Sunday, April 10, 2016

Broken femur

Pride comes before a fall.

Tubes and a machine and everything

On Sunday last I set off on my natty little Peugeot to do Marahau Hill and, with a gentleman on a perfectly good mountain bicycle behind me, found myself pedalling with increasing vigour and exuberance in the pre-lunchtime sunshine. At the LH corner of the road this translated into disaster. My pedal hit the road, I flew briefly into the air, and as Mr. Larrington would put it, I landed on New Zealand.

I lay for a shocked moment and a father playing with his youngsters on the swings from across the road called to see if he could help.
"No, I'm alright. I'll get up in a moment."
This proved to be incorrect. I tried to move and immediately didn't.

Two more gentlemen on perfectly good mountain bicycles came the opposite way, stopped, and attempted to help me to my feet. I have not known such instant pain, and my screams were loud enough to alert Dr. Brewer in the house opposite, who came hopping out in his moon boot fresh from his own recent ankle-crushed disaster. The father had meanwhile wisely ignored my overconfidence and had alerted Danny, the ambulance driver who lives down the road and with whom I exchange daily waves, and Danny assessed the situation and called an ambulance. A policeman appeared out of the ether and stood in the sun to keep me in shade. Someone recovered the shards of my helmet and the scattered (prescription, so valuable) lenses of my sunglasses. It was all very civilised and friendly.

Annie and Liz appeared with the ambulance and applied gas-and-air while they scooped me up onto their person-scooper, and with the movement once again my screams of pain alerted the entire nation that I'd had a mishap. Liz was sweet and kept me calm and said she was sure I'd be okay, but though they didn't tell me, they all knew I'd broken something.

You have little geographical sense on your back in an ambulance but in forty minutes I was in Nelson Hospital and within another ten had had an x-ray and a fairly large amount of morphine, blurring the period when Monique or Annie or Clare or Millie or Steph or Jill or Mary or Helen or Hannah or - crumbs, the number of nurses who care for you in a short period of time is phenomenal. Dead nice they were, too. Kept taking obs and feeding me painkillers and even had a machine that goes bing!. Daniel admitted me and Perry was my consultant and Heath operated and Katy and Kerry or it might have been Karen were my anaesthetists and they oozed intelligent confidence and experience and I knew I was going to be alright even though anaesthetics is the business of nearly killing you.

The interesting experience was the ketamine when they knew they'd have to roll me onto my crippled side to do an epidural. My world turned antiaesthetic and the inside of my brain became a weird fluorescent blue and my existence shrank into a series of small blue cubes as I sank to the bottom of a swimming pool full of air and I became nothing more than two tiny dots of light inside my mind, and I thought "This is death, and it seems odd that I'm not even slightly afraid", and I knew for a fact I was dead even though I went in and out of being able to hear the constant murmur of cheerful voices and even laughter of a confident team of nine people calmly going about the business of pulling a person apart and screwing large pieces of R9 steel into his skeleton to fix it. And all of a sudden there was Katy the consultant anaesthetist calmly saying into my now wide-awake ear "It's all finished, Richard, and it went perfectly." And Erika - yet another of the myriad of nurses who made me feel cherished - chatted me cheerfully through Recovery, and eventually I was wheeled up to Ward 9 station B which was to be my home for the next five days.

There I met Mungo, whom we shall discuss shortly. I'm too achy at present to do him justice.

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Blogger Tim Mullett said...

Get well soon.

April 10, 2016 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Come on Richard, you missed the single most important detail. How's the Peugeot?

April 10, 2016 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Mr Larrington said...

Naughty Bob!

"Castelotti e morto? Pauverino! E la macchina?"

- Enzo Ferrari

April 11, 2016 at 11:02 AM  

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