Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Five ambulances, one with wings.
Fortunately it was nothing like this! This is the first ever ambulance.
All hail Rab and Gus, the lovely paramedics in Kintyre who patched me up and carried me downstairs from my hotel room and into their ambulance without the slightest bump and opened the back blinds of the van so that I could at least see the sea which I had come to walk alongside if I couldn’t walk along beside it.
Yes, slight viral attack, invasion of the little men from the other side of the galaxy, and after three hours of intense vomiting I slid gracefully to the floor with the help of my dearest and fortunately nearest and passed out for approximately 60 seconds. I have to take his word for this as I wasn’t strictly present as witness and didn’t notice a clock as I slipped from one realm of consciousness to precisely none.
After two tourniquets and several hours and many litres of four types of drips, I was pronounced uninvestigable in that small but I have to say, extremely loving part of the world, and a plane was ordered for my transportation back to civilisation aka Glasgow (stop laughing) where all possible tests would be put at my or at least the doctor's disposal.
All hail Rab and Gus who returned and were two of a party of many helpers accompanying me back to the ambulance. On we went to Machrihanish and the plane. Gus and Rab have to be named and so does Kate the nurse who attended me in Campbeltown with such quiet kindness and efficiency. These three were superlative. I’m saying superlative because you can insert your own. Nothing I’ve come up with matches these people and their care and gentleness in the delivery of a system of care which in itself is of necessity pretty alarming. Kindness, I have concluded, is the most healing thing of all.
The plane was narrower than a double bed and had a teeny little door. The transfer was done outdoors (thank the heavens for being kind) and via a conveyor belt type of contraption which afterwards refused to shrink and behave and get into the limited space inside. Ho hum and all this time I’m wired up and strapped up, and Rab and Gus and various others are telling jokes outside.
Arriving in the A & E of a large hospital in Glasgow I was suddenly very alone. Everyone was helpful enough, but there were no extra miles. I was however checked out and made well enough to check out of the hospital by the following evening, which was after all the purpose and best outcome. The extra mile I observed was delivered with absolute compassion and understatement by a male nurse called Gerry to Agnes the elderly lady in the bed next to mine who was coaxed through all the indignities of her illness with profound gentleness and was an absolute joy to overhear. All hail Gerry too.
I must add that I’m fine now but tired and have been told to REST and RECUPERATE and given the fine state of the weather who would argue?