I sat on the cold tiles trying to support the broken wrist, calling out to Vaughn, who was watching TV at the other end of the house. The tone of my voice clearly did not convey the degree of the problem, as it was a while before he wandered through to check on the damage.
He wanted to bundle me into the car and go to the hospital, but I feared the trip might not be as smooth as I would have liked, so we phoned for an ambulance. Meanwhile I could feel myself going into shock.
It wasn’t too long before two lovely paramedics arrived and strapped me up.
Certainly, arriving at A & E by ambulance cuts through the waiting around. I went straight to X-ray, where the staff told me I’d done a really good job and shattered both the radius and ulna.
So I wasn’t going home that night. I was sent to a ward, where I was not allowed to eat, in case there was chance I might have surgery the next day. I waited and fasted, all day. Vaughn came through with some clothes and a book. I have several dressing downs, and he chose to bring the old pink one that was my mother’s. The one I use when I colour my hair. The one with brown stains. The one I sent straight back home again.
No surgery the next day either, just another day of waiting and fasting. By evening, it was clear that I wasn’t going into theatre that night, so a kind nurse brought me a sandwich.
By evening of the fourth day of fasting, I was about to take a walk to see if there was a cafeteria open somewhere, when a nurse came to tell me they were taking me to theatre now.
The anaesthetist gave me a spinal block injection somewhere in my neck, which rendered the broken arm useless. He told me that as soon as I started to feel some sensations in my fingers again, I should call a nurse at once, or I would have the worst pain ever.
A 15cm metal plate was inserted into my arm, and I woke up back in the ward. It was night time, and I could hear a commotion somewhere in the distance, but wasn’t too worried about it. As slight feelings returned to my fingers, I duly rung my bell, as instructed.
I waited for a while, but nobody came, so I rung it again. After about 40 minutes, the pain in my arm was excruciating, so I got out of bed and went to the nurses’ station. Nobody there. I walked up and down the corridor, but couldn’t find anyone.
Eventually a nurse appeared and told me I should have rung…
I went home with a bright pink cast, and a house full of belongings to be packed up.