Like most people who write, I have a day job. Not highly paid or high flying, but a job nonetheless. Mostly all the drama contained therein can be dealt with without too much ado. Keep your head, stick to the procedure, and ensure you have done your bit properly. Today, just as I’d logged on at my workstation, my cell phone rang; Angie was immobilised and concerned that her artificial hip joint had broken or dislocated. From the tone of her voice, she was obviously in a lot of pain. I rang her Orthopaedic surgeons office and they recommended she go straight to emergency.
Today must have been the shortest shift I have ever worked. About two minutes and sixty seconds to be precise. Knowing my two work buddies had been earwigging on my cell call I said; “Sorry about this guys, but I have to bug out. Angie’s hurt and I have to get her to emergency.”
To which the answer was a simple “Go Martyn, just go.” Bless their cotton socks. Even if it does cost me a shift’s pay. Family is more important.
Ran headlong down the back stairs and remotely popped the car door just as I shouldered the basement exit door open. After leaping into the driving seat and gunning our little Subaru’s engine, I cussed and fumed at every daydreaming driver in front of me on the way home. Glorious, blazingly sunny day, but I was on a mission, with no time for sunshine, lollygaggers, or the directionally challenged.
When I got home, Angie was sitting on her work chair looking slightly pained, with Joanna sitting on the bed, trying to keep her Mother’s spirits up. My dog, Amos, thought it was a great game and Jo, bless her, held him by the collar while Angie wrapped her arms around my shoulders and I half piggybacked, half guided her down stairs, while she tried not to panic about falling. My dearly beloved is no lightweight, and I haven’t done any weight training for years, so I hung on to bannisters and uprights firmly with one hand while pulling down on her left arm to ensure she didn’t let go of my shoulders, just to take her weight off the afflicted hip. Managed to stagger the twelve paces or so to the car in this fashion and gently swung her into the passenger seat. Thence followed a brisk but fairly uneventful twenty kilometre drive to the hospital.
A note about Emergency rooms, everywhere. Unless you arrive in an ambulance, you immediately become a ‘not so serious’ case, taking second place in the queue. Fortunately it was a quiet morning, apart from one poor chap who was groaning like one of Torquemada’s tormented in a nearby treatment side room. Whatever they were doing to him, he wasn’t enjoying it one little bit. We borrowed one of the shopping trolley like wheelchairs, and squeaked and rattled Angie into Emergency. Second in the queue, we were admitted in jig time. Then settled in to wait our turn.
It is written that “They also serve, who only stand and wait.” and this goes triple for Hospital Emergency departments all over the world. After three hours quietly talking and holding my wife’s hand in the bland walled alcove marked Triage #2, the Emergency Physician got time to see her, and half an hour later Angie was wheeled into X-Ray by a blonde haired trainee technician who looked no more than sixteen, but acted with the friendly professionalism of someone ten years older. While Angie was having her however many micro-sieverts worth, I busied myself with a few story notes, tried not to chew my fingernails, buying a cup of coffee which I never drank.
Half an hour later Angie was wheeled out of X-ray to be dispatched back to Emergency by a solid looking lady who had to take her instructions via a heavily padded looking mobile phone device. I looked at the device and wondered idly how many times it had been thrown across a room. Which was probably the reason it was so tough looking. She pushed Angie’s wheeled treatment bed back to Triage #2 where the physician returned, and after a modicum of judicious prodding and joint manipulation, pronounced Angie’s artificial joint still sound, leaving us with the diagnosis that she had probably only suffered a groin strain. Which was a relief. Ten minutes later, I’m supporting Angie on a short controlled stumble back to the car, and thence home after a couple of minor shopping errands.
As kind of a finale to the days alarums and diversions, we pulled into the front yard to see our landlord, Mark, lying on a blanket and cushion in the shade of the house, ankle bound up in a splint after taking a tumble at work. Did the decent thing and offered to make him up an ice pack, but he said he’d got plenty of ice and could do it himself. The man is a trooper.
Amos, my pet trip hazard, dashed out as soon as the door was opened and fussed everyone, but calmed down after his scheduled feed. He’s a gorgeous dog, lovely temperament, but no brain whatsoever. Just a big old excitable puppy. A Black, brown and white bundle of fruit and nutcase. Wouldn’t have him any other way.
Angie dug into her painkiller supply and, Ibuprofen comforted, settled into a few Learning Consultant tasks. Jo is on her final work shift before going back to the UK on Sunday, and I cooked chicken legs and prepared a salad. Sunset is painting the cliffs opposite a pleasing shade of stony pink. Angie is phoning an old friend to tell her about today’s misadventures. I have settled down with a large whiskey and want no more surprises. At least until tomorrow.
What can I say? It’s been a day.