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Nov 8

Accident and -Hope to Fuck it's Not an- Emergency

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2007 in Rantings

My Accidental Terrorist has jippy back pains due to a dodgy discus.  When I say Jippy, I mean mind numbingly puke-inducingly excrutiating back pains.  These tend to arrive in the form of electric jolts that recently have begun to render TAT a bruised and angry man due to the public humiliation of collapsing unexpectedly.

This first happened on Tuesday in the G.P.’s carpark.  He was whisked away by ambulance in an ether induced haze, and dosed on Morphine which made him a very happy little egg for a while.  The only problem was that the hospital refused to book him in because they were self-confessed ignoramii on the subject of spines.  They did say that if it happened again, we were to zoom right into another hospital in west Dublin where his back-gurus were.

It did happen again.  On Wednesday, an eerie thump resonated through the house.  I rushed upstairs to find TAT in the foetal position looking like roadkill.  I called the hospital and they played ‘pass the problem lady on the phone’ around within their system until I gave up and just decided to drive TAT in myself.

7.30pm:  We arrived.  I gave TAT’s info to the administrator.  I wrestled a wheelchair (literally) off a porter and helped TAT out of the car.

8.00pm: TAT was seen by the triage nurse.  He was told that he was #8 on the priority list.  We began to wait.

9.00pm: Still waiting.

10.00pm: Still waiting.

11.00pm: Still waiting.  Light entertainment is provided by a drunk and slurring skanger who attempts to order “shickkenballs an’ a tree in wan” loudly over the phone from the local Chinese.  When he is asked for his number, he reads the product I.D. number from the back of the handset and gets mightily pissed off when Chinese lady hangs up.  He tries again.  And again.  Finally he begins to call out what sounds like a genuine mobile number.  Two lads handcuffed to each other behind us hurriedly begin to jot down said number with a view to prank-calling skobie.  All are dismayed to find that skobie’s number is three digits short.  All patients wait until Skobie leaves for a smoke and lapse into piss-taking skobie impressions.

12.00am: Still waiting.  TAT is now very pale from all his squirming.

1.00am: Still waiting.  Dissapointed to find that pub closing time has not produced new and interesting A & E victims.  Turns out Ireland isn’t as full of booze hounds as was previously alleged.

1.10am: TAT is given Pethidine injection which was as useful as saline to TAT.  He is X-Rayed.

2.10am: Dozy doctor spends an hour deliberating and poking TAT.

3.00am: Dozy doctor #2 explains that TAT can’t be admitted because of Protocol.

4.00am: Nurse gives TAT watered down injection of Morphine. 

4.30am: TAT and I are found spooning on a hospital bed in the corridor while TAT squirms and we both try to sleep despite repetitive renditions of;


“Simon, stop sticking your fingers down your throat!”


“Simon, stoppit!  You’re making it worse now, lookit!”


“Ahhh Simon, will you please stop putting your fingers down your throat?!”

*retch*  *gurgle* *splash*

“See, now look at this mess!”

7.00am: TAT and I decide to leave, cursing Harney all the way to the car.  We note that despite the fact that there are many many patients lying in corridors, A & E is now completely empty, as are most of the stalls.  We decide that this must be a nightmare and begin pinching ourselves until we cry.

8.30am: We arrive home to disbelieving parents who kindly distract toddler while we grab an hour or two’s kip.


Now: Completely and utterly totally wasted. 

Bring on the comments

  1. Baino says:

    God K8 that’s awful but sadly reminiscent of what happens here as well. So still no relief other than the odd shot of painkiller? Heart goes out to you. I guess keep trying different hospitals until you get some assistance or just fork out the dosh and get some specialist care. It’s a sin what’s happening over there (and here). Best of Aussie luck to you.

  2. Medbh says:

    What a fucking nightmare.
    My back goes out now and again when I lift heavy things. In 2002 I had to go to the ER and the shot of morphine was so wonderful. Sweet relief.

  3. […] at the thought of how one would be treated otherwise. K8 (Grandad’s daughter) has another very detailed post about their recent experience and harrowing it […]

  4. Grannymar says:

    K8 Next time call 999.

    They will by pass the queue and the hospital have to deal properly with the patient as the Ambulance come back for a report on what happened to Patient TAT or whoever they brought in.

    Alas if you go into a hospital under your own steam then they deem you fit enough to go back home again.

  5. Deborah says:

    Don’t get me bloody started!! I have a lump and a bleeding boob and no one feckin cares. It’s all on the non-food blog.

    So sorry you had to go through all that. Hopefully it gets sorted soon as alluded to in your Dad’s last post! Sick men are the worst too. I feel for you!

  6. Kate says:

    Well, that just bites. We don’t do things a whole lot better in the US, except that many hospitals will hand out meds quickly. Quiet patients are happy patients, I think, is the theory.

    I hope something happens very soon to knock you out of this cycle and into a new, (dare I hope) painless version of normal.

  7. Doc says:

    my utmost sypathies to TAT: i herniated L4/L5 – L5/S1 a couple of years back and found the pain nearly unbearable. as kate alluded to, i was medicated fairly quickly but packed off to a specialist for an MRI – which showed herniated L4/L5 – L5…etc etc etc. Upon the advice of my superior half i found a good physical therapist and had twice weekly sessions with her and her rack (i kid thee not). within 2 weeks i was improved enough to start some exercises to strengthen my lower back and within a total of 3 months was hale and hearty again. granted, i was still obnoxious but, as i mentioned to my exalted half, we hadn’t exactly asked anyone about that…

    p.s. – another quirk of the US ‘system’: the docs got me on percodan and vicodan quickly, and supplied me with script after script…until a month was up: it seems that more than a month of effective painkillers sets off an alarm on a certain federal emploee’s desk at the DEA.

    true story – no meds after a month.

  8. K8 says:

    Thanks Baino, looks like the solution’s in sight, and TAT’s happy now that he has the happy variety pain killers! The upside is that I now get to be a full time nurse rather than a window cleaner. The hours are far more sociable.

    Medbh, I hear you on the opiates! I remember going through a phase when I was little of constantly falling on my tail bone which had me out of action for a day or two. So bloody sore, though putting the back out altogether is another story. Ouch.

    Grannymar, the strange thing is, if I were to call 999, the ambulance would bring TAT to the nearest hospital as happened on Tuesday. For some reason I thought this other (far larger) hospital would be better. I know now that it’s six of one…

    Deborah, that is just crazy. I HATE the pass the buck and ‘best of luck with that!’ mentality. It’s a dog eat dog world.

    Thanks Kate, life should be almost back to normal in T minus 8 weeks! As me dad says, thanks to a lot of shouting…

    Doc, this is pretty much exactly what TAT has. He was stretched and mangled and acupunctured and bent into all sorts of shapes, but no cure made any difference really.
    I really don’t envy that DEA his job if that’s the case! Hundreds of patients suddenly caught up the creek?! Crazy. Doctors have similar procedures here to prevent addiction. The most effective painkillers are only available for a week or two, which both sucks and blows at the same time.

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