Night at the A&E

The A&E department is rather unlike hotels and airlines. You do not get special treatment even if you are a regular customer.

It is odd how everyone gets paranoid about their information. Big brother is watching, they say. When you are wheeled into the A&E, you only wish the brother is there to fill in the blanks so that you don’t have to whimper and yell at the same time. And while trying to hold back the vomit. It is not a pretty sight – something I am sure they are used to but not something a commoner enjoys.

As you try your hardest not to pass out from the pain1, you grind your tongue each time (7 to be exact) you have to repeat your name, identity number, the time the vomiting started, the time the pain started, the number of times this had happened, and the preceding events to 4 different persons. Yes, 7 times to 4 persons. Someone must not be too keen. When your temperature is taken 3 times within 2 minutes because it is not recorded and you are man-handled to change into the gown despite having no ability to move beyond the fetal position, you wish you will just pass out.

Alas, the needles show themselves. You have grown to love the needles and the clear liquid as you adapt to the patterns of the attacks and treatment. Then the strangest thing happened – It will take about 30 minutes to take effect. You want to roll your eyes to show your disbelief but they are already rolled from all the ‘excitement’. 30 minutes! Of course, it may be an exaggeration. It must be. There is no way they will do this to someone who is on the brink of begging for mercy. No idea for what and from whom but nonetheless. 30 minutes later, you realise it is not a joke.

The Recovery section must have drugs in the air2. They expect everyone to take in the stillness sensation and be cosmically at peace. As you wave your arms to grab attention, the stolen glances turn from nonchalant to displeasure. You wonder why. You are giddy because you won’t lie down! I have already called for the doctor! Ah. You are a nuisance. You begin to wonder if the pain and the less than performing drug are causing hallucinations. More minutes passed and the refusal to approach or even offer eye contact drive your pain from the gastro region to the head.

Doctor’s arrival presents first and final relief. The fine veins have always been a problem. 3 bruisers and 2 hours after admission, the intravenous drugs and saline send you into a shallow but much needed sleep. It is one of the days you don’t care that you are sleeping with sweat-soaked hair.

Worst attack ever. Unfortunately, the worst hospital experience too. And mind you, I went through a gastroscopy without sedation. This is the worst.

I miss AH A&E.

  1. I still cannot differentiate between “pulling” and “stabbing” so don’t start with me []
  2. Think Hound of Baskervilles of BBC Sherlock []


  1. meds

    A similar incident happened to me a year ago. I still remember stumbling out of bed to crawl to the waiting cab. And the a&e at ttsh just took its time for magic to unfold as I laid in apparent not-as-life-threatening pain. Hope you are better.

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