Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Over a four hour period yesterday evening and into this morning I was in the emergency unit of the local hospital.

Blood was pouring from my mouth like a macabre gargoyle and having been first to the nearest health centre, only to find the two doctors on duty were out on call, I went to the hospital.

As I entered with a bloody towel round my mouth I was immediately ushered in so see a doctor who told me my blood pressure was through the roof and convinced herself that I had said I had a bad heart. I don’t but it is difficult to talk with a mouth full of blood and I nearly had a heart attack when I found out.

Having had two different mouth washes over half an hour the flow of blood began to ease finally halting after around an hour and a half. It started again when I laughed out loud so I refused to speak or smile from there on. I was kept in whilst they did some tests; to make sure the bleeding didn’t restart and so they could check my blood pressure again.

When I was called back in around two in the morning the consulting room floor was covered in blood, not mine, and a person with a mop and bucket arrived to clean up whilst the doctor went through my test results.

They re-did the blood pressure test. I explained my pressure was usually normal but I had been very tense because of the blood and rushing around –convinced I was bleeding to death if the truth were known.

I added I was still rather tense what with a woman being rushed in to give birth, an old woman in a wheel chair crying out in pain, an old man also in a wheelchair as silent as the grave, various women clutching parts of their anatomy, a young man rushed off to trauma, various family members gathering to peer and poke at a loved one - all of whom had at one time or another been gathered around me that night in the emergency waiting room.

I was solemnly told my blood pressure was now just slightly higher than it should be but – normal for a man of my age!

It was as I left I passed a small room in to which had been seemingly crammed all the people who had shared the waiting room of the emergency unit with me. It was a bizarre scene of which Goya would have been proud. I stared in disbelief at them as they stared back at me with blank faces. I decided the time to discuss hallucinations with the doctor had passed and went home to sleep – which I did very well.

However in the morning I couldn’t help wondering over what I had seen.

Bloody hell indeed.


SANCHO said...

Thank you to those readers who sent me their good wishes!I have to admit the cause was a bitten tongue whilst enjoying an olive and sipping fino. The perils of the Med diet! Ok, it was a bit more complicated than that, but I am back to what passes for normal in my life!

Prospero said...

More good wishes from down the hill! The kind of scenes you experienced are not unusual. Indeed, a visit to the local health centre can make for a peak experience for exactly the same reasons.
The need for people to tell you and everyone else about their ills, is no more than an extention of family life as it used to be in Spain. Extended families are no longer the norm, alas, but the need to include everyoen in everything is still very much alive.
Consuming olives and fino, however, is the bucolic ideal most of us who moved out here many years ago came to live.
But in those days we were less prone to biting our tongues (except figuratively, perhaps). Ah, well, Sancho, live and learn - i.e. avoid hospitals like the plague!