Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Accident - Part 1

Bürgerspital Solothurn

Notfall = Emergency
Haupteingang = Main Entrance

Yes, well there are sometimes things in life that are not predictable. A quiet Whitsun Monday after lunch. No. 2 son had packed his bags after a week-end holiday at home from his job in Brussels, Belgium. It was 1 o'clock in the afternoon, after lunch, and his father was going to bring him to the station at 2. It was then that the mother (me) made the fatal mistake of standing up on the porch and falling over, taking a chair with her and hitting her arm quite heavily on the concrete floor. Wanting to get up again, with a painful arm, she realised that the arm was no longer sort of attached to the body but hanging loosely, complete with swelling on the top half. Struggling to the living room and plompsing down in front of a startled husband and son, her words were "Call the ambulance, I have broken my arm". My son went into action and called, I was ready to faint and everything took its course. Within 5-10 minutes the ambulance arrived. My son stood outside and pointed the way and I was asked how much the pain was on a scale from 1-10. I said if the scale went higher? It didn't, so I was put into a dreamy state and transported on the stretcher (it was on wheels) out into the ambulance. My son said he would stay a day longer with us, and I said does not come into the question. I felt the warm sunshine on my face before I was in the ambulance, my son accompanying me up to that point and then we drove off. My first ride in an ambulance, and apparently some neighbours were watching and the blue light was showing, although no horn. It was not an emergency. At home I left two shocked men behind me, but my husband took my son to the station and drove to the hospital afterwards to find me in the emergency reception bit.

The first thing they did was an x-ray and we were shown the result. It was not the first time I had broken my left arm, but last time it was the bottom half. This time the top half. A very interesting picture, a so-called comminuted fracture. The bone was broken and the basis had split into a few pieces. It was sort of bandaged up and I was transported to the ward on my bed. I was not the only emergency on that day, there were a few, so I was told most probably the operation would be the next day. This was now to be the view from my window for the next week.

View South from Solothurn hospital

Our town hospital lays on the South edge of town, so it is where the countryside starts. Although a wonderful view, it did not impress me so much on the first day, especially as every time I moved my arm there seemed to be two unattached bones moving inside. At least the feeling had come back to my hand in the hospital.

I found myself in the accident ward. We were at that time just three people. A farmers wife with a broken foot and an elderly lady (over 90) with broken hip and arm. I must have been able to sleep through the night a little bit and the next morning I was told the operation time was not yet certain. At 10 'o clock in the morning the nurse said they were ready and I was sent to the operation theater. I was in never-never land for at least three hours - a complicated operation - and eventually returned to the ward at 6 in the evening, feeling very bad. Anaesthetic does not agree with me and it was at least two days until I could eat real solid food again and keep it.

So this was how it begun. I can type, but a bit difficult at the moment as my left hand is in some sort of nylon brace. Here is a photo of our local hospital. I was on about floor 8 in the tower.

Bürgerspital Solothurn

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