Yesterday when I picked up her ladyship from school the teacher called me over and said that she had had an incident...a tearshaped gemstone (with a pointy edge) which had been attached to her t-shirt, had somehow ended up in her mouth (she's 7 -not 2 btw!) and then somebody made her laugh so she swallowed it. Although she had been traumatised at the time, she seemed over it so I let the matter go. Then last night at 9pm she came to me complaining that she could still feel it in her throat. So you know what happens next...VHI nurseline call...advice about perforated bowels and asphyxia etc etc and 20 minutes later we were in Temple St. Ihave been here a few times in the past but this time it was like a warzone - not so lucky. We were warned of at least a 4-5 hour que. People were spilling out onto the corridors (literally - puke buckets everywhere and nowhere to sit).
I counted around 50 cases ahead of me. We saw the triage nurse fairly promptly, who quickly assessed and told us to wait our turn. I asked could I come back tomorrow or see my GP and she laid on the quilt about not recommending leaving the hospital. So we settled in for a long wait. The only seat I could get was in reception where you register - in fairness it was the safest place to be as there loads of people vomiting and looking seriously viral not to mention quite a few intoxicated with their kids with bits hanging off. I saw one 10 year old who came off a motorbike at 10pm (WTF???) and while in reception there was a young girl who came in with a messed up hand. Her drunken mother was shouting that it was domestic abuse while she kept trying to hush her up. Then there were a couple of junkies with a small sick baby out in the cold air barely wrapped up while the mother was having her cigarette. God it would just break your heart to watch. The Gardai were called at one stage as there was some sort of trouble. In the end we had to wait 4 hours and the consultation took all of 5 minutes which as expected was to go home and keep and eye on her. I knew this would be the outcome but you can't self diagnose in these situations. I despair at the state of our health system. There is something wrong with this country that the sick have to endure these situations when they are so vulnerable.
Then today I got some terrible news that my 30 year old cousin Stephen is fighting for his life in a Drogheda hospital. He had a stroke yesterday morning and has been lying on a trolley since lunchtime yesterday. The outlook is not good for him as they have confirmed the left side of his brain is already dead. If he pulls through he will have no power on his remaining side including speech. The tragic thing is that this guy intervened in a row between a guy and his girlfriend when he was just 16 and in his act of heroism, he was stabbed and lost the power of his arm and shoulder. It just doesn't seem fair at all. A young father of 30...in this situation. Please say a prayer for him and his family.