You know what it’s like, there you are, stuck in a waiting room with nothing to read. Fortunately you have a mobile phone, so after calling the people who are expecting you so where you are definitely not going to be, you text a couple of friends.
I needed to thank Octavia for the gift of rhubarb I found through the letter box this morning, but knowing she was at work, I didn’t expect a reply before this evening at the earliest. Then I texted Celia who promptly pulled on her Superwoman tights, and found me in A&E.
I had nearly completed my cycle ride to work this morning and was passing St Thomas’ Hospital, when, just ahead of me, I saw a white car crossing through the lane of traffic to my right. I didn’t think the driver had seen me and I didn’t want to slam into the side of the car, so I applied my brakes, hard.
The good news is my brakes are very good; much better than I expected. Impressively effective, I should say. I came to an immediate halt, and fell off my bike in an undignified sprawl on the road. Kind people asked me how I was, picked up my bike, and I got to my feet. My arm felt bruised and instinctively I raised it and held it across my chest. I was pleased to find no holes in my trousers, and although I felt it was nothing serious, allowed myself to be led to A&E by the young woman who had rescued my bike. I am ashamed now that I did not ask her name.
To cut a long story short, I have broken my wrist and am going to have to have surgery, possibly tomorrow, and a plate, or wires, or maybe plate and wires, the details are hazy now. At one point it looked like I might have surgery this afternoon, but evidently there were more serious cases. People, particularly politicians who would like to privatise the whole thing, are often rude and dismissive about the NHS. All I can say of today is that I cannot imagine receiving better treatment. The staff were professional and friendly. They looked after me and my bike (it was put in a relatives’ room with my medical details taped to it) with smiling kindness, even though I learned that they were very over stretched today. Apparently if numbers of patients in A&E reach 65, they struggle; when I was there it was 83. I can’t thank them enough.
Celia’s smiling face coming across the room was like receiving a bouquet of flowers, and she stayed with me, looking after my belongings while I had a CT scan and an x-ray of my shoulder until the decision was made to send me home. Then more waiting for painkillers, and she pushed my bike, whose pink garland had been admired by the medics, all the way home. Nor did she stop there; the washing up I left this morning is done; the washing is in from the line; the parcel has been returned to Amazon. And she doesn’t like hospitals. So thank-you Celia. You’re a wonder.