One litre of Red Bull and two litres of Coke Cola and I still don't feel up to facing the day.
I think I have caffeine tolerance.
Once more my job gave me two calls that are in contrast to one another, both involving children.
The first was an eight year old boy who'd fallen over and taken a small chunk out of himself. Nothing too serious and something that would be fixed by three sutures. The only thing (and yes, I may be a bit harsh here), was that he was constantly crying. His mother was also weeping as if he was about to die.
I asked him if it was the pain that was making him cry, but he told me that it just 'stung' a bit. He was crying because he was scared. I explained that it wasn't serious, that he'd be home in an hour and that it wasn't a problem.
But still he cried.
His mother also wouldn't stop crying, even though I explained the same thing to her.
No matter what I did or said, it made no difference, the crying continued. As did the wailing, the sobbing and the shrieking.
So I put a plaster on the wound and took him to hospital. By the time we got there I had a splitting headache. I'm reminded of what my mother would have said. She would have taken one look at the wound and told me to, “stop crying or I'll give you something worth crying about – it's hardly a scratch and your own fault for climbing trees”.
Didn't do me any harm.
Later that same day I went to an adult who had been beaten up. He didn't speak English, his son and his daughter in law didn't speak English.
His eleven year old granddaughter did.
She was bright, she was sensible and she was pretty much the only contact with the non-Punjabi speaking part of England that the family had.
She had been born in England, which makes me suspect that her parents had been here for eleven years without learning any English. Which is a poor effort by any standard.
So they relied on her to deal with any place that didn't have translators. I spoke to her about it – she had helped them navigate the maze of benefit offices and social services. She had been there while her mother had another two children, translating what the midwives said, she was the translator between her family and her school.
She was now translating for me while I tried to determine why three men had broken into their house and beaten up her grandfather.
She had been forced to grow up incredibly quickly while her family came to rely on her. I wondered if she has got used to the quizzical looks all the adults in the house was giving me when I tried talking to them.
Very, very sad that this eleven year old girl had to deal with all these adult problems.