Sunday morning at 0820 .
Its a beautiful day outside , perhaps the last warm day of the year...and so of course, the waiting room is jam-packed with the halt,the lazy...and in my case...the lame.
"Miss Ann Throwpick " ?
A young woman in the corner waves to attract my attention.She is sitting clutching a can of cola and a packet of crisps in one hand,and is busy texting on her cell phone with the other.She is sitting in one chair,with her left foot resting on another.
"Good morning . What's the problem ?"
Its my ankle , innit !?! I think its broke ...
"Are you able to walk on it at all ?"
I walk back inside to get Julian,-the Health Care Support Worker on duty,and my designated minion for the day-, and a wheelchair.
Julian is a very competent worker able to calm the most difficult patient,and more importantly,able to keep me in a good mood.
He looks just like Boy George...but without the make up...obviously...well,at work anyway.
Can my mum come in with me ?
We both lever the young lady into the wheelchair and drag it back into the Unit.
This is not to suggest that she is overweight.
Or even fat.
Or even , very fat.
Or even,morbidly obese.
But it does look like she has , at 25 , eaten all the food that had been allocated to her for her 'three-score-and-ten' years.
"Right...so what happened last night ? How did you injure yourself ?"
I dunno...but it really hurts
"Where you there at the time then ?"
Yeah...I was at a wedding...I fink I fell down some stairs...at dinnertime yesterday...its really hurts...
"Right...have you been able to walk on that foot at all ?"
No...its really painful
"OK...have you taken any analgesia then ?"
Wots that ?
"Pain medication...pain tablets...paracetamol or ibuprofen...something like that ?"
"Any reason why not ? Are you allergic to anything ?"
Well I didn't have nuffink with me
"Fair enough...didn't you want to get something on the way home then , yesterday ?"
Didn't think about it did I ?!
"Do you have any pain tablets at home ? "
"So what did you do last night ?"
Went to bed because it was so painful...and then my mum got back from work...and she put a cold flannel on it...
"Did that help ?"
"Any reason you didnt get your mum to go and buy you some pain tablets then ?"
Well ...it wos saturday night...she was going out , wasn't she ...?
"Ok....so you injured your ankle-had no painkillers;didn't buy any on the way home;and your mum didn't get you any last night ? But you are in a lot of pain...unable or unwilling to stand or walk on that foot ...is that correct ? "
"Any reason you didn't go and get some pain tablets this morning ?"
Well we wos coming straight here , so we thought that you could look at it...
" And indeed I will...OK...well...let me give you something for pain first...have you had breakfast today-I'd like to give you some ibuprofen ?"
No...its too painful to eat!!
(Dear Lord...take me now)
"Ok...well let me get you something else..."
After an exhaustive and exhausting examination , and an absolute refusal to stand on her foot/ankle , and in line with the Ottawa Rules I decide to take an X-ray of her ankle...although I suspect that she has a Grade One sprain...
Sure enough she does...
"Julian...could you please give Miss Ann Throwpick some crutches and an ankle-injury advice card ? I'm just going to do a physio referral for her."
"Right...you have a nasty sprain of your ankle...use the crutches and go to the physio...most important of all...on your way home , stop and get some pain killers...you really really need them."
So wot ? That's it...crutches ?
"Well...and physio and follow the advice in the information card there...ice it and elevate it...and buy some pain tablets..."
Ain't you gonna give me any then ?
"You don't need a prescription for paracetamol...or ibuprofen."
Yeah...yeah...but I'm unemployed
Yeah , says her mother, she's unemployed
"Well...I'm sorry but you need to buy the tablets...good morning to you."
You Australians...you're no help...crutches!! Wot use are they then ??
"Well , I'm can't speak for the Australians...- Ma'am-...but as a South African I would be keen for you to use them...as will the English physio you'll be seeing on Tuesday. Ma'am."
Julian chose that moment to intervene...
...flouncing over and saying , 'Come on now...lets have you up and on those crutches...you got her phone there mum...thats right...be careful.'..as he bustled them out of the door.
'You do get them don't you...by the way...what does P.F.O. mean ?'
"Pissed , Fell Over."