Monday, 25 April 2011

The Phone Call

What a lovely day! We are all very bubbly, despite the lateness of the hour, as we drive home. I've spent the day with Besty, Mad Dog, our wives and children. We have eaten too much, spent too long in the sun, even played some rugby with the kids, and now it's off to Chez RRD, and then to pack the kids off to bed.

My phone is ringing. We are in Mrs RRD's car, so the Bluetooth remains inoperable, and by the time I have wrested it out of my pocket, and passed it to Mrs RRD, it has stopped. We wait for a few seconds, and sure enough my other phone starts its insistent ringing. I am just parking up, so grab the phone and answer the call from Ambulance Control. A stabbing victim awaits me. I open the door to the house and usher the waiting hordes in. Mini RRD keeps asking me what the call is - I know that if Mrs RRD knows I am on the way to a stabbing she will worry, so I blank him, and rush out to my waiting car.

Damn! I have been out in the garden all day, and when I slip off my trainers to change into my boots, the sight of my naked feet is a reminder that I haven't got any socks on. Oh well, no time to waste. They'll just have to rub a bit.

I arrive at the address I have been given. It's all very dark. I can see a few police cars (phew!) and an ambulance, but there are no blue flashing lights, and, while there are quite a few people milling around, none of them are in uniform. Hmmm. It's not just Mrs RRD that is worried this time. I am the first to admit that I am a coward. I will avoid danger, and never walk into a difficult situation.

So, I could sit here, and wait for someone to come and get me. But that does seem a little silly. So, I put my blues on, and sit and wait for someone to pop their head out of the back of the ambulance, and beckon me in. It was only a few seconds, but I wasn't getting out of my car until I knew where I was going.

There are quite a few people in the ambulance. There are two ambulance crew, and a paramedic off of the car. There are two police officers. There is Dave - seeing as he is the one lying on the ambulance trolly, his clothes soaked in blood, I thought he might be my patient. It wasn't all that obvious, as he was on the phone! Not many people who need my attention at midnight are chatting away on the phone, you see. But Dave was.

"Hello, Dave! I'm RRD, a doctor."

"F*** off! I'm on the phone!" replied Dave.

"Yes, I can see that, but I can also see you are bleeding, and in need of medical attention" I countered, helpfully.

"When I have completed this conversation with my dear mother, then I will be happy for you to attend to my chest wound, kind Sir". Or words to that effect.

We all wait patiently, while Dave relates the evening's events to his mother, before dealing with the very well spoken patient.

I do love being appreciated!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Last Passage

They come out in their droves: the young and the old, in dressing gowns and slippers. They have their mobile phones and their cameras, all the better to record this moment.  Held back by the police tapes, they crane their necks, anxious to see all they can.

I kneel down gingerly by the bonnet of the lorry, and peer beneath. He is lying there, his head resting by the wheel that has run him over.  He is still, no signs of life.  I slide under the lorry, taking heed of the blocks that have been placed there by the fire team, raising it the few centimetres I need to be able to reach him.   My hand reaches out, and I feel his neck.  No pulse beats beneath his skin.  I place my stethoscope in my ears, and press the bell against his chest.  No heartbeat, no respiratory sounds.  I slide out, and shake my head at the paramedics, police and fire crew waiting for my verdict.

He needs to be moved, from under the lorry and into the waiting ambulance, for his last journey.  The crowds remind me of spectators in a Roman Colosseum, baying for blood.  I don't want to be the one to provide them their sport.  I don't want him to be the object of their scrutiny.  I direct the fire crews to grab some tarpaulins and hold them up as screens against prying eyes, as we gently, reverently draw him out from underneath the lorry, place him on the ambulance trolley, and wheel him into the back of the waiting ambulance.  Behind closed doors, we complete our paperwork, before arranging for him to be transferred away from here.

As I leave the ambulance, as I grab my bag from the ground and walk slowly back to my car beyond the police line, I am afforded no such privacy.  The crowds, denied what they have come for, call to me, begging for whatever scraps of information they can get.  I shut myself in the relative safety of my car, and drive home.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Some of you eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that my training has dropped dramatically.  Here are my excuses, one of which may be true.  See if you can spot which one...

1.  My phone has stopped working, so I have been unable to upload any of my training episodes.

2.  I have been too busy at work.

3.  My trainers (sneakers, for you on the other side of the pond) don't fit any more, and I haven't had the time to get a new pair.

4.  I decided I would have an unfair advantage over the other runners, so I should stop and give them a chance.

5.  I have had man-flu.

6.  I broke my leg.

7.  I broke someone else's leg.

8.  I've been on Jury Service.

9.  It's been too cold / wet / hot / snowy to run.

Yes, you guessed it, number 5.  Seriously, it's no fun having man-flu.  Everyone takes the Mickey, and you still feel as sick as a dog!  So, not only are you suffering, you get no sympathy either.  And, being medical as I am, I know all about the dangers of exercising while you are ill.  You can get myocarditis and everything!!  Not pleasant.  So, I've been taking it easy for the past week or so.  I am sure it all started with my hepatitis jab.  There was definite blood, and a very big bruise, that's still there a week later.

But anyway, today I decided that enough was enough!  I decided to start off nice and easy, with a gentle bike ride in the park with Mrs RRD and one of my Micro's.  Checking my pulse every few hundred yards for any signs of irregularity, I soldiered on through the shortness of breath, and it felt good!!  So good that, when I returned home I decided to go for a run afterwards.

Big mistake!!  Even a very gentle run (overtaken by a little old lady and her Zimmer) left me gasping for breath, and aching all over.  Still, I'm back on track, if a little far behind everyone else.

Please make this worth my while, by pressing that tempting "Donate" button on the right of the screen.  Whatever you can afford, every little helps...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Thank You To JB

I have been told about a group of 15 people who have clubbed together to raise some money for BASICS-London.  They each changed their name by Deed Poll to a famous Formula 1 driver, then raced round a track for a few hours, all to help those in need of the services we provide.

So, a big thank you to Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button, Jenson Button and of course my good friend Jenson Button!!