Published: Monday August 10, 2015.

Two paramedics at the same time

Oh, my. I’m not very good at this.

Hi again.

Last time I wrote stuff here, I’d just returned from a short holiday in northern Spain. I briefly alluded to spending some time in the company of two delightful paramedics from Devon and Cornwall’s fines, but left the details tantalisingly sparse.

Well, dear reader, you can rest easy, ‘cos here’s what happened.

Cast your mind back a few months to spring 2015, if you will. I’ll recap a few things to fill in some gaps.

My dear nan died. I was sad, because it was a sad thing. My nan also left me some money, which was very lovely of her. I bought a bicycle, and went cycling in some nearby woods. A fox crosed my path and I crashed my new bicycle. Hard.

I hobbled about a bit in the weeks after, and there were a bunch of sleepless nights because pain. Lots of pain, actually. Not bad enough to see a doctor in the first instance, because I didn’t have a collapsed lung and I bounced surprisingly well, frankly.

So, yeah. Much hurt, very ouch. When I left for Santander, I was OK. Totally fine, actually. It wasn’t until day three of my holiday when I was in the sea that the chest pain started again.

The bike crash hurt the right side of my rib cage, mostly. The pain I had bobbing around in the sea was on my left side. Still, in Spain, it wasn’t that bad. It was only when I got back to Cornwall that it sort of escalated a little. The pain got worse and now came with a death gurgle when I breathed in all the way. Ugh.

A couple of days at home and things weren’t improving. I made an appointment for a doctor prod/poke and the earliest was a week away. Then, I did something that I’ve never done before: I called NHS Direct. It was all terribly civilised, too. I spoke to a nice lady who took all kinds of details, then I had a gentleman from the ambulance service call me back, and an hour later an ambulance arrived.

It was like ordering an ambulance from Amazon Prime but choosing the No-Rush Delivery option. I’m doubtful if I’ll get 1GBP back on my tax bill, however.

So, yeah – I’m in an ambulance. Two paramedics are prodding, poking, asking questions, administering tests, taking my blood pressure (which, I’m told, is ‘perfect’ – how, I’ll never know), talking about this and that and I’m trying incredibly hard not to flirt with them and be a responsible patient. There are limits to conversational subjects when I’m topless and one of them is shaving my chest hair to apply a trio of ECG pads.

Long story short, it turns out I had a chest wall injury. Not really surprising considering the smack I took when I hit the forest floor at 25mph. There’s nothing to do with this kind of thing, either, so I just had to be a big, brave boy and get through it.

Now, I think it’s gone. The death rattle has disappeared, there’s a distinct lack of pain in my ribcage. Sadly, I haven’t been out on my bicycle since. I need to solve a problem with the gears at the back and it’s slipped my mind ever since.

Poor show, Cooper. Nan would not be impressed.