Update 25 January 2011: Follow-up x-rays last Monday then off to try my first day back at work. Really short of breath, I had just made the necessary rounds to show I am still alive and then headed toward the lab but the receptionist stopped me to say I had an emergency call from my GP. Upon contacting her, I found that I had a collapsed lung and it was imperative to get to the hospital NOW. One of the ambulance attendants was still in training after several tours in Afghanistan and the trainer asked if it was okay for him to have a good listen since they usually don’t get a full pneumothorax in someone who is calm and otherwise fit; sure, what-the-hell, right? At A&E they stuck a hose into my chest cavity and put the other end into, essentially, a bong so that as I breathed in the air trapped between my ribs and the flattened lung bubbled gently into some salted water. Treated very well in the Cardio-Pulmonary Unit (I was the only non-bypass patient and a novelty as such), I was released at the end of the week.
Update 15 Jan 2011: Saturday and some of the swelling has turned into bruises. I am tapering off the pain medication and will have another set of x-rays Monday morning then try to get to work to reschedule things with people who will have to do more of the physical part of the work scheduled.
I had a couple of funny thoughts in A&E (that’s the ER for you Americans), usually along the lines of how I know being strapped to a table and having English women in nurse uniforms cut my clothing away and give me drugs isn’t doing it for me the way I thought it should.
Remembered this…One old woman on the other side of the curtain was getting the standard stroke battery of questions..like, do you know what year it is, etc. They asked her if she knew who the monarch was and she paused a long time and said meekly, “Elizabeth.” It was quiet a while and someone said,” good Nana, but which Elizabeth?” She snapped back, “Elizabeth the bloody Second, how bleeding old do you think I am?” I really didn’t need to be laughing as hard as that in the state I was in.
Jackie and I were in a head on collision with a van both vehicles traveling about 50 miles per hour for 100 mph net (around 10G stopping deceleration). We are very lucky to be alive. The van driver was on our side of the road and, o course, escaped with minor injuries. After striking us, the van spun into another vehicle causing more injuries.
I have nothing but good things to say about the NHS hospital we were transported to, the ambulance staff, the fire brigade that cut my side of the car off, and I am especially grateful for the two off duty nurses that witnessed the wreck and attended us until and beyond the arrival of emergency crews.