What’s Round the Corner?
On Friday night – another ‘black’ Friday, apparently because it is when office parties and pre-christmas revels tend to get out of hand – we in fact were relieved to be heading sedately for bed at 10.30pm, after a very sober evening, somewhat exhausted for various reasons to do with tax returns and the HMRC.
As light relief, earlier in the day John had gone up to our GP surgery for a routine 6 monthly blood, blood pressure etc check. He had come back To announce somewhat smugly that the nurse was delighted – his blood pressure was ‘spot on’, urine sample clear and all was well.
We gave it not another thought.
At 25 to 11pm the phone rang. The voice at the other end announced itself as the out of hours GP from our surgery. He apologised for the late hour of the call but said it was a matter of serious urgency that John report immediately to the Urgent Care department at the old DRI hospital in Derby (40 minutes away). The GP explained that the potassium level in his blood sample had triggered a significant alarm – any higher and he would have had to send an ambulance to take John to hospital, as an inpatient.
John meanwhile had been standing there looking pretty hale and hearty, but he definitely started looking slightly less comfortable as the doctor quizzed him about his heart rate, had he had any chest pain, was he suffering from palpitations etc… so there was no alternative but to get dressed again, and head off to Derby.
To cut a long 5-hour story short, we ended up having a consultation with a doctor at the Urgent Care department at the old Derby Royal Infirmary who had to send us off to the new Derby Royal Infirmary for an ECG, and another blood test which apparently they could not do at the Urgent Care place (?).
The Urgent Care doctor was himself equally puzzled and very apologetic by this. He was also rather concerned to be suggesting we went to Accident and Emergency at this hour of the night, on Black Friday. He warned us that it could be unpleasant, with the possibility of violent or drunk revellers being brought in after the pubs closed
The two hospitals are not close to each other. Pretty apprehensive about John’s apparent dodgy health and the degree of lawlessness and inebriation we might encounter at A&E we eventually found somewhere to park at the new Derby Royal Infirmary and found our way to the entrance to A&E.
It was quiet. The sole receptionist at the desk was lengthily engrossed with a patient on the phone as a growing queue of very sober-seeming and well-behaved patients queued anxiously for attention under a notice warning us of a 4-hour waiting time.
Fortunately we only had to wait less than half that. We did not see or hear a single drunk and only saw one very subdued young man being escorted by a pair of policemen. John was seen by at least four different people and treated throughout with courtesy and kindness. He was checked over thoroughly,another blood test taken and he was announced perfectly fit. Apparently his earlier blood sample must have got shaken up, or mistaken for someone else’s, and all was well. Apparently this happens quite often. What a waste of nervous energy and NHS resources.
We got back here at 3.30am, five hours after we had originally tried to go to bed! We felt quite perky then, but not nearly so perky all of Saturday, as you can imagine.