Friday, May 14, 2010

My first experience at A&E in Ireland

Although I went to the pub last night my needing to go to A&E had nothing to do with it. I experienced difficulty in breathing this morning for the second time in a fortnight. I decided it needed immediate attention because one of the things I´ve always made great use of in Ireland is fresh air and I couldn't get any even by sticking my head out of the window. 

Perhaps if I were like my other half I´d have calmly sat on the bed and went through all the possible causes for that. However, I´m not him, so I got ready, called a cab and just went to the hospital having first convinced the taxi driver that it was actually he that was sitting outside the wrong house and not I who was at the wrong address. The taxi driver was Welsh, just like my other half. That´s Welshmen for you. It´s hard to get them to change their minds!

So there I was at A&E trying to sound as centred as an Irish person and explaining that my records may be under a longer version of my name and that I'm now using a shorter version of my name to make it easier for them. That certainly helped her. She found my records straight away and asked me to say my full name. I don´t think it was a great idea considering I was having difficulty in breathing!

My  name was called out in approx. 5 minutes. Short and simple. I felt I was making some progress here. 

The nurse took my blood pressure and tested my heart. Everything was ok. She asked me to wait for a doctor to call me at the main waiting room. I was partially relieved and partially annoyed. I thought there had to be something a little wrong with me to justify my taking up their time. 

Jeremy Kyle was on the telly and I watched a man who was betrayed numerous times be convinced that it was all his fault. I thought I wasn´t getting it right...

Anyway, I was then called out by a doctor after 40 minutes. The main waiting room was nearly empty by then. I was taken to a booth and waited about 5 minutes. Strangely enough, these 5 minutes seemed longer than the previous 40. 

The doctor asked about my family history and I think she nearly regretted it even though I tried to be as concise as I could. 

The doctor asked me to wait for the blood results, which would be ready in about an hour and I had an x-ray done in the meantime. 

The final wait was done in the waiting hall inside A&E. It was not too busy and I could sit and wait comfortably and observe the interaction among the patients and their saying goodbye to the ones who waited just like me. 

I did talk to one of the patients. He was in a really good mood for someone with such an awful cut on his finger. But that´s the Irish for you. Nothing is serious enough to make them not want to strike up conversation. Even a young man who had a broken bone said to him ´It´s not too bad. It´s only broken. Talk to you soon` as he left. I thought he ought to be a rugby player and well used to that. I actually convinced myself of that as not to feel I´m a wimp. 

The x-ray was fine. I have a low blood count and was instructed to get iron tablets with vitamin C and was let go after a lovely nurse from North Yorkshire removed the needle from my hand. I loved the coincidence. I mean her name is Georgina like my late granny and much alive cousin, whom we call Gina. 

It was a good experience.