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"Multi talented." Newcastle Journal “Awesome”– Frog & Bucket "Fantastic host... Kept the night flowing" - Laughing Cows

  • One Geordie, the Big Break and a Pantomime Part 3

    I'd sat in a vacant wheelchair, which was unbelievably heavy, so when they called my name, Mum began pushing me over toward the treatment centre doors. Unfortunately, it was too heavy for her to handle, and, much like a supermarket trolley, it had a mind of ots own. So much so, that I was heading straight for a pillar! Another accident was looming and I felt like I was in a Fast & Furious film as the wheelchair swerved at the last moment, avoiding my sore leg ploughing into it.

    The worst part was the junior doctor who had called my name, simply standing, holding the door open, watching vacantly.

    “You can't push the chairs forward,” he informed us. “I'll take over.”

    He then dragged me in said wheelchair at what felt like the speed of light, round a corridor and corners. I felt like I was on the Big Dipper

    I was put into the same A&E room as when I had recently accompanied a friend who fell and injured her leg. She had thick black tights on and, despite having split her knee open, was more concerned when the nurse was cutting the tights to get to the wound as she  couldn't remember if she had shaved her legs.

    "You want to see my legs. I'm waiting for the wax cycle.” the nurse had told her. “I wont even mention my nether regions, apart from one word - forest.”

    After the consultation, I was sent for x-ray. Which, being so late after 10.30pm, was empty, x-rayed immediately and sent back to wait for my junior doctor.

    “I've got bad news – you've broken your ankle,” Junior told me.

    Now, I didn't think, for one moment, that I had actualy broken anything. I was convived I had torn the ligaments. Like the footballers do. So, for the first time since the accident, the tears came.

    “Let's hope you don't need an operation,” junior added, casually.

    More tears.

    “We'll put a temporary cast on it and you'll be back here to the fracture clinic first thing tomorrow morning.”

    It was now 11pm. What time was “first thing tomorrow morning”? Was it even worth going home...

    Junior left the room sheepishly and we waited what seemed an eon for the nurse to arrive to plaster my leg. Maybe she was plastering that bit of cracked ceiling I'd noticed in the corridor first.

    “We're to put a temp plaster on for you, are we?” Nurse said abruptly on entering.

    Was that the Royal 'We'?

    She manhandled my leg to have a look how best to perform the task, hmmm'd and harred to herself.

    “These trousers will have to come off,” she declared.

    “What will I wear to go home?” I asked. A fair enough question, I felt.

    She rolled her eyes and sighed: “I could give you a hospital gown.”

    I'm no fashionista but even I have standards.

    It also occurred to me, what a waste of resource that was. How many people a day did they offer to give hospital gowns to take away to – times that by the number of hospitals in the UK – the NHS deficet soon adds up...

    “The jeans split at the crutch when I slipped, so cut this leg off at the knee,” I said.

    “Okay,” she said and came at my injured leg with a huge pair of scissors.

    She gathered the jeans at my knee and then moved the scissors toward my crotch, cutting the jeans just under the pocket, making it into a hotpant. Could she not have cut them off just above the knee as I'd suggested!

    I'm sure I saw a complacent glint in her eye as she smugly said: “There!”

    She exited, returning some moments later with a loaded trolley of plaster etc. She was very brusque in her manner and movement, sweeping past the broken ankle to get herself into postion. Well, as long as she was comfy.

    “Hop up onto the couch,” she barked at me as she surreptitiously attempted to hoik it up higher. Erm – she was aware I'd broken my ankle...?

    After four attempts of hopping up onto said couch due to being off balance, bulky and giggling to myself – out of embarrassment more than it being funny – Nurse had begun soaking the bandages.

    “Come on, come on,” she clipped. “Lie on your front.”


    “Lie on your front, please,” she bluntly said.

    Hold your horses, I'm not a contortionist. Again, much effort to turn around and lie on my front and Nurse began applying plaster-soaked bandages to my left leg.

    “How did you do this?” she asked.

    “I slipped on the wet pavement,” I began. Due to repeating it to so many staff, I now had the story perfected. “On my way to the theatre. To see the pantomime. I hadn't been drinking. Hadn't had a drink. Just slipped, didn't even fall.”

    “You hadn't been drinking?” Nurse asked in surprise. And with that one statement, her whole attitude changed. “Oh, you poor thing. Did you get to see the the pantomime?”

    “No, I missed that. Have been here all evening instead.”

    “Oh dear. How awful. What a shame,” she cooed.

    What develiment was this; why the change in reaction; what was her game...?

    She clearly thought that, as it was Saturday night, I had been rat-arsed out my skull, fallen, likely by thinking I could fly or some such nonsense, and broken a limb. All from being a pisshead, draining her and her fellow A&E staff members time, patience and the resources of the NHS.

    Now that she knew the truth, her conscious has been pricked and she knew she was in the wrong. It felt good seeing her backtrack and apologise, through approach and body language.

    Bet she regretted cutting my jeans off at the crotch.

    I know I did.

    The cow.



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