Why I Like Old Folk

We’d just dropped our last patient off at the hospital, twenty seconds later we were sent another job – business as usual then.

The job was given as ‘fall, cut leg’; an ‘Amber call’, and the FRU was already outside.

As an aside, it used to be that the FRU only ran on ‘Red’ calls, now, after being told off for concentrating too much on Red calls and not enough on Ambers the FRU are now sent off to these lower priority calls in order to ‘stop the clock’.  It wouldn’t do for us to have more ambulances would it…

Our patient was an eighty year old woman who’d fell over in her very small toilet, a large lady she was stuck there.  She also had a foot long cut to her leg that had leaked a fair amount – probably more than half a litre.

Her family were there, and they were lovely – they didn’t moan that they had been waiting eighteen minutes for an ambulance, they didn’t moan that they had been sent a solo responder in a car, and they didn’t moan that we were going to have to take the removal of the patient a bit slowly.

If fact, the family and the patient were all lovely people.  The family were happy to help us by carrying some of our kit for us and by moving furniture.  Our patient was in good spirits despite a nasty cut to the leg and the FRU was happy just to see us.

Three bandages later and we’d managed to control the bleeding from the leg and we moved her out to the ambulance.

The patient told me that her blood pressure was high, and after I measured it I let her know that it was a pretty good blood pressure, as quick as you like she replied, “I suppose all that bleeding has lowered it a bit, perhaps I should cut myself more often”.

We got her to the hospital, and I explained that, “In a minute I’ll get you to cuddle me so we can slide you across onto the hospital bed”.

She nearly leapt across the bed to give me a hug.

The family collapsed with laughter, “He said in a minute!”


A really nice job – unfortunately the hospital were unable to deal with the wound, so she had to be transferred to a plastic surgery department at another hospital.  It’s always a shame when bad things happen to nice people.

14 thoughts on “Why I Like Old Folk”

  1. My Gran could be a charmer; she also had a ferocious streak to her personality.(I dont think the window cleaner ever recovered from the threats of violence she made against him when he accidentally stood on a plant in her garden.)

    Mind you to have been widowed twice; with children under the age of five, in the days before there was social to fall back must have toughened your resolve.

    She also had her hair dyed an outrageous shade of purple, we would have known about her disapproval if we had dared to dye our hair such a colour; she was a lady of contradictions.

  2. Some days you're the dog. Other days you're the lamppost.Heard a beaut last week. I was actually there for the aftermath.A call to our local Poundstretcher. 'Child Fallen down. Convulsing. Vomiting.'Seems this little angel had gorged on Kentucky and McDonalds and honked it all up in the shop. Some parents do elaborate when they make calls – they think the ambulance will get there that bit quicker.

  3. I agree. Oldies are sometimes the best cases – often very sweet and apologetic. I think it is because they grew up in a society where if you needed to go to the hospital it meant a very long trip in the back of someone else's car. When ambulance services and 911 appeared, they'd only call if they had been having crushing chest pain for a day or two, or had lost a third of their blood. Nowadays, people see EMS as their God given right, no matter how trivial the issue.

  4. Sometimes you can have a great laugh with an elderly patient, we have one gentleman who always tells jokes, he's so deadpan you have to check if he's joking or not. A 94 year old patient of ours has lost truckloads of weight since a bad bout of shingles, she and I have cooked up a plan, she's going on the catwalk as a size zero model aged 21. We're going to say she only looks older because she's so thin.We also chatted about the fact that her boobs have shrunk and she's too embarrassed to go and get fitted for a bra so I suggested one of those M & S vest top jobs.Several ladies who attend our surgery are really beautifully dressed, all colour coordinated and smart. Not necessarily expensive clothes just neat and tidy.Puts the younger generation to shame,myself included- ironing,what's ironing?

    I often wonder whether my generation will last like the elderly of today. They have faced so many hardships and diseases in their time whereas we have had it very easy.

    How many of our generation

    a) take a pain killer when they have a pain

    b) have a thermometer in the house and know how to use it?

    c) have even a minimal first aid kit?

    Well of course, they don't need these – they've got Tom!

  5. Not ALL hospitals – certainly in London – have a dedicated Plastic Surgery Dept. Anyone with a wound like that needs the attention of the plastics bods, who can make the most horrifying injuries look a hell of a lot better. I would guess thats the reason, without wishing to step on Tom's toes.

  6. Aw that's so nice, reminds me of my great aunt. She dressed brilliantly even on her last trip to hospital – if I type any more I'll well up and be no use for hours.Suffice to say, the generation who didn't “have everything” had way more guts than most moderners.

  7. I bet all three of you came out of that job with big smiles. A nice sence of achievment, time to take it slowly and pleasant people. Makes all the difference don't it

  8. The saint is absolutely correct. They could have 'fixed it' in a 'stop you dying' sort of way, but not in a way that would promote the recovery of the wound.

  9. 'Tis a funny thing that. My 'Ex' is a nurse and she says that because they had to fight for everything the 90 year-olds are probably made of tougher stuff even than the 70 year olds. And I think that she's probably correct too! Lord alone knows what my generation (I'm mid 40's) and the younger ones who really have had it given to them on a plate will be like when (if) we get to that age.

  10. “Mind you to have been widowed twice; with children under the age of five, in the days before there was social to fall back must have toughened your resolve.”That's so true. When my mum was a girl she had to start cooking dinner as soon as she got in from school as my nan would still be at work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *