I have mentioned in the past that there have been a number of times where I have asked a question which came back to bit me in the bum and made me wish the ground would open up and swallow me.
Sometimes these create a bit of a laugh and a giggle (ususally getting peoples relationships wrong….”So Is you mother coming with you to the hospital?”, “Thats not my mother……Thats my Wife!!!”), but other times it makes you just want to say sorry and then look for the quickest opportunity to change the direction of the conversation and hope that you completely innocent question didnt cause too much pain or discomfort for the family involved…….
I was called to an elderly gentleman who had tripped and fallen in his back yard, causing him to have some discomfort in his knee. He had managed to get back into his house and had called the family over who in turn called 999 when they realised that he was having difficulty walking.
On arriving to his house, I got out of the rapid response car made my way up to the house. The gentlemans daughter invited me in and showed me to Ted, who was sitting in his chair in the front room.
A quick primary survey followed by a more focused exam on his knee suggested that it was nothing more than a soft tissue injury, however, due to his now poor mobility, I was unable to get him to the car to get him up to hospital for an x-ray and some further treatment. I put in the call to control to request a crew as a Cat C reponse (no lights or sirens) and settled in for my wait with the patient and his family until the crew arrived.
Its at times like these when you cant help but have a scan around the room that you are in. I tend to look for photographs of family or special places, the older the better, so that I can hopefully start off a conversation which will help make the time pass quicker for all those in that house.
Whilst sitting with Fred I noticed a photograph of a truly stunning, beautiful young woman. She is obviously on holiday and is standing in the shallows of some ocean with the water lapping around her mid calf level. She looks so happy!
“Wow Ted, what a wonderful photograph! Who is the beautiful young lady then? She looks so content”
Silence…….Dropped gazes and looks passed between Ted and his family.
“That`s Sarah, she was my grand daughter, and she committed suicide the day after that photograph was taken………….”