Thursday, 31 December 2009

It's been an eventful Christmas....

Most of the events over our eventful Christmastide have been of the welcome variety - but hey! nobody wants to read about those do they? So let's cut straight to the medical drama....(sound of Casualty theme tune starting up).

Essentially, mama (aged 86 and a half) keeled over in the kitchen one morning. Luckily, I was there to catch her, otherwise I dread to think what would have happened when her head hit the stone floor...

We called an ambulance and did all the right things like putting her in the recovery position. It's amazing how these things come to you in an emergency - also that ad on tv about strokes (like a fire in the brain...) has obviously made an impression on all of us.

To cut a long story short, she came round almost immediately but the Paramedic insisted that she be checked out in hospital. This was not before mother had managed to revive her usual habit of making inappropriate personal remarks. Noticing that the Paramedic had a shaved head, she bellowed "Young man, don't you get cold with no hair?" Thank goodness he had a sense of humour.

We arrived at our local A&E to find it absolutely heaving with the ill and the injured and the bays with the beds in were all taken up with Geriatrics. The staff were, despite being run off their collective feet, amazingly cheerful and competent. Mama had various tests - blood pressure, ECG etc which were all fine. Then they decided to assess her levels of consciousnesss. What's the date today? "28th December" came the unhesitating reply. She also knew unerringly where she was and why and how. The best bit came when they asked her who the Prime Minister was. Clearly warming up and enjoying the attention of a good-looking male nurse, she roared "It's that bastard Gordon Brown!" Cue much laughter all round whilst I hung my head in shame.

Later, they requested a urine sample. "I could do with a widdle," she replied cheerfully. "Do you know, my GP calls it a Pee? Disgusting way to talk to an old lady!" This from someone whose salty language has caused many a head to turn in amazement in the past. Indeed, if you ask TS to do an impression of his grandmother, he is likely to reel around the room shouting "bugger, bugger, bugger!" or alternatively "shittykins" which is another of her favourite oaths.

Another vignette was witnessing my stone-deaf mama trying to communicate with a garrulous Italian porter who was wheeling her at break-neck speed up to X-Ray. Watching two people hold a conversation in which neither could or would understand what the other was saying; but both continued to gabble happily in non sequiturs all the way there and back, kept me entertained, if nobody else!

This all took over 6 hours to accomplish and, at all times, we were treated with patience and courtesy. All was well in the end and I feel I have good reason to say Gawd bless the NHS this time!

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