The royal wedding last week reminded me of an incident when I was working an overtime shift at St Vulvas in the Emergency Department,one Saturday afternoon a few summers ago.
I was the designated "resus nurse" and as such got to play with the really interesting...or, sick....patients.
Joining me for the afternoon was a South African doctor called Grant,a real laid back surfer-dude from Durban...with assisted-blond hair gelled into an improbable shape...a generous personality...and a happy disposition.
A local ambulance crew came storming through the doors with a middle-aged woman having a full-on allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Her very anxious looking husband came running in behind her.
She was pale and sweating and having difficulty breathing and was a few minutes away from respiratory arrest.
Okay my dear....a phrase anyone under 30 uses on any woman over 50 in an ER...my name is Grant...this is Lucien....and we're going to be taking care of you.
She tried to smile and nod her head.
Her husband stood in the corner,staring in horror as Grant stopped chewing his gum long enough to talk to her...
Howzit, he said to the husband.
Dude...have you got a line in ? he asked me.
I did ...whilst he checked her airway and started to give her the necessary drugs.
Gradually her colour returned to pink,her breathing slowed down,and her pulse and blood pressure normalised.
At this point one of the full time staff nurses bustled into the resus bay with the paperwork and said to us...
...This is a Lady...
Grant looked at her,stopped chewing his gum again,and laconically replied...
...I can see shes a lady...I passed my anatomy at university...
He winked at me.
We both laughed.
No, said the staff nurse...shes Lady Horseface of Richfromslavery...
Oh, said Grant. An actual Lord and Lady, hey?
The patient gave a slightly embarrassed smile.
So...are you rich? asked Grant.
I too was curious.
Hurrmph....well...yes....I suppose we are...said Lord Horseface.
Great...do you have any daughters?
Hurrmph....well...yes...we do as a matter of fact...
Great...are they single?
I thought we were going to have to resuscitate Lord Horseface as well.