Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back To Basics, NHS-Style


Your unflappable heroine, PATROCLUS, is being subjected to various medical tests by a team of midwives. MIDWIFE 1 prepares to take a blood sample.

MIDWIFE 1: Is this your arm?

ME: Yes.

Disclaimer: I should point out that the standard of ante-natal care in Cornwall is very high indeed, and I have nothing but admiration and respect and gratitude for all the midwives who've been looking after me. Although they do sometimes say some quite funny things.

NOTE TO READERS: Rest assured I am not actually in hospital - I am at home and about to have my tea. Friends and family will be advised by text when anything birth-related occurs! Blog-readers will probably learn of any news in due course either here or chez Mr BC.


Fat Roland said...

I broke my toe earlier this year. When I arrived at x-ray with a card requesting a scan of my foot, the nurse nearly had palpatations. It went something like:

NURSE: What's wrong with your foot?

ME: I've broken my toe. The fourth one.

NURSE: But the card says 'foot x-ray'.

ME: Yes. Because I've broken my toe.

NURSE: Then it would say 'toe x-ray'. This says 'foot'.

ME: Um...

NURSE: So there's nothing wrong with your foot?

ME: Well--

NURSE: I'm going to have to speak to someone.

I hesistated because I was wondering whether to sing the "foot bone's connected to the toe bone" song.

patroclus said...

Hahahahaa! You could have done the version that Dr Nick Riviera sings in the Simpsons: '...the thigh bone's connected to thing... the red thing's connected to my...wristwatch...'. My favourite bit of the Simpsons ever.
I do hope your toe's better now.

Anonymous said...

Was the midwife unsure if it was an arm or if it was yours? Maybe they'd had a spate of limb larceny.

patroclus said...

Anon: I'm not sure. Either interpretation is quite worrying.

Sylvia said...

lucky you to be giving birth there, P. Have heard v good reports. I'd have given up the fabulous view of London for some postnatal care and a clean ward.

nibus said...

Surely the required answer is "'s ma aaaankle"

oyebilly said...

Off topic, for which I apologise but I have been made aware of more "female bloggers don't exist" propaganda courtesy of Richmond College

patroclus said...

Sylvia: I do feel very lucky. All being well, the Blue Kitten will come into the world (on Thursday!) in a very cushy 'waterbirthing unit' where I will be the sole patient, where there's mood lighting and CD players and DVD players (not for me, I don't suppose I'll be up to watching any of series 5 of Scrubs) and a fridge, a microwave, an ensuite shower-room and undivided attention from two midwives. Mind you, the best laid plans, etc. etc.

Nibus: Aye.

Billy: Thanks for that - that's interesting, especially the perpetuation of the very odd myth that people you meet on the internet aren't 'real', a subject that the - ahem - 'real' me held forth on last year.

Marsha Klein said...

I remember having blood taken while pregnant and a student midwife and staff midwife failing to extract any of the red stuff (my veins are almost invisible, obscured as they are under layers of blubber!)
A well-spoken young doctor then put his head round the screens saying:
"The midwife says you're pathetic" before adding:
"I think she was talking about your veins rather than you".

Boz said...

Good luck for Thursday!!

I went under general anesthetic fairly recently. I'd never done it before. It went like this:

Anesthetist: First it'll go a bit cold in your hand.

Boz: Ooo yes.

Anesthetist: Then you'll feel it move slowly up your arm.

Boz: Ahh. So I can.

Anesthetist: Then you'll get a strange taste in the back of your mouth THAT NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN!

Boz: Wha.. whaaa? [panics]

Anesthetist: But then you'll fall asleep.

Boz: ....

I was all calm and comfortable right up until the mystery taste...

james henry said...

My experience of general anaesthetic was a nice lady saying 'Now, in a minute I'll count up to ten, and you'll start to feel a bit drow-'

Out I went. I'm not sure she'd even started, it may just have been the power of suggestion.

janey33 said...

Ooooo, good luck for Thursday (or whenever!) Yes, you won't be too bothered about the microwave, shower or dvd player. You will, however, be bothered when one or both of the midwives nips out for their break and you suddenly start seeing the attractions of all the drugs that the modern NHS has at its' disposal. Couple of quick tips. Don't go to hospital until the last minute. There's nothing worse than wandering around a birthing unit listening to everyone else wailing and shouting. And wondering what all the scary, shiny instruments are for. And if you don't give birth in the pool and end up on a bed, try not to lay on your back. I gave birth on all fours. Not so good for the dignity, (especially in a Millwall football shirt and Mr J's socks), but much kinder on your back and you're working with gravity, not against it. You'll be fine, all us short women give birth easily. I'm five feet nothing and weigh seven stone and I had a great time. You go girl!

patroclus said...

Marsha: 'obscured under layers of blubber', pffft, what rot. Now I'm just waiting for the media to latch on to 'pathetic veins' as the new health scare for A/W 08-09 (must stop saying that).

Boz: And when you came round, did you find yourself saying '...aaaat?'

James: Maybe there was no anaesthetic, and the whole thing was done by the power of suggestion. Spooky! (Ooh, that train of thought always leads me on to thinking 'what if I don't actually exist and just think I do?' Brrrr.)

Janey: This is very good advice, thank you. Yes, if I end up having a 'land birth', as they seem to call it, I'll be sure not to be on my back.

Arabella said...

That was a bit of a Frankie Howerd moment in the hospital.I'm sure there will be more of them, and some Jim Dales as well.kbee
All the very best for land or sea!

Arabella said...

Woops, I put the wv in the wrong place.

Boz said...

No. But, er, I did high five the nurse in the recover room.

Oh the shame.

Sylvia said...

I hate to break it to you at this late stage,P, but there's a distinct possibility that you could be in this state for up to another fortnight. 70% arrive late, about 20% early, and 10% on time. By the time I got to No 3, I just added a fortnight to the due date and was apot on.

Agree with all the above. Stay upright and out of hospital for as long as possible. Contractions have a mysterious way of stopping when you get to hospital. It's a long haul - if you get away with less than 24 hours from start to end, you've done very well. So rest as much as you can.

Good luck!

patroclus said...

Arabella: Thank you!

Boz: That's certainly more Scrubs than Casualty.

Sylvia: Yes, I don't expect it will be this week. My dad will be terribly disappointed.

chatterbox said...

Good luck whenever it happens.

I have had an anaesthetist tell me that my veins are pathetic as well. Maybe it is a medical term?

Simes said...

chatterbox: Sounds more like a lay term for something.

Person: Where's your Steve this week?

Person 2: Oh, he's in bed with his pathetic veins.

janey33 said...

It is a genuine medical term,you can have pathetic or sympathetic veins. Something to do with how your veins react to a nerve stimulus. Like being jabbed with a needle by a quivering student nurse. Quite a good one for a Monday sickie though! (But not if you work in a hospital)