25 October 2010

At the hospital...

Mrs Botogol was in her dressing gown whereas I still had my outdoor shoes on, so it was I who took our youngest on a late-night dash to the hospital (no, don't worry, he's fine).
The Death Zone - Longer and Lower. Frenchay hospital, Bristol
Picture - Laura Mary

"And why shouldn't it be me?", I thought to myself, as we retraced our route half-a-mile after a hurried wrong turn in Isleworth,  "I am perfectly capable….. dammit has the entire hospital actually moved or something?"

When I eventually found the West Middlesex (where it always has been, less than a mile away) I had no hesitation parking in the drop off zone, and sweeping confidently in through the doors of A&E.

Then, facing the barrage of questions from the triage nurse I began to realise it was quite a long time since I'd had responsibility for any crisis of a medical nature

"Does he have any long-term medical conditions"
- "Um, well,  not that I can think of"
"I beg your pardon?"
-"No. No he doesn't"
A sharp look
"Does he have any allergies?"
- "Um, I don't think so - um, hang on - do you have any allergies, son?"
- "no, he doesn't have any allergies"
"Is he taking any medication at all at the moment"
- "um, not so far as I….. Hang on…hey! are you taking any pills or anything?"
- "no"
- "no, he isn't"
"Are all his vaccinations up to date"

I stared defiantly into the eyes of the hostile nurse.
- "Ok...I am going to say… 'yes' "
She stared right back at me.. and eventually she made a small, disbelieving  tick on her form.
"Has he…"
- "Right, now stop messing us about:  I want a CBC, a Chem-7, an ECG and a Tox-screen, and start him on a general antibiotics for any infection"

It's entirely possible I watch too much American hospital drama.

They were very professional: they explained gently that such tests are not possible on the NHS outside of working hours and then they led us into a small and babyish play area in paediatrics to wait for the doctor, and meanwhile would I mind moving my car, please, no don't worry there's four people ahead of you so plenty of time before doctor will get here.

The wait wasn't much fun. I had brought no small change for coffee machine, I had forgotten to bring my old-man reading glasses and all the other families in the unit spoke Polish or Hindi so there wasn't much conversation.

After an hour or so young Botogol's colour had returned, and he was feeling a lot better, which must have been what the nurses were waiting for, because as soon it was absolutely clear that he had completely recovered and was ready to go home a sceptical doctor arrived "So, what is the matter with you then young man?"


english inukshuk said...

oh yes. . .

been there (well, a different hospital on a few occasions, but the WM on one), done that

which begs the question how did Mrs B gets you to go, when whenever it was I was a married sort it was I who had to go? or, perhaps that one's better not answered. . .

the way to get to the head of the queue (as I found out last autumn with my Number One Prodgeny) is to have said "child" vomit spectacuarly over the first admin person you see (well, against the glass screen between your good selves and such a person) and then again over the first triage nurse and then again all over the cubicle in which you're sitting whilst waiting to see the first doctor person

if you manage to have your child vomit over the very seat that the doctor would have sat on, then the doctor hurries you/your child into the actual part of the hospital A&E department that has beds


then, seeing as said "child" is a 16-year old man-boy, 6'3" and built like the proverbial house, you can spend the next four hours listening to the various "experts" debate whether he has the physiology of an actual child or an adult

the result will be that the case is that depite his size, he will have the physiology of a child until he's 25, so then they decide that they actually need to relocate you to a different hospital with a paediatric unit and paediatric specialists. . .

. . .by this time you do indeed wish that you'd had change for the coffee machine. . .

. . .and your 6'3" man-boy (having been whisked thru London in an ambulance with the blue lights blazing) is then admitted to said play area with small and babyish toys

I won't bore you with the rest of it, but I do feel your pain Mr B

what amazes me is that there doesn't actually seem to be an understood and universally acknowledged approach to the treatment of teens in A&E

bear this in mind for when the smaller Botogols grow up a little!

(oops - sorry, bit of a rant there!)

Botogol said...

who shoudl go ? ah now, all was explained in the post . . . . mrs B was in her night clothes, while i was still up and dressed.. so there wasn't really much discussion needed.

english inukshuk said...

all I can say is that you're a very lucky man, if it's that simple!