The three girls in the corner have had their drinks spiked. Two sit in wheelchairs and one on the floor.
They talk loudly and often and the staff are laughing along. When the girls see me crying they demand I be given endone and that I’m seen first. But that’s not how it works.
After they’re taken through a nurse brings me a sling and painkillers.
She says, Sorry I didn’t get to you earlier.
She says, You know, the girls.
I do know.
That’s ok, I say.
She says, Did you enjoy the entertainment though?
I laugh because it’s a joke.
The radiologist needs my hand to be in a position that it doesn’t quite want to adopt. I force it and he takes the x-rays.
Later, a doctor who hasn’t seen the x-rays watches me wince as he squeezes different parts of my arm and asks me the questions you get asked if you’ve come in at 4am. But he’s nice about it.
He smiles at me and says, Would you like some more painkillers now?
I say, Yes please.
He disappears and (I find out later) goes off shift.
A nurse comes round the corner.
Where have you come from? she says.
I struggle to remember the nice doctor’s name, but it doesn’t take long to establish my legitimacy.
Ok, she says, You can make yourself a bad tea or coffee over there if you want.
She says, Or cordial.
She puts down some painkillers and says, Now you eat those.
She says, The doctors are just changing shifts, won’t be long.
By 9am a new doctor arrives. I’ve been up for over 24 hours.
She gauges my winces again but doesn’t ask the questions. She says, You’re very sleepy.
She wheels a trolley over and prepares the bandages.
Are you right-handed or left-handed? she says.
She says, Ah, you’re very lucky.
And she says, What do you do?
I say, I work in a bar.
And she says, Oh, maybe you’re not so lucky.
She wraps the plaster in a soft coating before moulding it to my arm.
I have to make this bit, she says, indicating the soft coating, longer than the plaster at the ends. Because when the plaster dries it gets very hard and it would become a weapon against yourself.
I laugh, but it isn’t a joke.
I say, How long will it take to heal?
She says, Bones take six weeks to heal.
I say nothing.
But the look on my face says, Oh god.
And she says, It won’t feel like this for six weeks.
She says, I’ll get you a script for some painkillers, and a medical certificate for work, and a referral for the fracture clinic, ok?
She says, That’s three things. Remind me if I forget one.
She says, Are you alright to get home?
A version of this post was sent by email on the 30th July 2017 as part of Internet Care Package.
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