These stairs were like Everest.
Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
Well they are wrong.
Yesterday I learnt how to call an ambulance and get on into it and maneuver my way through the A & E of a public hospital.
Firstly what I learnt is that you have to be quite worked up before you can ring 000. Oh sure there are always gonna be those kids who prank call 'em and make a silly old nuisance of themselves and I suppose some lonely old folk might call up from time to time just to sort some company, but for most of us I reckon we have to feel pretty fucking terrible before getting out the dialing finger.
Did you know when you ring 000 that you are sent to a national answer phone place and then you have to choose, not only the emergency service of choice but also you state, and then you get to talk to a very calm person who takes all the details all the while sorting the Ambos to get a wriggle on. The lady on the phone could have been forgiven for thinking she was dealing with a nut job, cos I was having a little weep. She was excellent.
3 Ambos arrived. I figured that lady on the phone must have a crystal ball which told her I was a big fat heifer and so reinforcements were railed in. We talked and walked and they ran out this sci-fi trolley bed out of the back of the truck, which one of the Ambos told me had been weight tested to 200 KG so I shouldn't worry about breaking it.
I felt like I should have been giving all the neighbours a royal wave as I lowered myself onto the trolley and then whimpered myself into a lying position and then by magical levitation I was in the truck and watching Stevie and Dog disappear off the horizon.
I had not been able to walk, or bend or move for going on 3 days, so I figured I had broken or fractured my hip.
Last week I was sitting minding my own business when a big fucking bird flew into the house. It came right at me. I could swear that it hated me and was on a vendetta flight.
It seemed personal.
I threw myself onto the concrete floor and huddled my head under my arms, and curled into a ball, and tried to remember to keep breathing.
The fucking bird was going nuts, shitting and flapping all around the kitchen.
Stevie didn't know whether to see to me or rid the house of the flier. He watched the kitchen turn brown and opted to grab the bird.
My brave soldier sent that fucker packing. Ah Bless him.
With a bit of a struggle I was righted, and then I sort of forgot all about it, until all of a sudden I couldn't walk. I left it a couple of days cos you know, I don't like to troop off to the doctors for every little thing.
So I rang the lovely Dr Jane and wondered what to do. I was blubbering and knew that there was no way I could climb into Stevie's truck or slink into my baby to go driving for an Xray, so an Ambo was the only real option. I sort of had permission from Jane so then I dialed 000.
That might have been the bravest thing I have done all year - yeh I know it's only January.
I was wheeled into the Robina Hospital Emergency waiting area.
Years ago in London I arrived at the local hospital in the middle of a Heart Attack. The A & E was less than salubrious. I remember being told to take a seat amid a mass of people in various stages of decay and bleeding out, and I just stood there taking up as very little room as I could and just said, 'NO.' There is nothing quite like a stubborn woman having a heart attack. The place was dirty and when I was finally admitted the only folk who seemed to be working were indeed the cleaners but they were the same ones who sadly left half full wee bottles in the communal loos and wodges of bloody stuff - literally, under the beds. I don't suppose they were the ones who left the poor soul at the end of the ward, unshrouded and uncurtained, but it had to be someone's job to see to the dead people, surely.
Anyway all this was rushing through my head as I tried to concentrate on something other than the fucking pain in my hip.
The day after Australia Day might well not be the best time to head to the local hospital.
There were all manner of injuries sustained during drunken frivolity, injuries which had only begun to throb as the booze wore off. Head, feet, arms, chin - all busted up and purple, and a woman who was puking into her own bucket. She just lowered herself into a corner on the floor. I felt badly for her kids who were doing all the paper work for her - they were only babies - grown before their time.
The A & E doctor laughed at my bird story- in a friendly, embarrassed sort of way, and ordered Xrays and a CT scan. I educated him about CML and told him that a documented side effect of the drugs is BONE PAIN.
I was offered all manner of class A pain meds and settled on a panadol cos at least I knew what was in them.
The Xray was easy. Then a wait in the Short Stay ward. Nice bed. Very starched sheets.
The CT scan was easy. Then a longer wait in the Short Stay ward.
There was some food which I just do not want to dwell on and a lovely cuppa delivered by a chipper lady who swapped out my broken bikkies for some pristine ones. She was definitely a keeper.
We waited and waited.
I asked about the results and was told there was no fracture. YIPPEE!
I was told to wait for the doctor.
I am not a patient person.
I had been there for 6 hours and that was quite long enough.
WE packed my handie and were almost outta there when suddenly a Physio arrived with a pair of ancient crutches and stories about a mobility aid which could easily have seen her wearing one of those crutches as a necklace - not really she was fine, but the thought of a Zimmer frame was just too much to bare.
We told her we were going. She seemed surprised - surprised that we hadn't spoken to a doctor and surprised we were going.
She roused up some doctor who whilst he had the results of the Xrays and the CT knew nothing else. I gave him a quick education about CML and the drugs I take and we were outta there.
So it's excellent to know that my hips are intact.
It's less fucking fine to be able to add another side effect to my list.
This Bone Pain shit is right up there with the Shingles for pain in the arseness.
Today it seems to have improved, and whilst I am not back to running a 4 minute mile - as if! or spreading my knees further apart than is necessary when you play the pass the balloon game - don't go all smutty now! I am not diving through the meds drawer in search of anything full of codeine.
That means it's a good day.
No fractures, so the fucking zimmer frame can wait for another day.