Whenever someone refers to me as “Mrs W” it always means trouble. Having never adopted my married name when people start the conversation with “Are You Mrs W” it means either a telemarketer trying to sell me something or my husband has another crisis.
The last time I was addressed in such a way it was a cardiologist informing me my husband had had an “adverse reaction” to a stress test and was being prepared for an air ambulance flight to Sydney.
Yesterday it was one of his colleagues letting me know that he had had an accident at work, having been clocked in the face by a spinning piece of plastic which had launched itself from the lathe he was working on.
The emergency department of the hospital is a place you don’t want to spend a lot of time. Ambos coming and a going, a waiting room filled with people sporting a variety of injuries, one bloke has done his ankle, another his shoulder, there is coughing and vomiting.
Turns out Mr Shambles has managed to acquire a unique laceration, cut from the tip of his chin up to and through his bottom lip. He becomes the subject of instruction for the learner doctors.
Given his tendency to faint at the sight of blood and needles it’s going to be a fun night. Seeing as he’s going to have to endure needles he puts in a a request for some botex to get rid of the wrinkles around the eyes at the same time!
He also takes this moment to prove he’s gone one better than my tiny little scrape off my nose. “You think that’s a scar? THIS is a scar!”.
Teeth are out-of-place which requires a trip to the dentist before a return to the hospital. Dentist glues top teeth back in and leaves the out-of-place bottom teeth alone until the swelling goes down when a decision will be made on what to do about them.
As his lip puffs up he begins to bear a striking resemblance to Joan Rivers. He asks if the doctors have a mirror, like the hairdressers, to show him their handiwork after they finish stitching, apparently that’s not a standard piece of equipment at a hospital. Without a mirror he insists on a photograph being taken. “Why?” I ask “It’s not like I’m going to blog about it”. Well that was last night when I was still in the heart racing, OMG stage. This morning, well I need something to write about so here we are. In the end he looks far too “corpse like” in the photo to be able to use it on the blog, I don’t want to distress people over their early morning cereal.
When the staff ask my husband if he has any questions he queries if there’s any nerve damage – because he doesn’t want to dribble his beer at the pub! It’s the important stuff this man worries about.
You have to give credit to the emergency staff there’s a variety of personalities and problems parading before them on a daily basis. The doctors stay focused as a distressed, probably drug-fuelled patient screams obscenities from another room, a baby is wheeled in on an ambulance trolley, and an old man forgets his name.
You become very aware of your own vulnerability as the staff make decisions on your healthcare. You have to rely on their judgement calls as they debate whether they will do the stitching themselves or call in a specialist, how the stitching will be done, whether the cut on his inner lip needs stitching or not. You do have put a lot of trust in your treating doctors.
I rarely play along with the 52 Weeks of Grateful but today I think I have to take part in some gratitude. I’m grateful my husband was working worth plastic and not steel – which would have killed him. I’m also grateful for a medical system that grants us instant access and provides access to caring and highly competent staff.
Now excuse me, Joan is calling for her pain killers so I must be off.