Saturday morning,and Shuffling Bob,- the Triage Nurse-,came out of his little office,and with his usual lugubrious manner , shuffled the patient admission forms at the three of us sitting at the nursing station, like a demented blackjack dealer at the Grand Gomer Casino where the stakes are always either your sanity or your soul.
Who wants what?
"What lucky contestants do you have for us today then Bob?"
Well...I have an ear...a possible UTI...and an ankle...
"Well...let me take the ankle...I think that I'll start at the beginning of the alphabet and see how far I get through it today..."
And so the day started.
By 10h00 I seemed stuck at 'P' for "PFO"...a seemingly endless cavalcade of nubile teenagers who had been out drinking and dancing and drinking and wearing high heels and drinking and falling over.
By 11h00 I was up to "R"...as in "R" for "rist" as the patient put it on the admission form.
Its really difficult to think that there is actually free education here in the UK.
Or maybe...the Ministry of Education doesn't understand that the concept of the three R's of education ,- 'reading,riting and rithmetic'-,is not an actual example of spelling.
Of course ,the UK teaching profession appears to have adopted a post-ironic approach to education,where the emphasis is on such vital and socially inclusive subjects as 'life-skills', 'citizenship' and underwater basket weaving.
Its not for nothing that the teachers Union is called NUT !
The patient with the 'rist' injury was a cheerful schoolboy of 11 who had fallen out of a tree on Wednesday...and who had a deformed looking wrist,which was bruised and swollen.
"Okay...any reason why you've waited three days before bringing your son in for treatment then Ma'am ?"
Well....what it was...obviously...I didn't think it was broken...and I've been giving him paracetamol...but it hasn't brought the interest down...
"I beg your pardon...the paracetamol hasn't 'brought the interest down' ?"
Yeah...you know...he's still in pain...
Needless to say...his wrist was broken.
Which took me to "S"...for "Social Services"...to file a cause-for-concern form.
Just before closing I got as far as "X"...for 'eXtra' elbow...
...the final patient was a pale and wan 9 year old who had been playing in the garden under the supervision of a babysitter and who had fallen and broken his arm...he had snapped his radius and ulna,-the two bones of the forearm-,completely in half and the middle of his right forearm was bent at such an angle that it looked like he had an extra elbow.
He walked in holding his right wrist in his left hand.
His mother,-a woman who was a size 30 but dressed as if she was a size 8...who was in her 40's but behaved as if she was 14-,came trailing in behind him talking on her cell phone.
He promptly vomited all over the desk and floor...which his mother did her best to ignore.
He also vomited down the sling I had put his arm in...which his mother also ignored.
She completed the paperwork still on the phone whilst he was weighted and given some analgesia...and a new sling was put on.
She was still on the phone when he went for his x-ray.
I'm at the hozzy...the man is looking at Johnny...I heard her say.
The on-call orthopaedic doctor was just so delighted to get the referral at 22h 45.
Back to 'F' in the alphabet then .