I had my first letter of thanks yesterday, the first one I have ever had.
It was a lovely simple job, one of those jobs that you tend to do a lot of. The call was to an elderly woman who had maybe collapsed. The problem that faced us was that she had collapsed behind her front door and no-one was able to gain entry.
We never really know what to expect from this sort of job, sometimes the person is fine, they've just fallen over. Sometimes the person is seriously ill and this is the reason behind the collapse. Occasionally the person will have died in the night.
The, also elderly, sister had gone to our patient's house and was unable to raise her. She'd then gone to the police station and they had contacted us.
We arrived to find the police already there, they were waiting for the officers who had the battering ram as there was no other way to get into the flat. An officer had just brought the sister of our patient with him back to the house.
So the door splintered inwards and the police officers entered the flat. We follow them in and listen to see who finds her first.
Thankfully she is alive and lying on the bedroom floor. She's a stick of a thing and well into her late eighties.
We quickly check her over to make sure that she doesn't have any injuries, then pick her up and lay her in bed.
What then follows is little more than a more extensive examination of her and a bit of the old 'chat'.
We talk to her and her sister while checking her blood pressure and the like about such diverse subjects as dead husbands and playing 'knock down ginger', about how out patient hates doctor yet how kind her GP is.
It's nothing unusual, it's nothing that we don't do for all our patients in order to put them at ease.
We arrange the GP to come and visit her and leave.
But somehow a card of thanks makes it's way to us, the sister walked up to the hospital and asked the ambulance crews parked outside to make sure that we got it. So I return to work, look in my letter tray and find the card.
It's a simple little thing, it just says 'thank you', but it means a lot to me.