Not the way to spend Sunday

You definitely don't want to spend a sunny Sunday in A and E, either as a patient or a relative.  But, after the Pri-mate suffered chest pains  in the morning after volunteering to walk up the hill to get milk and bread from the shop, that's exactly what happened.  When he came home, looking decidedly dodgy, I rang our GP for advice and she promptly rang for an ambulance.  Although we live in quite a remote rural area (nearest hospital almost an hour's drive) within minutes a First Responder arrived laden with gear and quickly had him pinned down and attached to a heart monitor.  About 30 minutes later paramedics arrived in an ambulance, did an ECG print-out and we were soon being whirled away under blue lights and sirens.

A and E on a Sunday is a crowded melee of rugby and football players clutching arms, heads and legs, dripping blood and mud on the floor in equal quantities.  A group of DIY enthusiasts who had either fallen off ladders or tried to remove parts of their anatomy with stanley knives, sat or lay on trolleys glumly in the corridors.  A queue of ambulances at the door delivered more casualties to a department already full.  We had nothing but admiration for the staff as they cheerfully tried to cope.

By early evening Neil was feeling better, the heart monitor showing normal readings, but he was ordered to remain in resuss until blood tests and x-ray results came back.  Then he was told that he would have to remain in hospital overnight 'just in case' and for more tests.  The mere thought of it made him feel so ill he instantly discharged himself.  Good friends collected us and we staggered back home to our own bed.    He's fine this morning, but should (of course) have stayed in hospital as a precaution.  But he's hospital phobic and of the opinion that only the really sick should be in there, which (of course) doesn't include him!!


  1. Oh dear, so sorry to hear about your trip to A&E! Glad that Neil is doing better though and hope you both get settled back home soon.

    1. Sorry to hear about the A & E visit, and hope Neil is better now. Really pleased to hear the fisrt aid was so fast, despite your remoteness. I can understand why he wouldn't want to stay in overnight though, can't get any sleep for one thing! Hope he's okay today.


  2. Thanks both, yes, he's fine today and all the better for a decent night's sleep. Won't be volunteering to go shopping for a while though!

  3. oh, Kathleen! Poor Neil, poor you - how frightening and ghastly. I hope all is ok in the longrun and that heart of his keeps pumping - shopping or no. I was just passing by to say 'Happy Tuesday Poets Birthday' and to thank you for all your support of the blog over the past two years - the poets you bring to us, your own poems, yourself. Mary & Claire.

  4. Thank you Mary - and big thanks are due to you and Claire for all the pleasure you've brought to all the people who follow the TP blog. From me especially because it makes me feel part of a ...... 'fellowship' seems the only word, or maybe 'community', of poets, exchanging ideas and giving support to each other. Stimulation too. It's made a big difference to my life, which was in danger of slipping into the black and white of prose. Thank you for helping me get the colour back!
    Here's to another year of sharing.

  5. Kathleen, I'm glad you enjoyed the review of 'Learning Not To Be First'. It's a wonderful book. I'm sorry - as well as very interested, as a veteran of the heart monitor and the midnight ambulance trip - to hear of Neil's experience. It must have been really scary for you both. He will be all right, you mark my words. I had a triple bypass thirty years ago and two angioplasties since and I feel great, so tell him not to be too worried. Looking after the heart is something that the the NHS is really good at. Luckily for me the JR is only ten minutes away. The response that you had is truly terrific.


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