So there I was… I remember it clearly. It was Saturday… I was lying in the ambulance trying to work out where I was, en-route from our house and the Hospital, a trip of twenty miles of extra bumpy roads. I could see the headlights of our car following behind, so I knew that beloved was in hot pursuit. The ambulance crew, although very nice people, in the form of Susan and Neil, were only technicians and could not fill my arm with morphine so I had to make do with gas-and-air which was about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
The day had started well. During the afternoon I bravely ventured out into our garden-wilderness looking for places to plant the new baby trees that I had just had delivered. This place looked good… and so did that one… over there, at the top of the steep embankment around our parking area.
You can guess what happened next can’t you? Yes, I went to inspect this truly god given spot. It’s what we Secret Agents do. It was then that, I not so much found rather than tripped over a piece of concrete reinforcing mesh that our tame digger driver had dumped there ‘just for a moment’, two years earlier. [Note to self. Find digger driver and shoot him].
The trip occurred and the collective bits of this Secret Agent went head first over the embankment. Have no fear dear reader. The vibro compacted crushed hardore (known as Type-1 by the learned sages in-the-trade), broke my fall.
Beloved helped me drag myself into the house where, by and large, I felt shaken but not stirred. (A Secret Agent play-on-words witticism). My recent hip replacement was undamaged… phew! After a refreshing cup of tea, I felt that a late afternoon nap was in order to allow my various components to settle down again.
An hour later I awoke and it was as though all the demons from hell had come to play red-hot-lava-ball in my right hip. The pain was so outrageous I’d have cheerfully given it to some passing Conservative politician, had one been near enough. Beloved phoned NHS direct and as my pain levels were at 11/10, an ambulance was dispatched without further ado. Two hours later I was on my way.
I arrived at A&E to find that I was in good company as I shared Resuscitation-2 with a very nice ninety-four year old chap who had slipped in the shower and dislocated his shoulder.
Morphine was administered… and didn’t really do any good. So, a second dose was pushed in and then, short of belting me over the head with the bottle of gas-and-air to which I clung, there was nothing else available. I asked for Ketamine but they couldn’t get hold of the local vet. So, to avoid further stress to the patient, X-rays were taken with maximum speed and efficiency as I questioned the parentage of the radiologist, the doctor, the nurses and indeed myself (but only because I was, at the time, looking down at events from the ceiling).
The diagnosis was that there was no bone damage! Hurrah! So a trip into Glasgow was unnecessary and I was put to bed for the night in a two-bed ward where the beds are separated by a curtain. I didn’t know it at the time but the man who was attempting to break the All Scotland Snoring Record in the next bed was the same nice old chap from Resuscitation-2.
Sleep evaded me. Mainly because of the dagger like pain in my hip but I have to confess that the snoring added to the problem. I had to come up with a plan and decided that if I clapped my hands, I might raise the old chap’s consciousness from slumber into semi wakefulness which should stop the snores. Sadly, I learned the next morning that he was stone deaf…
A nurse glided through the darkness appearing at my bedside, announced that her name was Tina and asked, why was I clapping like that? I explained and as I babbled, I recognised her from a previous stay in hospital. “I remember you! You’re that nurse that used to tell me off the last time I was in. When I was in the room… opposite… the room… where that old woman died. Remember? You waited until night time and then tried to shift her… but her arm fell out of the bed and caught on the door frame. She ended up on the floor… I heard the thud! Still… That’s rigor mortise for you.”
She remembered. “Oh yes. You were in the room opposite this one…”
Deduction is what I am good at. It’s what I do for a living. So I deduced… “So I’m in the room where she died! The room where you put the old folk with no hope! Oh woe is me! It’s more serious than I thought, I’m going to die!”
The next morning the pain had receded a bit and I was able to do the three things that the hospital folk wish to see you do before they consider you fit enough to wander back into the world of the living. These are dress yourself, perform bathroom duties, and mobilise – all put very eloquently. If were expecting, ‘get dressed’, shit’, ‘shower’, ‘shave’ and ‘hop it’. Remember that this Secret Agent has standards and would never mention such things.
So what happened? The good doctor, not one of our own but a chappie that had come over from the isle of Skye for the weekend, explained. “When everything is weighed in the balance, we’re almost sure that you have probably had a suspected Warfarin reaction. Maybe.” I am getting used to their doctor talk and had heard this one before when they had no idea what was going on, so I asked, “So what’s that then?” in my sage and learned way. He answered, “If you get a knock, the Warfarin can cause blood to rush to the site resulting in swelling in the deep fibres within… and the pain is said to be quite pronounced.”
“Quite pronounced!!!” Said I. “It was fu%@&*! horrendous!”
It wasn’t all bad though. It turned out that the nice old chap with the dislocated shoulder and I got on like a house on fire (smoke, people yelling, confusion) once his daughter, a seventy odd year old teacher lady, brought his hearing aids in.