Although bones weren’t protruding through the skin, I was sure that my wrist was broken. Despite my obvious predicament, a calm seemed to descend over me — giving me complete clarity of thought. It’s strange how the smallest thing can send you into a panic but when something serious happens, the mind kicks into a higher gear — making it seem much easier to cope with what could be seen as a potential disaster.
The pain of my wrist injury still hadn’t fully kicked in but my back was throbbing spectacularly. Because I was ‘home alone’ and there was no one to help, my options seemed clear: I walked downstairs and unlocked the front door; realising that for anyone to help they had to be able to get access to me.
I then walked into the living room, picked up the telephone and dialled 999. The female operator on the other end of the ‘phone was obviously used to dealing with people panicking. The fact that I was calm and not panicking probably confused her, belying the seriousness of the situation, sending the message that my injury was probably just a wrist sprain or something equally as trivial.
It wasn’t until after a minute or so, when the immense pain finally kicked in and my breathing became shallow and laboured that she decided to send an ambulance — whilst continuing to ask me questions about my injury and my health in general.
I was grateful that she realised the enormity of my situation and didn’t just decide to transfer me to NHS Direct for some telephone advice. You hear these horror stories of falling standards in NHS care and it can’t help but shake your confidence. But, I consoled myself by telling myself: I just needed to wait for the ambulance now. .…Continue reading