Leaving the house to take the wife to the Doctors to have her painful wrist looked at, I was unaware of the events of the next 6 hours or the further education into human behaviour I was about to receive. It was 10.40am and I had barely risen from mid holiday slumber when I was throwing on clothes before leaving the house with a mouthful of coffee as my only sustenance. Typically the surgery was running behind, but of course you try to remain as calm as possible, although being the one not seeing the G.P. is slightly more frustrating, but we were seen 40 minutes later than planned.
Walking back into the waiting area my wife of 25 years informs me that we were required to go to the emergency unit of our local hospital, the obvious “but why” questions followed, but it was not in any doubt we would be going. A detour to a newsagent to pick up supplies for this appointment with the unknown, the long wait was prepared for.
Thankfully the kindness of a friend close by meant that we did not have the parking costs of today’s modern cash poor NHS, which we are all aware of. Strolling in to a mid-week accident department with a note from our Doctor in hand, I noticed a distinct lack of of the bustle you might expect, but this was no Friday night out on the town. We take a seat and prepare for our ears to be pricked by the sound of our name being called, and it was surprisingly short, not in time for me to spend the equivalent of the national minimum wage on 2 cups of vending machine coffee.
I stay behind in the waiting area, so the medical team can prod and poke unhindered, and this is where my journey into the world of humanity began. Using a people watching skill that I have only recently discovered, the next hour was about to be entertaining to say the least. A steady stream of “spot the diagnosis” came through the door, the hopping on one foot, the tea towel being held to the head and the sporadic vomiting teen were all in attendance, all being watched by the glare of the patient that had been waiting the longest.
When all of a sudden, from the wards appears a hospital gown clad, gaunt and painful female figure heading for the exit, and being aware that smoking is obviously not allowed, assumed that is where this skeletal figure was heading. It was at this point that I realised that the only piece of material protecting what was left of her modesty, wasn’t, and she wore an awkwardly placed dressing bridging the buttocks, and she could not have cared any less who was seeing it, and it was the same moments later when she returned. This pattern continued for quite some time, however it quickly became evident it was against the wishes of the medical staff and shortly thereafter she was dressed and leaving for the last time, well, for today at least.
I returned home through rush hour and roadwork traffic at 6.30pm without my spouse, who it appears had to be given treatment overnight, although, when I returned to collect her the following day, I was better prepared for what I was about to or may have seen.