My back hurts. Specifically, my left shoulder, up into my neck. We have about 50 people descending on Chez RRD this afternoon, to celebrate Princess RRD and Mini RRD's birthdays. No, they're not twins, just have their birthdays quite close in the year. Mrs RRD has resigned herself to sorting the house out herself, as a result of my incapacitation. She is doing it with her usual good grace - after all, it's not my fault that my back hurts so much...
Yesterday I get a call to assist a crew with an analgesia problem. This is not all that unusual, and, if I am not too far away I will try and attend. I carry more potent pain killers than the paramedics, but often I just support and supervise the crew to use what they are familiar with, only in much higher doses. If something goes wrong, if the patient's breathing slows too much, I can always take over their breathing in the time-honoured fashion of sticking a tube down their windpipe and ventilating them.
But I digress. This call was for a man who had fallen out of bed, and landed awkwardly between bed and wardrobe. So awkwardly, in fact, that he had broken his leg. He had managed, somehow, to drag himself to the top of the stairs, but was then in too much pain (surprise, surprise) to go any further. The crew have given large doses of morphine, and he was still in so much pain that they couldn't do anything with him.
By the time I arrive, the morphine has kicked in, and he is feeling much more comfortable. I assist the paramedics with getting a splint on his leg, and rolling him onto a scoop stretcher, and strapping him down in preparation for the journey down the stairs.
The stairs have a lovely bend in them, just the right place to have a window ledge, complete with pots of plants. Lots of pots. I spend a few minutes carrying the plants downstairs, so that we have a clear way down. The crew suggest we get another ambulance, so that we have enough pairs of hands - Jim is no lightweight. I realise that this will be a wait of another 30 to 40 minutes, and suggest that we three can manage.
For some reason, I find myself going down the stairs first, with all of Jim's weight in my hands, as I manhandle the stretcher. The tight curve means that the stretcher, with Jim firmly strapped in it, has to be almost vertical. Oh, and did I mention Jim is coming down head first?
So, Mrs RRD, it wasn't just one of those things that meant you had to do all of the schlepping today - it was my fault.
Next time, I'll stick to the pot plants.
11 months ago