Last week, and despite the fact that every time this Granny makes plans in advance something always goes wrong, I bought some railway tickets on Wednesday for a trip to York on Saturday. You’d all think that at my age I’d learn not to tempt fate wouldn’t you? Remember the adage I Have often quoted in these very blogs? the best laid plans of Technogran? True to form, on Friday night as I was getting ready to have an early night in preparation for our journey to York the following morning, fate struck. K shut a door. My bedroom door to be exact. Usually she never EVER shuts a door. She shut the door on my middle finger. Don’t ask why my middle finger was in the way. I’ve been asking myself that question ever since. Said finger bled. And didn’t stop bleeding. I, in my usual adult manner, panicked.
“Ring for the ambulance!” I shouted in between expletives that cannot be uttered in this blog. Truth is I thought that the end of my finger was a goner. Lot’s of blooded toilet tissue later, the ambulance guy arrived armed with resuscitation equipment, etc. I don’t think that K had quite been understood over the phone. By this time, the bleeding had more or less stopped and I felt like a complete and utter fool. Calling the ambulance out for a trapped finger! What was I thinking? He was equipped with gods knows what, but not a finger splint (wasn’t expecting such an small and insignificant injury I suppose) nor even a plaster or small dressing, so between us, we had to improvise by making one from a piece of plastic fork I just happened to have laying around in the kitchen fastened to the back of my finger with my last remaining plaster.
He offered to take us to hospital to have the finger looked properly but as K and I were in our jamas and dressing gowns and the thought of sitting around in A & E didn’t seem all that enticing, we sadly declined. Besides which the bleeding had stopped, he had checked that it wasn’t broken by having me bend the offending finger and so he bade us farewell to the sounds of my heartfelt apologies, and I struggled to bed complete with a straight middle finger kept in place with a plastic fork.
The following morning we set off down to our doctors hoping to get the finger seen to and properly dressed by a nurse. The surgery was closed. Right. Off to hospital with said finger in tow. I had to get it properly dressed because I am left handed. Could I put it into water for washing up the dishes? Did it need covering to keep the germs out? All questions that needed answering. During the journey to hospital, I somehow managed to loose K’s bus pass. Hmm. Many of my readers will no doubt be thinking ‘hasn’t she seen enough of hospitals last year to last a lifetime?’ and quite rightly so, but I wanted my poorly finger to be properly dressed for the occasion. Our accident and emergency department is probably like every accident and emergency department all over the country. Big notices are posted everywhere warning you that you may have a long wait, as staff may be busy with other patients who’s needs are far more urgent than yours. That put me and my poorly finger in our place!
I handed my name into the reception area and we sat down. My poorly finger was of course about as none urgent as you could get in the grand scheme of things. We waited. There was a drinks machine. I bought K a cup of hot chocolate seeing as she looked panicked at the thought of us being here until doomsday with nothing to eat or drink. We waited some more. My name was called and we went into a small room where my details were taken by a very strict nurse. I was told I had to go to X-ray and have said finger checked to make sure it wasn’t broken. We sauntered along to X-ray. We sat down and waited. There seemed to be rather a lot of young men with poorly ankles and knees. They were also covered in a lot of mud and were wearing football outfits. Hmm. Of course it was Saturday afternoon and my poorly finger was having to compete with football injuries! No easy task! What bad timing! On refection though, I realised that competing for attention in any A & E department on a Saturday afternoon was probably infinitely preferable to competing with drunken revellers on a Friday night. K and I would no doubt have been sat here in A & E all night in our pyjamas and dressing gowns had we accepted the kind offer to take me to hospital from the ambulance man.
Eventually I was invited into the X-ray room and poorly finger was propped up against a foam holder to keep it straight whilst said X-ray was taken. We both returned to the waiting room. We were told to wait there until a doctor was free to see us. He would have the results of the X-ray. We waited. One young man with ankle outstretched before him as he sat in a wheelchair was ushered into one of the side rooms. Another one limped and hopped along the corridor. I sat there with my poorly finger. After about another hour, we were seen by a doctor. My poorly finger was shown on an X-ray screen. It looked swollen. It wasn’t broken. I told them it wasn’t broken but they did insist I had it X-rayed. He told me to wait and a nurse would dress my finger. At last! We waited and waited. I was beginning to fall asleep. So was K. I was concerned that she might fall off the chair. At last a nurse called us into a side room. She examined the wound. She cleaned it. It hurt. She put some very thin strips across it. No stitches. She placed a dressing over it. She fastened the dressing with tape. She told me to keep it dry for five days. Five days?! I pointed out that we only had a shower. She gave me some plastic gloves to wear whilst in the shower. After five days, I could remove the dressing. We came home. We had been there in A & E practically all day.
So that’s the last time I make any plans in advance. Instead of spending a wonderful day in York taking photos of steam engines and other fantastic sights, we spent the day in Calderdale Royal Accident and Emergency department getting a poorly finger dressed.