Monday, 17 September 2007

Good weekend with a bad ending

Somehow, through a careless oversight, we only got through 2 bottles of red on Friday evening, and then went to bed relatively early, so the first Saturday for ages, I felt great when I got up in the morning!

It was really pleasant to not have anything specific to do this weekend, too; just relax and get on with enjoying ourselves. The weather on Saturday was sunny and warm, and we meandered around doing various small jobs. In the afternoon we went blackberrying, which we've not done for years, and in about half an hour, picked a couple of pounds. Such fun, even if we did hang ourselves up on the thorns and get stung by nettles. Then in the evening we had what's likely to be the last barbie of the year, and sat out on the patio, reveling in just being there, being washed away by the perfume of night-scented stocks.

Sunday I tinkered with Jen's 500, as the petrol tap had been leaking and I wanted to oil the speedo and rev-counter cables. The rest of the day we just pottered around the garden, not really trying too hard, just tidying up mostly. We put in some red cyclamen, hoping they're hardy, but not entirely convinced. Time will tell.

Then we started cooking, and that was when disaster struck. Jen had browned the pork joint in a roasting tray on the hob and was lifting it out onto a chopping board when it slipped, tipping a good deal of boiling fat over her left hand. She immediately put it under the cold tap and kept it there, but it didn't look good. This wasn't a trivial burn.

We phoned a nurse friend, who asked some pertinent questions and advised phoning Addenbrooks (nearest hospital with an A&E) but they just transferred her to NHS Direct. Fortunately a nurse phoned back, but the end result was what we'd feared - a visit to A&E.

I phoned Jane to tell her not to come to dinner after all, and Lorna and Richard to say not to come over for a drink, then off we went, taking fruit, juice, books, ice-pack, etc. In the UK, you generally expect to spend a good 4 hours in A&E, so I wasn't expecting to be home much before midnight. And we'd not eaten, so I hoped the fruit would be sufficient.

Addenbrooks was remarkably quiet, and it wasn't long before Jenny was seen. They cut her wedding ring off, then eventually put some gloop over the 3 fingers that were burned, and encased the whole hand in a sterile plastic bag. With an appointment for 3pm this afternoon, that was it. We were in and out in an hour and a half. Thank you, Addenbrooks! You exceeded all my expectations! Of course, we'd have preferred not to have to go back today, but it's reasonable they would want the injury to stabilise before doing a proper assessment.

Back home, it turned out Lorna and Richard had fed Jane, so when I phoned to say come over for a drink, all 3 arrived, which was lovely. I hadn't felt guilty about dumping Jane at the last minute, since we'd had no choice, but I didn't much like doing it, so it was very gratifying to find that Lorna and Richard had stepped into our shoes. Thanks guys!


Anna said...

Ouch! Hope she's feeling better!

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh poor Jenny! I can't believe they told you to phone NHS direct?! What????!!!! Ridiculous! So glad you didn't have too long a wait. I am a bit confused, who is Jane? I havent been reading your blog long enough to know I guess.

RobTheBlob said...

A&e departments are very busy places, the nurses can't asses you over the phone as they're busy treating patients. Thats why NHS Direct is given for advice over the phone!
Not so ridiculous!

ArcticFox said...

For me, I'd have just gone to A&E or am I a dinosaur that doesn't understand how things work any more, and they would have locked the doors on me? Sounds painful anyhoo!! Hope it gets better soon.

Once again, following the Yorkshire Sculpture Park experience, I find we are remarkably "in synch" as I was also out picking blackberries with my good lady on Saturday.....

Also getting stung by nettles, and getting my legs ripped on thorns.

Managed a good 10lbs before I caved in.

What a lovely sedate, ancient pastime.


Rob Clack said...

Thank you all for your kind wishes and I'm delighted to report that Jenny is doing fine. I'm inclined to blog the followup, rather than stick it here, so please bear with me.

FYI we phoned first in the hope of avoiding going - a) we didn't want to waste our own time if it wasn't actually necessary and b) as RTB observed, A&E departments are overstretched already. In fact, the NHS Direct nurse gave the correct advice. We were quite dismissive initially, but eventually accepted that it was the right thing for them to do.

DJK: Jane is a fellow choristor who rented a house nearby about a year ago and has since become part of the close drinking fellowship that includes our neighbours Lorna and Richard. I was a little pushed for time when I did the post, and skipped some details. Sorry, with a little thought I could have left fewer loose ends.