By Veronica


Arachne: I've sprained my ankle.
Veronica: Hold my beer.

I had a great night's sleep, but my ankle was still swollen and somewhat purple when I got up (see yesterday's blip). Deciding it was better to be safe than sorry, I regretfully abandoned hope of an island adventure. Instead, freespiral kindly drove me to the minor injuries unit at Bantry hospital, where I got to experience a slice of West Cork life.

Luckily there was no queue, and we only had to wait about half an hour to see the doctor. While we waited, everyone in the waiting room collaborated on a collective diagnosis of a lady somewhat the worse for drink who had a swollen hand. "It's not broken," we sagely concluded, "you can move your fingers." 

The doctor prodded my ankle and said, "Have you had a previous fracture of this foot?" "??? Previous fracture?" Alarm bells started to ring. Confirmed by the nice Welsh radiologist with whom I had my one permissible Brexit conversation of the day.

Back in the unit, the craic was mighty in the waiting room, according to freespiral, as Ms Not-Broken-Hand interrogated people on their families, relationships and sex lives. Freespiral went off to do some shopping while I waited for the doctor, enjoying the chatter of the other waiting patients. 

It's just as well the hospital employs radiologists and doctors rather than relying on crowdsourced waiting room diagnoses, as it turned out my companion had broken her hand (falling down when drunk). Separately, she had been bitten by a terrier. The little lad in the next cubicle was giving a blow-by-blow account of the football match in which he had fallen over and broken his wrist. Meanwhile the nurse observed that my trousers were too narrow to fit over the bandages and it would be a shame to cut them up, so she went off and found a pair of fetching maroon scrubs for me to wear. Talk about service!

I was still naively assuming at this point that the doctor would just slap a compression bandage on it and wave me off. Wrong, as you can see. After he'd wrapped it up he sent me off (in a wheelchair) for another X-ray to check it was all lined up. When I returned, Eleanor the nurse was waiting with a pair of crutches, and strict instructions not to put any weight on it. "How long for?" "Six weeks." "Whaat??"

She gave me a crutch lesson. Not happy. I am expected to hop everywhere ... I refused her suggestion of a porter and a wheelchair, as I thought I'd better practice under supervision, but the loo ten metres down the corridor was far enough for me; the wheelchair was ready when I came out and I was duly wheeled all the way to freespiral's car. I have to say I was impressed by my experience of the Irish health service.

Lunch in the conservatory was most welcome, and then I spent a chunk of the afternoon reorganising travel, given that I can't drive. I regretfully cancelled the photo tour around Bantry Bay and Glengarriff that I'd booked for tomorrow and was really looking forward to. Thankfully everyone was helpful, even Ryanair. And freespiral and himself have been waiting on me hand and literally foot. Delicious supper of mushroom risotto and another of Himself's beautiful salads (extra).

Not quite what I had planned for my first experience of Ireland, but I will be back!

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