I sat in the waiting room of an NHS walk in centre this week and watched as a frightening series of events played out in front of me.
It was the usual scenario; I’d been there for 20 minutes, constantly checking my watch as minutes ticked by knowing that I was getting later and later for work, knowing that although I was next to be seen it had been 15 minutes since the last patient had left and yet the doctor hadn’t called anyone else.
Then a woman and young lad came in went up the desk, the woman was obviously struggling for breath and the lad had soaking wet hair. My mind pictured the scene at their house that morning with mum feeling unwell but still frantically trying to get her son showered before heading off to seek help. The receptionist asked her name, she couldn’t say it so the boy said it for her. She was then given a form to complete which she did before sitting in the nearest chair.
I was sat behind them. She was heaving for breath. The boy kept looking at her, “are you alright mummy?” he asked quietly. The mum gave him a hug and a lovely smile then turned and gasped for breath. A man and young girl came in and sat with them, I felt immediately relieved as I’d been worried that her and the boy were here on their own.
I checked the time on my phone and rummaged in my bag for something then it occurred to me that the lady had now been sitting for over 5 minutes – struggling to breathe. Why hadn’t she been seen immediately?!
I asked the man if his wife was asthmatic and needing a nebuliser? He said yes. I said, sorry to interfere but it might be worth asking the receptionist to ring through to the doctor as he hasn’t called in any patients for ages. He asked the receptionist and she rang through to the doctor.
Five more minutes past. The mum’s breathing was getting more and more laboured, the little girl was crying and the boy was determinedly trying not to. He asked his mum again if she was alright and she gave him that same, wonderful, brave smile. Except that this time when she turned away there were silent tears streaming down her face.
My eyes prickled with tears and I had to step outside to get a grip. There is a shop opposite so I went in and bought some water for myself and a drink for the children.
The mum had finally gone in with the doctor when I got back so I gave the drink to the dad and said it might help distract the children. They both had some and then the little girl clutched the cold bottle against herself.
The man told me they were on holiday here and hadn’t known where else to go. We chatted for a bit as it turned out that they lived not far from where I’ve just moved. Small world and all that. The children started to calm down and chatted about their holiday.
About 5 minutes later the mum came bursting through the doors followed by the doctor. She was crying and really struggling to walk and breath. The man jumped up ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked her, she angrily brushed him off and went outside.
“I can’t treat her” said the doctor “you’ll have to phone an ambulance”
The whole waiting room looked on in stunned silence.
The children were now both crying.
I spoke to the doctor, “She just needs a nebuliser,” I said, “you must have one here surely?”
“We don’t have one.” he said.
I looked at the receptionist. “We do have one.” she said.
“I don’t know how it works” said the doctor “and the nurse isn’t here.”
So we now had a desperately ill lady, the thing she needed to get better and a doctor who didn’t know how to use it.
The man got his wife back in from outside and got her to sit down again and shouted for the receptionist to call an ambulance, which she did. The doctor asked her to come and lie down in his room, she got really agitated and struggled to say “No!”, the man pleaded with her.
“Is mummy going to be ok daddy?” said the little boy between sobs.
Again I had to step outside. I don’t cry especially easily but this was breaking my heart. I pulled myself back together and went back inside.
The receptionist and the doctor were talking to the couple, trying to convince them that they’d found someone who knew how to use the nebuliser. The woman was violently shaking her head, clearly not feeling she could trust the treatment. It turned out that they’d found some oxygen and they wanted her to use that. After much discussion the doctor said “So she is refusing my treatment, ok.” and went to walk back to his room “No, the man cried, you aren’t able to treat her, there’s a difference! You don’t know how to use the machine and she doesn’t feel confident that you can help her, we’ll wait for the ambulance.” The doctor repeated again, “She is refusing my treatment”. Call me cynical but it felt like it was for the benefit of covering himself, we’d all witnessed the fact that he hadn’t been able to treat her.
The man asked the receptionist to chase up the ambulance, he asked me how far away A&E was, I told him and it was obvious the ambulance should have been here by now. The woman’s breathing was so bad now that she finally agreed to go and lay down and receive oxygen. The receptionist came off the phone and said quietly to the man that there’d been a problem with the ambulance and that another one should be here within 5 minutes.
He looked frantic. He ruffled the boys hair and went off to sit with his wife.
The children were sitting huddled together on their own, they had been 4 chairs apart but were now next to each other. I figured that I wasn’t going to have time to be seen today but didn’t want to leave the children on their own in there waiting.
The boy turned round and asked my how long it would take for the ambulance to get here. I glanced at the clock, it had already been 15 minutes. “Well,” I said, as I wiped away a tear and tried to control my voice “the A&E department is about 20 minutes away from here, so they should be here really soon.” We then chatted about his holiday and what they’d been up to, it turns out he was almost exactly 1 year younger than my youngest and his sister was 6. He started telling me about their morning then added that they hadn’t had time for breakfast. I searched through my bag and found a bag of chocolate animals (there are benefits to being a mum!) which they then shared.
Finally, finally, the ambulance appeared and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I was getting ready to leave when the man burst back into the reception area looking livid. “The paramedics have found your nebuliser,” he said loudly to the receptionist “they want to know where exactly the medicine is that should be with it!” I watched in disbelief as it took a further five minutes for a key to the medicine cabinet to be found.
It took 45 minutes from walking through the door to the ambulance arriving yet the means to treat the lady had been on the premises the whole time.
This is the same health centre who wouldn’t send a doctor out to treat a patient who was having a heart attack in the car park. That man sadly died: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Shoppers-horror-as-man-dies-yards-away-from-surgery-19042012.htm
I hope they will learn from this and immediately retrain all relevant staff in the use of nebulisers. My son has asthma, would he be able to last 45 minutes without treatment?
I have blurred out the number plate because I am nice…
I watched this lady drive over the crossing and then reverse into this spot before getting out of her car and then going into nearby shops!
She walked freely, did not appear injured in any way and the car was not displaying any kind of disability badge.
Worst thing about this is that the car park is a 1 minute walk away from this spot and it only costs 60p to park!
18.9.2012 – I am very sad to report that the winner of these chocolates has been in touch to say she hasn’t received them. In my efforts to look into this I have found that there is some doubt regarding the authenticity of Genevie and her chocolates. The photo of her below, for example, is an istock photo and not of her at all, if indeed ‘she’ even exists.
Here are the links that explain more: via @mummybarrow who also offered the prize – http://www.mummybarrow.com/i-dont-like-being-lied-to/
and via Fuss Free Flavours – http://fussfreeflavours.com/2012/08/chocolates-by-genevie/
I have recently had the pleasure of sampling some of the chocolates lovingly handmade by Genevie.
My personal favourite of this little selection was the bottom middle one which had a marzipan centre; it was gorgeous *salivates at the memory*.
Online shop owner Genevie, pictured above, says:
“Welcome to my chocolate gift shop where I hope you’ll find the perfect gift made with love by chocolatier Genevie. My Chocolate is only available from the online shop and you will not find any of the chocs in shops or on other sites. All of the chocolate boxes are delivered free post to the UK mainland.
All of the boxes are hand decorated with silk and butterfly emblems making sure that each box is special & unique. A gift card is included with all of the chocolate boxes and you can give a personal message during checkout.”
I have a gorgeous, red, heart shaped box of 32 handmade chocolates to give away to one lucky winner!
To enter, simply:
Tweet – “I’ve entered to win a box of handmade choc via @CoffeeCurls blog http://coffeecurls.wordpress.com”
And comment below to let me know that you’ve done so.
Closing date 26.8.2012. Prize as offered, no cash alternative. CoffeeCurls is not responsible for the prize, it is the sole responsibility of the prize provider. If you don’t want the chocolates I am happy to eat them for you 😉
by T E Shepherd
The author’s blurb reads:
Eleanor, a literature graduate with a passion for the old legends, is lost and feared dead when she becomes separated from her group on an expedition in the Icelandic Highlands, but emerges out of the wilds nine days later with stories of the huldufolk.
Ódinn, who has committed crimes in his own world and has been cast out to walk the world of men for all eternity, desires to return home. He enlists the help of Charles Ancell, a young, ambitious, aluminum developer to build a revolutionary new factory in the Icelandic Highlands to provide cheap metal. The techniques used will break apart the fragile bridge between the worlds. As a consequence of this our world and its climate is set to change irrecoverably.
Having finished The End Of All Worlds by TE Shepherd, I am now struggling a little with how to review it as it isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before which I think will probably come across in the review! It isn’t the type of story that I would generally choose to read and feel I owe TE Shepherd and apology as I’m sure someone who had read and loved Lord of The Rings, for example, would be better placed to give this review.
The story follows several ‘clusters’ of characters and often jumps between them to show different things happening simultaneously which is unusual and felt at times like it was possibly written a little in style of a film script?
Not a book to be dipped into and definitely not a light read. This is an in depth read that needs to be given your full attention if you are to keep track of everything that is happening as the story dips between present time and other times as well as differing simultaneous activities. It describes Iceland beautifully and has opened my mind to world of ‘hidden folk’ of which I would otherwise probably never have heard of.
The ending seemed to rush up upon me and the actions of some of the characters surprised me greatly. Personally though I think it’s always good for a story not to be predictable.
I think I got a little muddled with events in places but there is a handy guide to the characters at the start of the book. It always worries me when I see those in books though as it tells me that I am going to need my wits about me!
The little illustrations throughout the book are delightful and show that Mr Shepherd is clearly a very talented man.
I’ve read the book wondering if it is based on real Icelandic folklore and have just visited google and discovered that it is. The Huldulfolk and Alfar are alive and well in Icelandic legend – how cool is that: http://www.octavia.net/vikings/hulduf…
I found it difficult to gauge the age range that the book is aimed at and am still not 100% sure which makes it difficult to know who I would recommend it to. However, I think anyone who enjoys mythology and folklore would get a lot out of this book and I’d love to read a review from someone who regularly reads this genre.
by Alison Bruce
Synopsis: Kaye Whiting went to buy a birthday present and didn’t come back. Fifty miles away in Cambridge town centre a deeply disturbed young woman is standing by a payphone. She often feels compelled to do harmful things and is driven by a desire to make a call. When Kaye’s body is discovered, the only clue DC Gary Goodhew has to go on is a woman’s voice on his voicemail saying, “Kaye isn’t the first and won’t be the last…”
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am reading my way through the Alison Bruce books after discovering and loving Cambridge Blue.
I have one negative comment and I’ll get it out of the way first (Alison already knows this anyway!) I’m really sad that the cover has been changed from the original one which was:
I personally love the original style of the jacket covers and think it’s a real shame that they’ve been made more generic by the publishers.
Anyway, the book!
I know from my Q&A session with Alison that The Calling, although being the third in the Cambridge Blue series, is actually the first one that she wrote and I read the book with that knowledge to see if I could ‘tell’. I certainly don’t think it is screamingly obvious, but there were a few subtle differences about DC Gary Goodhew’s personality?
I love it when I get to start a new DC Gary Goodhew book, it’s great to settle down with a book knowing that you love the characters and that you love the writing style. The Calling did not disappoint. It is fast paced (as all of the series have been so far) and you get drawn into the story very quickly, making it hard to put the book down.
Poor Kaye, I was willing her to hang on and was quite shocked when she didn’t! That was totally unexpected for me but it was a great way to be thrown straight into the book. I thought that the pain portrayed by Kaye’s mother was excellently observed.
I kept changing my mind about who my chief suspect was as the story progressed and I enjoyed being kept on my toes as new developments arose. I liked the way that the crime was solved between DC Goodhew and the enigmatic character ‘Marlowe’ and thought the relationship between their, equally untraditional, personalities felt very plausable.
As ever I have no intention of giving away the ending to this book, except to say that I one point I did think Alison had taken leave of her senses with the way the story was heading but it was of course just another cleverly woven red herring!
Great book – if you are new to the Cambridge Blue series, please pick up a copy of Cambridge Blue first and fall in love with enigmatic DC Gary Goodhew!
Feeling inspired by the Olympics? All you need now is a fab new pair of running shoes to set you off on the path to fitness.
You are in luck, because I’ve teamed up with sportsshoes.com to offer one lucky reader a brand new pair of trainers up to the value of £90!
With a huge selection of running shoes on offer, Sportsshoes ensures mums have plenty of options to look and feel fabulous. Why not view the range here and see which ones take your fancy: www.sportsshoes.com/running
Here’s how to enter….
Please comment below to state that you’d like to enter – and either tweet “I’ve entered to
#win a pair of running shoes worth up to £90 from @sportsshoes_com on @CoffeeCurls blog http://coffeecurls.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/win-a-pair-of-running-shoes/”
or share this competition on facebook.
The lucky winner will need to confirm their shoe size and address and choose a pair of running shoes up to the value of £90 which will be sent out them directly by the prize provider.
Please see the Terms & Conditions here: 1. Competition is only available to individuals aged 18 and over. 2. The prize will be sent out within 28 days. 3. The prize must be redeemed within 6 months. 4. The prize will be a pair of running shoes selected from www.sportsshoes.com/running up to the value of £90. 5. Sportsshoes.com reserves the right to provide a substitute prize of a similar value should the specified prize become unavailable for reasons beyond its control. Cash or credit alternatives will not be offered. 6. Sportsshoes reserves the right to amend, suspend or cancel the competition without notice and/or review and revise these terms and conditions at any time without giving prior notice. 7. The publisher’s decision is final. 8. Closing date: 31/8/2012.