My First A&E Experience (Warning, contains blood)

Getting dinner ready last night I clumsily attempted to add some protein to the sliced onions using the slicer option of our multi-function grater thing.

It really *bleep*ing hurt.

I yelped and hopped around the kitchen saying ‘ow, ow, epic bleeding’ and Caius took one look, immediately had my hand bundled in a teatowel, elevated above my heart and pressure applied. Then we hopped into the car and headed for A&E – a place I have managed to avoid for the past 24.5 years of my life. (Luckily I chose to pull this stunt on a day when the kids were at their Dad’s house so we didn’t have to find a babysitter or take them with us.)

Signing in with the nurse at reception, she took a look and confirmed that I’d taken the top layer of skin off a chunk of fingertip – ‘notorious for bleeding a lot and hurting’. Marvellous. Apparently it was going to be an hour and a half wait, luckily we brought our Kindles.

I plonked myself down to wait whilst Caius went to register (or rather, Caius went to wait to register) and observed the others in the waiting room to take my mind off the throbbing and bleeding that was happening in my right hand (pressed into my left shoulder, soaking my conveniently black hoody).

I appeared to be the only one with blood – there were several swollen feet, a hand and wrist going an interesting shade of purple, a young lad with a police escort cradling his arm, a young lady that I think was pregnant and, most concerningly (to me) a couple of babies.

Eventually we got registered and settled in a corner to wait our turn. I got a fair chunk of reading done and discovered that my coping mechanism for pain and bleeding is to get giggly. Could be worse.

About four hundred years later (2 hours), we got called through, put in the wrong cubicle, moved, called by the wrong name and ignored for a while. (I was getting good at steady breathing by now, it was like rehashing the last time I was in hospital just without the contractions and baby fat.)

Finally a doctor came in, almost made me cry by washing the wound in running cold water and informed me that I needed a) painkillers and b) an xray. Then she vanished.

Then came back to say, actually, no xray required just painkillers and dressing. “I’ll go get that,” she said and headed off, literally never to be seen again.

We got moved out of our cubicle into another waiting area after another half hour so someone else could use our spot. We were sat next to a lad with a nastily dislocated finger who, much like me, wanted painkillers and to go home.

Finally we were called through to a little treatment room about three and a half hours after we arrived and a nurse cleaned me up, fed me lots of lovely painkillers and put a dressing on – I was brave enough to have a quick look at this point but vaguely wished I hadn’t immediately after. Caius was fascinated by the whole thing and I was half expecting him to ask if he could help her. I was given instructions to contact the doctor in the morning to arrange daily dressing changes and to take regular painkillers.

We left a good four and a half hours after we arrived, and headed home via a 24hr garage (it was about 11pm by this point) to get a bar of chocolate and a bottle of Fanta in an attempt to stop my shivering.

It may have taken ages but I am very grateful for the UK’s NHS system. Just wish I wasn’t such a klutz that I needed to call on them last night!

Once home, I went promptly to bed, propped my arm up as advised and tried to doze after a play on the iPad. Then I realised I was leaking again and a night of wrapping and unwrapping my hand with kitchen towel to try and stop me saturating the bed with blood began. I was fuzzy from the painkillers and it was all a bit unnerving.

As was waking up in the morning somewhat covered in blood and with the wall looking like this:


So, appointment with the doctor is made, Caius has cleaned me up and got me dressed, I have taken my painkillers and am now sat here feeling useless, silly, clumsy and a bit worried about the next few days when the kids are home if I’m going to keep spontaeneously leaking. Not to mention dreading the inevitable ‘ouch’ that is going to come when my dressing is changed.


Caius is on Onion Preparation Duty for the rest of forever. Because he is awesome and I love him.

3 thoughts on “My First A&E Experience (Warning, contains blood)

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