Sunday, 3 July 2011

Downpatrick-style ER

Because mum is to electric wheelchairs what Lewis Hamiliton is to Formula One cars, we seem to end up in Downe Hospital's Accident and Emergency with monotonous regularity. After a day of mowing, painting, picnics in the sun and a quick trip to Islandmore to touch base with siblings, neice and sundry friends who were there for the afternoon, mum and I got back to her house feeling as though we'd filled Sunday pretty well.

Ten minutes later, I was coming back through the front door after getting some things from the car, when I saw the first few of what turned out to be an entire trail of drops of blood which led me across the hall, round the living room and into the kitchen, where I found mum sitting in her wheelchair, a growing pool of the stuff on the tiles below her left foot. She had hit a side chair head-on, and there was split laceration on her left shin, a couple of inches across and as deep as you can go on the front of your shin, if you know what I mean.

I suggested A&E for stitches but typically, mum just shrugged, happy to bleed to death rather than put me to all that trouble. I talked her into it, and we got back in the car and sped off to the A&E - where the receptionist greeted me with, 'You're Michael, aren't you?'

I must say, they're all very nice there, and I've grown accustomed to the pace at which they proceed - the first couple of times I thought, 'Where's Nurse Hathaway when you need her, and why aren't they all running round barking orders and prioritising patients and reeling off tests (including Chem 7)?'

I have mum's history so off-pat, including the pathology of her stroke, her medication, allergies and all the rest, that the duty doctor always, but always, asks me if I'm a doctor.

Patched up, and reassured that the flesh around the wound was viable and that it should heal well, we got away from the hospital in less than two hours, which is something of a record.

Mum is still wondering what the fuss was all about..
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