Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I love my NHS

I went to Spain for a week, came home to do a workshop at Mayhill textiles on the Saturday, and "played" on the Sunday. I started, and almost completed, a velvet hand bag (purse). My friend Ann had given me lots of furnishing fabric samples and there was enough velvet to make more than one bag. After I had finished for the day, I took the bag and laptop downstairs. I couldn't find the light switch at the top of the stairs and missed the top stair. I went down from top to bottom and dislocated my right shoulder. A paramedic arrived and decided that I needed an ambulance to go to casualty, so an ambulance arrived with another couple of paramedics. They were very competent. The hospital I needed to go to is about 20 miles from our house. One paramedic drove whilst the other kept me company in the back. He made sure he kept me up to date on how close we were to the hospital.

When I arrived, I was whisked straight to a cubicle. I was given gas and air so that a Dr. could relocate my shoulder. I was instructed to look at and listen to a nurse who was on my left side whilst the Dr. on the other side did the business. I reckon that when he was nearly ready, the nurse said "right then Julie, breath really hard now". My brain says "oh - he is going to do it now, it is going to hurt - lets tense". So I was nearly passed out before it could be done. I said to the Nurse "I think that took longer than usual, I was worried about the cues" and her response was "don't worry about the queues, we have lots of room at the moment". She didn't get it when I said "cues with a C, not a Q". I was quite impressed that I had sufficient compos mentis to work this out, but then she might not have got it because I was jibbering away!

I have discovered that I am unlikely to become a drug addict because certain drugs make me feel very ill. Morphine makes me really really ill. I also had to have some diazepam a few weeks later in order for me to get into an MRI scanner and that didn't do me much good either.

So, I had a second week off work. I felt such rubbish that I didn't check my laptop for a few days. That had travelled from the top of the stairs to the bottom and had slid a few feet further. Fortunately it works perfectly, although a bit of it is a bit loose which is sad.

5 weeks later, everything is hunky dorey. It looks as if I was very lucky to get it put back in as quickly as I did, within 3 hours. I have heard some horrid tales about how bad dislocations can be. I can do everything as before apart from reach high up behind my back. The consultant says I can go higher than some people who have never damaged their shoulder so it isn't anything to worry about. I have had three physiotherapy sessions at our local hospital which is only about 10 minutes away.

It is lucky that it happened when it did because we haven't been able to get a car to the house for at least 15 days out of the last 40. Although we didn't have much snow, it was very icy and we have 2 90 degree bends within a few yards of each other that are impossible to get around when it is slippery.

So, why do I love my NHS?
  • They came very promptly.
  • They took me to Casualty very promptly.
  • They relocated the shoulder very promptly.
  • They gave me a consultant's appointment within 5 days.
  • They didn't think that I was a dork for falling down the stairs in the first place.
  • They gave me an MRI scan in time for my following appointment with the Consultant.
  • They have said I can ring up for a consultant's appointment any time I wish within the next 6 months.
  • They are giving me as much physiotherapy as I need.
All paid for out of my taxes. OK - so I pay taxes, but at least I don't have to worry about medical bills and I know that poor people will also get the same treatment as I did if they need it.


  1. WOW- dear you never mentioned this! I'm so glad you had such good care during a stressful injury. YIKES

  2. The NHS bless 'em are fabulous when it works!!! Much like Eurostar!!! Hope you're feeling better!