered truthfully, that it seemed to be recurring in the mornings, but disappeared during the course of the day!
I admit that I was somewhat stunned, when she advised me that she was ‘frightened’; back in June I think it was Prof. Kilian; my cardiologist, was more than pleased with me, and didn’t want to see me again until June 2017! So what had she to be frightened about?
Now I was given three alternatives,
1) Go see Doc. Francis. (my regular GP);
2) Ring Prof Kilian and get an appointment for NOW! and
3) Go to the ER at the RPA.
Being somewhat cornered I reasoned that if I went to Doc. Francis he would either send me to Prof K or the RPA for a thorough going over, and if I went to see Prof K, he might well have shoved me into the RPA not just the ER; so I settled on the ER at the RPA. I was then instructed to get into the car and she’d drive me there NOW.
Naturally I took my time and scurried immediately to do her bidding!
Of course Coco came, he likes going in the car; and by bringing him along I was able to enter the ER alone; as there is no way that either my wife or I would leave him in a car unattended. But she was not to be outdone.
My instructions were to report immediately I’d checked into reception via a text message; and to do as I was told and not to cause a stir.
I’m an adult male and I’m getting instructions like this???
Anyway as good fortune would have it I wasn’t able to send a text mx as per instructions, for no sooner had I sat down to wait for the triage to call me than they did. A lovely young (everybody is young to me) Rebecca called me and started the process of putting me through the hoops.
Within a few minutes she’d taken me to a ward where I was handed over to another young nurse (told you!) named Laura; I, naturally enough started to sing the song by the same name, and she told me very pleasantly to be quiet while she did her job; probably didn’t like my singing truth be told. So I sat there quietly with wires attached to me.
After she’d finished and I was disconnected from the thingy, she told me to wait while she went for a wheelchair to take me somewhere else. I said I was fine, no worries, no need for a wheelchair I can walk, and I was politely informed that I was to wait and go in the wheelchair.
No point arguing, so I sat with head way down, trying not to be seen or noticed, as I was taken to another room, there to join another four, or five, people who had had been dumped there for reasons best known to those in control!
The next nurse really was young and her name was Tui (pronounced Too -e) I said “you must be from New Zealand with that name” and she agreed that she was from that country and asked if I knew somebody else with that name. I told her yes but it was a long time back.
Actually it was longer than that, it was 1958/59 and I had the unpleasant job of having to give her the bullet. It was the first time I’d ever had to fire someone; I wouldn’t have minded so much had I have hired her in the first place but my so called ‘boss” Alan Latham had and when she turned out to be pretty useless he told me to fire her. She never forgave me.
Is it any wonder that I remember the name Tui?
Anyway this Tui promptly took a blood sample; she was damned good, didn’t feel a thing, there is normally some problems getting blood out of me. She asked me if there was anything I wanted; and I told her I was in need of a snack and would it be okay for me to slip out to the café to get a sandwich.
They knew of course about my op last year, and my new feeding habits; so Tui told me no need to worry she’d bring me something to eat, a few minutes later she came back with a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich, plus an apple juice to wash it down.
They’re pretty good, when I was recovering last year I had a thing about apple juice, couldn’t get enough of it, when I took out money to pay Tui told me no worries, that there was no charge.
Gotta love the RPA! XD
Not having had much experience of an ER at a major hospital, teaching or otherwise, I found it all very intriguing; seems there are 3 levels of doctors, the lowest wore a green uniform and invariably had a stethoscope draped around the neck; the next level up wore black uniforms; not the greatest colour to inspire confidence in those supposedly sick, but then again they may have been attending the dying.
Then there were doctors with no uniform but ‘scopes. 🙂 They, too, have their stethoscope stratigically placed around the neck, resting nonchalantly upon their shoulders.
The nursing staff all semed to be dressed in the same navy blue uniform, none had a stethoscope draped around the neck. Some had different colour patches on the sleeve of their uniforms, others letters.
I suppose it all means something, because they all seem to know what they’re doing, and where they’re going. Amazing place, amazing people!
Having devoured half the sandwich and pondering whether or not to tackle the remainder my deliberations were interrupted by what I perceived to be a very senior doctor.
How was he able to do this? I hear you ask.
Easy; she was very well dressed, sans stethoscope and addressed me as ‘Mister S., no first names for this lady. 😮 not that it bothers me. I was asked to accompany her to a private room, where, she told me the results of the cardiac thing that Laura had performed shortly after my arrival, and the blood tests from the stuff that Tui had managed to extract.
Everything was in good shape the heart was fine the blood was worth bottling and from the tests conducted could find no reason for the pain/ache that I’d been experiencing.
She decided it would be a good idea for her to have a chat with Prof. Kilian, my cardiologist; so she left me and went off to her own rooms away from the ER and rang him; told you see was very senior.
When she returned some quarter hour later, I had finished my sandwich, and she told me that I was fine to go; and it was she that issued the discharge papers, with the instruction to go see Prof Kilian saspo (old airline jargon for soon as possible).Something I’m not planning on doing at the moment.
It dawned on me whilst sitting around waiting, that I hadn’t been drinking at least a litre or more of fluid per day, for the past few days, in fact I doubt I’d been drinking half a litre, (Michelle would be very annoyed) and I was dehydrated and needed to get back onto the liquids quick smart.
I sent a message by my Samsung phone thingy, (which I’ve nearly mastered, enough to send and receive messages, and also answer should it ring, or whatever the noise is it makes, should someone call) to my wife and she was there in under ten minutes, with Coco who was all smiles to see me, that’s Coco not Kerry: and when I got home I explained I was dehydrated, didn’t mention the instructions on the discharge papers (didn’t show them to her) and got stuck into the iced tea.
I have had no pains or aches since, and I’m getting so much in the way of fluids into me that I’m now in danger of drowning.
For sure! 😳