Medical Marvels

As we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’ve been intending to write for weeks now (I think this is the longest gap between posts that there’s ever been), but unfortunately life has got in the way of me writing about life.

We’ve had quite a few trips to hospital with various family members over the last few weeks, some planned and some not. Nothing too serious thankfully. I am always wary of going to A&E, and I only ever go if 111 have recommended it. Some of my reasoning is down to not wanting to waste anyone’s time, if things can be sorted another way. However, I can’t claim that it’s entirely down to community spirit. I mostly try to avoid it because I’m convinced they still remember me from a few years ago, when I was in there five times over the course of ten days.

The first time was fair enough. My youngest, aged about 4 at the time, had a febrile convulsion and needed treatment. The second time, the same child was apparently well enough after 3 days to climb up to a high cupboard (doing some pretty spectacular gymnastics along the way) and also clever enough to work out how to open the locked medicine box and take some tablets she shouldn’t have. She was fine, but at this point I began to be viewed with some understandable suspicion by the doctors at the hospital.

My resolve to never enter into the building again, petered away when my other daughter, obviously feeling left out, decided to see what would happen if she inserted a bead up her nostril. What happened was that she was delighted with herself for quite some time, until it dawned on her that getting it out again wasn’t going to be quite so easy.
So back we went, only to find that the doctor couldn’t reach it either. He advised us to come back the next day for another try, otherwise surgery would be required. Thankfully it came out the following day. I like to think the bead somehow heard me when I explained to my daughter in some detail where it would be inserted next, should she repeat her actions.

A few days later, life felt safe again and normal activities resumed. Then one day I knelt down in front of the washing machine to get the clothes out, only to discover upon standing that I was suddenly and badly bruised from my knee down to my foot.

Back I went again, this time to have an x-ray of the knee. Which leads me to one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever uttered. The radiologist asked me if there was any chance I could be pregnant. I totally misheard him and answered ‘I don’t see how, all I did was kneel down on it’.

I was naturally mortified once I realised what he was actually asking, yet he remained entirely serious and straight (some might say po) faced. In case anyone is wondering, it turned out to be ‘housemaid’s knee’ which is deeply ironic given my unceasing efforts to avoid any and all housework wherever possible.

Ever since that week, I’ve steadfastly avoided A&E whenever possible. I was pretty sure at this point that they had my mug shot up on the wall. Ok, there was the time I cut my foot badly on some glass. Our parcel delivery driver had tried to deliver something but realised we were out. He could have gone for option a) leave it somewhere near the door, option b) leave it with a neighbour, or option c) take it back with him.

He actually plumped for secret option d) force it through the top kitchen window, break my blind and let it fall, knocking a glass off the kitchen counter and smashing it on the floor. All of this unbeknownst to us, or to my bare feet when we finally got home. And of course there was the time I nearly set fire to the entire house, but that was actually my fault so the less said about that, the better.

Anyway, since then we’ve managed to avoid A&E for a really long time, and as I said, I never actually go unless told to by the powers that be. Unfortunately this month has proved to be another one of those months. In addition to an episode of cellulitis with one of my daughters, and a couple of standard hospital appointments, I went in recently with an elderly relative, on the advice of his GP. I was only allowed in with him because he’s hard of hearing and needed someone to translate (the fact that he’s hard of hearing because he simply won’t wear his damn hearing aid is neither here nor there).

And translate I did. I spent seven hours carefully translating exactly where the doctor would be putting her two fingers, and why. Loudly. And repeatedly. Further explanations had to follow, and I found myself standing in the local hospital screaming at my loved one about bowel movements, with nothing but a thin curtain to prevent our entire town knowing the literal ins and outs of his situation.

We’re hoping that this week, all we have to face in terms of illness is the tri-annual ‘end of term-itis’, symptoms of which include slamming doors, rolling eyes and regular meltdowns. Don’t worry about me calling 111 for that though, I know exactly what to do. Largely because I already called them last year and they prescribed wine, and lots of it.


Bring on Bedtime!

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