Thursday, April 02, 2015


The woman with card number twenty-eight, (who had been busily organising everyone in the waiting area) told the man in National Health Service tunic, who had arrived with a wheel chair for her that she did not need it; she could walk into the plaster room she said.  This tall portly man sternly regarded the woman. He firmly told her that if she did not sit in the chair she would have to wait an hour till her turn came round again! Deflation was fast, she fell silent and followed his instructions.   

I knew it was my turn to go in to the plaster room when an empty wheelchair seat silently appeared in front of me together with the same rotund chauffeur.  
I smiled up at him, he was impassive. I hobbled myself into position and sat. I was pushed to the far end of the plaster room, passing by two patients on trolleys;  one patient sported a bare leg waiting to be 'done' and the other was having a blood red plaster applied to a lower leg.  

Number twenty-eight's purple clog with big toe brace sat on a table facing me. This incongruous footless  form sat there, it looked like a portable male urinal [without the handle].  
I could not find a picture depicting the shape in royal purple.

Portly man sat down on a chair facing me and for the first time he addressed me. "Put your leg here," indicating just above his knee and on his green plastic apron.  He checked the bit of blue paper that had so far accompanied me everywhere this trip. A flexible tube was plugged into a cylinder and a wheel was slotted into a head placed at the end of the tube. The high pitched sound of the  grinding wheel was nothing in comparison to the vibrations that went right through the bit of me I had been so carefully protecting all these weeks. My reflexes overpowered any control I might have had to stay still. Two shallow cuts about two and a half inches apart, ( about 7cms) were made over the top of my plaster clog, the centre piece was lifted and the remaining plaster fitting slipped off.  

I was wheeled back out, this time into a different part of the corridor.  Without a word, the chair and me were placed in specific place to await the next stage.  As for the brakes- I had to trust to luck.


Snowbird said...

This had me laughing out loud....the silent treatment, male urinal clog...[Gosh] and you and the empty chair!!!
Why is it so hard to smile at patients?
I felt your fear having the plaster cut off, I had a ring cut off once and thought I was about to lose my finger!!!
Good to hear you're on the mend, hoping you can walk now!!!xxx

ZACL said...

Those grinding wheels have to be in careful hands...then there is the trust factor...whew!

Walking.... in time. Let's say, I have started working on it.


Anonymous said...

Goodness, I just hope that I never have to endure such mental anguish.
As Snowbird says it's good to know that you're on the mend.
Take care, Flighty xx

Anonymous said...

Sounds fearful! And why silent? We don't want staff to be overchatty, but surely a few cheerful comments and some explanation wouldn't have come amiss! Glad to hear that you have moved on to the next stage and I hope it all goes according to plan.

ZACL said...

While I waited my turn, I occupied my time by speaking to a woman waiting for her husband, who nearly got linked up with the wrong man, by organising lady number 28.

I felt light footed after my turn. Thanks for your kind thoughts...amen to yours and my hopes.

ZACL said...

Hi Gilly,

I put the social distance down to a heavy morning's work. The number cards go up to 50. Earlier in the process of musical chairs to and from departments that morning, (after 11am) I saw the waiting throng were up to number 33. The card I took was number 29. I did wonder how many times the cards gone round their full cycle since the plaster room opened up at 08.45 to its adoring public.

I don't think lady number 28 helped; providing as she did amusing moments, the gent may have thought we were great friends. We were sitting next to one another and were from the same town. He did go and find hubby to sit next to me, which was good, because, I
was in a very mobile (unbraked) chair.