So where were we? Crewe station? Oh yes.
While waiting for the train, I finally had something to eat. I hadn’t been able to face the sandwich I’d bought just after falling. I’d asked David to pick me up and he and the boys were waiting for me at Preston. I rolled up my jeans, preparing for their shrieks of horror, only to find the bump had gone down. Almost entirely.
We headed for the hospital, but I dithered. I didn’t really think it was broken. But there was the clicking. And the comment about the blood clot. And we’re going on holiday this week. Did I really want to head off on holiday and then end up in a hospital over there? No, I did not. “It’s just a bruise,” I said. “I probably shouldn’t go.” “I don’t think you need to go to hospital,” Harry said, “There’s nothing there!” “Better safe than sorry,” David said. Yeah, okay.
So they dropped me at A&E at the minor injuries and illnesses bit.
I went to triage. (On the way, I mentioned going to triage and David mocked me: “It’s not M*A*S*H*!” Shows what he knows.) The nurse said, “Oh yes, you’ve got a huge haemotoma.” Now, even I know that’s basically a bruise. (Just looked it up and it’s not quite a bruise. And can present similar symptoms to a fracture. Sort of. Shut up.) And the nurse did seem a little smirky. I told her I wouldn’t have bothered coming if I hadn’t been going away. She said someone would see me in a while. I said, “Do you think I need to be seen?” She said, “Well, you’re here now.” Fair enough.
I read my book. I nosed at other people’s injuries. I stared for slightly too long at a foxy young man and then at his foxier twin brother. And then I went to be examined. This nurse was lovely too. She said she totally understood why I’d want to be reassured it was okay before going on holiday. She didn’t think there was a break in the shin cos that would hurt like hell (I’m paraphrasing), but that there’s another bone in that part of the leg that you can break without realising. She said she was happy to send me for an x-ray for reassurance. And that when I got back she’d clean my gammy fingers and give me a tetanus.
I felt a bit guilty when I was waiting for my x-ray. There were four people on trolley beds, moaning quietly. One had a dislocated shoulder. They were all, quite clearly, in much more need of an x-ray than I was. I still had one, mind. It was fine. No breaks, no cracks, no chips. (Mmmm… chips…) I tootled back to the nurse and she cleaned my fingers and stabbed me in the arm (tetanus), said the clicking could be fluid, and then David picked me up.
But I can’t stop thinking about how lucky we are that we get to go to A&E and have an x-ray just in case. That the nurses didn’t laugh at me, say, “Pull yourself together, you wuss, it’s just a bruise!” or charge thousands of pounds to treat me. If the sample of the novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is correct – and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be – in America the emergency room visit would cost $900 and an elective x-ray almost $500. I spent 60p on a Snickers.
My leg’s fine. Thanks for asking.