Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cracked Ribs and Friendly Nurses: Part Two

Before I begin I would like to offer readers the chance to reaquaint yourself with the story so far, scroll down the page for part one! Apologies if any of the below is inaccurate, the pain slightly clouds my memory of events.

And now, the saga continues...

...and starts to get a bit silly.

I arrived at the hospital hunched in the car, my screams echoing around the inside of the vehicle as my ribs seemed to crack with the slightest bump in the road. The car drew to a halt in the ambulance bay outside the hospital's emergency entrance, and a wheelchair was pushed to the side of the car. I exhaled to reduce the risk of another crack, got out of the car and screamed again as my chest crunched. I shuffled into the entrance out of the cold, the door closed behind me, and I was now in the hands of the Japanese public healthcare system.

Waiting in the A&E department I was confronted with two nurses sympathetic to my plight. Now I haven't trained as a Japanese nurse (chances are I never will), but I'm fairly sure they had at least one class a week in which a lecturer stood at the front of the class and said "awwwwwww" in a very sympathetic manner, then encouraged the class to do the same. The first 15 minutes of my treatment consisted of one nurse (Nurse #1) saying "awwwwww" at me every time I winced, groaned, or screamed in agony. The other nurse (Nurse #2) was clearly more qualified, having taken her "awwwww"ing to another level completely. Every time I screamed she would precisely mimic the rhythm and pitch of my screams, so the dialogue would go something like this:

Me: ARRRRGH aaaaa aa aaa fuck
Nurse: awwwwww aww aw aww awww!!!!
Nurse: awwww aww awww awwww!!!!
Nurse: aww aww awwwww aww awwwwww awww!

And so it continued for 15 minutes, me issuing bellows of fundamental agony, the nurse putting one hand on my shoulder and whimpering sympathetic echoes of every scream, my friends stifling giggles in the background.

Finally the doctor arrived, and the issue of pain relief could be addressed in a manner beyond soothing feminine whimpers. The nurse gestured a jabbing motion at her own bottom, which I assumed indicated a painkilling injection. There was nothing I wanted more, had I been physically able I would have bent over and proffered both cheeks for sweet sweet pain relief. After a brief discussion with the doctor a syringe was fetched, and pain relief was adminstered enthusiastically by Nurse #2, who then took a break from whimpering to massage my arse (supposedly with some cloth to stop the bleeding from the injection) for what seemed like an uneccessarily long amount of time. As this was happening the doctor told us we were waiting for the duty radiologist to come in, then while one nurse massaged my arse the other took over chief whimpering duties.

When the radiologist arrived I began a slow painful shuffle towards the x-ray room, escorted by Nurse#2, who by now had become hugely curious about what me and my friends were doing in Japan, gesturing towards me and asking Amelie "Is he your fiancé?". She was clearly impressed by my stoic attitude towards pain and was now after some phil loving. Not appropriate when I'm in crippling pain, but flattering nevertheless. After the x-ray I began one more shuffle back to A&E where despite my continued agony (the painkillers having had little to no effect) the conversation turned onto subjects that were more familiar. Owen's big foreign nose, my big foreign hair, and the shocking revelation that Alex was my little brother.

Nurse#2: But they can't be brothers, they have different hair colour!
Amelie: Yeh they're brothers, it's quite common for family members to have different coloured hair.
Nurse#2: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee * takes deep breath* eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Cultural exchanges aside, there was still the minor issue of my unbearable agony. I was given tablets that had no effect, the injection had barely dulled the pain, and there was no way I could get to sleep in this level of agony.

Nurse#2 then took me towards the corner of the room, pulled the curtains round to give us some privacy, and started taking my trousers down. Given by this point I was fairly sure she had the hots for me, someone who is familiar with the basic tenets of pornography would have this story ending in only one way "Oh, I'll give you pain relief..." etc. Happily (because I have a girlfriend who I love very much and complains about not being mentioned in blogs, hello Rachel) this was not what the nurse had in mind.

She snapped on some white medical gloves and started opening a small packet with a torpedo shaped object inside. My friends had realised what was happening a long time ago, and at this point had hidden in the corridor and were laughing their sympathetic little heads off, proving once and for all that anal suppositories are the funniest pain relief treatment in the world. Seconds later I was bent over and very much not enjoying the intimate attentions of a nurse who at one point during her exploratory examination actually uttered the words "where is it?". I might be foreign but everything is still in a perfectly normal place thankyou very much! Instructions to "rerax" were not easy to follow as the ridiculousness of the situation took hold, and laughing with broken ribs whilst being violated by a japanese nurse is not an experience I can recommend.

There was however one more horror that awaited that evening, and amazingly it was not directed towards me. I was given a supply of painkillers, naturally in the form of anal suppositories. However with my lack of flexibility I would obviously not be able to take these drugs myself. The doctor turned to my little brother who bravely refused to show in his face the horror of the task which had just been assigned to him, and accepted a handful of disposable gloves with admirable indifference.

We were given a proper send off as the staff expressed amazement that foreigners would drive a Japanese car, the radiologist pointing out that "hey the one with the broken ribs has got a big nose too!" and inspecting the tyres of owen's car with great interest for no apparent reason.

For everyone else, this trip to the hospital was a hilarious diversion from the routine of daily life, but I'm in no hurry to do it again. I missed out on 2 snowboarding holidays and 6 weeks of boarding at my local slopes, and couldn't get out of bed unaided for a fortnight, but I hope readers will be pleased to know I am now nearly fully recovered. My little brother was also very pleased to know that the next morning I managed to take the painkiller myself, and as discussed in the Fire and Ice entry, the holiday was awesome.

Philster Out.


Eloise said...

Fantastic...entertaining from start to finish!!

Rachel said...

If any of you are Japanese nurses out there, you might want to watch your backs. That's MY bottom you've been so innocently "massaging"!! Hmph.