Saturday, 30 July 2011

Oops, that hurt!

A week ago, I began a rather jolly post with this paragraph: "Yet again I've had cause to be grateful to the NHS, but more of that later. First, a quick update of the week's events, including our wedding anniversary, which we celebrated by meeting with the local branch MNDA seeing how the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre can adapt clothes when it becomes impossible to dress yourself. The great things are velcro and full-length zips. It was actually more interesting than it sounds when the seamstresses who knew about such things started chatting about their craft. We finished our celebrations by attending the local area clergy social - which also was better than it sounds!"

Since then I've fallen silent. As Facebook friends will know, my initial optimism over a little local difficulty, i.e. a fall on Thursday lunchtime, has taken something of a battering. Such falls are the stuff of MND, but I've not had a full-on fall for a couple of years now. I'm quite cautious walking with my rollator. But I suppose a full day previously had left me a bit tired and, getting into position for lunch, I simply keeled over backwards, and once you're going, you're going, going, gone. (I learned today that you use 300 muscles just to keep balance. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but the control nerves of enough of mine aren't working!) My head hit the china cabinet and my spine the solid floor. Jane who'd been in the next room ran in and set about patiently calming me down, before calling the paramedics. That's the prescribed procedure, since getting someone with MND from the floor to upright is not a job for one person or for amateurs. I was feeling rather sorry for myself. After 15 minutes a car arrived with Gemma, who checked me over. Vital functions ok, probably no major injuries (no untoward sensations in the legs). But she was small and getting me up was no job for her and Jane, and so she summoned an ambulance which in 20 minutes brought two burly ambulancemen, who addressed me clearly (! Jane says loudly) and eventually hoiked me to my feet. When I'd recovered from feeling faint, the assessment was I didn't need to go to hospital. So I ended up in my wheelchair and we were left to lick our respective wounds, Jane's emotional,  and mine physical.

Afterwards, and subsequently, we've reflected on the service we received, the initial response by the ambulance service and then the consultations by phone with the GP about pain and other relief. It is really astonishing. It's something else for which I'm truly grateful. I gather it's a case of deep bruising, which as it works out gets more painful. So after a couple of reasonable nights' sleep I had to resort to sleeping downstairs in a riser-recliner chair downstairs. The nuisance has been having to cancel all engagements, such as the dentist and meals out with friends, and, by now, we should be having a break in Somerset and enjoying the company of thousands at the picturesquely named New Wine Festival - not an oinological gathering but a worship and teaching fiesta, which we first attended with our church. I'm trusting that it won't be long before I stop behaving like a fragile bean-pole and become more like an articulated human being again! Maybe I'll start pontificating on events again then. There's been a lot going on around the world since I laid my laptop aside.

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