This week’s Who’s The Daddy? comes to you from Ward 36 of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, with my left arm in plaster after falling off my bike like something out of a cartoon.
I’d only been on the thing for about 60 seconds when pedalling uphill with my feet jammed in the stirrups, changed to a lower set of gears, the chain came off, the bike stopped moving, gravity took over and yours truly came crashing down to the kerb with a bang.
Don’t feel bad for laughing, I would have if it was you - and I bet it looked hilarious. But the next thing I remember is screaming in agony like a terrified little girl and an athletic looking neighbour sprinting around the corner, taking one look at my mangled arm and calling for an ambulance.
Seconds later the cavalry arrived, including an off-duty nurse, my wife and kids, and just about everyone who lives on our street who stayed with me (thank you all) until the paramedics picked me up off the road, loaded me into an ambulance and pumped me full of that lovely morphine.
The bike was fine. As was my crash helmet (always wear a crash helmet, kids) and my ring and watch, which the boss prised off before everything swelled so much they would’ve had to have been cut off.
Turns out I’d dislocated and broken my elbow and broke my wrist lengthways. Later that day an anaesthetist put me under and a surgeon yanked my elbow back into place and temporarily set my wrist to minimise nerve damage until everything gets pinned properly in surgery. If I liked the NHS before all this, I’m it’s biggest fan now. Here, they scrape you up off the street and make you better, no questions asked. Try pulling a stunt like this in the Med this summer and they’ll be rummaging through your wallet faster than a Barcelona pickpocket. Surgeons and anaesthetists are obviously brilliant but Lancaster’s nurses are a gift from God (morphine’s kicking in now).
Nothing can shock them, they’ve seen it all and spent years mopping it up. Although there’s nowhere near enough of them. They’re running themselves into the ground. There needs to be about three times as many.