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July 12, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Accident and Emergency

Nos-tal-gee-uh

“Sometimes I half-expect to see George Clooney in scrubs…”

Monday mornings in winter never fail to garner a collective groan from audiences. Why? Well, perhaps it’s the difficult task of getting from your bed to your shower, perhaps it’s strategically getting on underwear without toppling, or perhaps it’s that panicked five minute couch dive as you search for your elusive car keys. Whatever the reason, society still manages to maintain a scrap of dignity as they stride into their lectures, clutching an extra shot of latte as they furiously try to remember if they turned off their headlights.

This is not the case if you manage to land yourself in hospital by 9.53am.

Maintaining a sense of decorum in a crisis has never been my forte. I excel at making an ass of myself which is why, at 9.27am on a Monday, I found myself immobilised and slightly doped in the back of a Wellington Free Ambulance. Staring at the virginally white ceiling of the station wagon, I sunk into the black abyss of misery; “Why me?” I thought, “Why is this always happening?”

For the record, I don’t make a habit of getting myself into car accidents for the thrills. Actually, it wasn’t even my fault, which pleased both the police and but more importantly, my insurance company. But as I turned off a roundabout I came face-to-face with a car going the wrong way. Moving over to the left, my car was jolted forward as the vehicle behind became more acquainted with my bumper. Noooo! Body lurching forward in my seat, my seatbelt abruptly stopped, sending my early-morning brain nestled in my skull firing back into my headrest. This was only hours after I watched my England crushed unfairly by Germany and that Miroslav Klose. Bloody Wunderkind.

So I did what any other sleep-deprived female would do: cried. After exchanging numbers with both drivers, I had calmed down enough to realise I didn’t have my cellphone, I’d hit my head, and I was wearing yellow pyjamas with green turtle prints. By the time the ambulance arrived, I wished I’d stayed in bed. And when the fire brigade got there, I wished I was dead. Turns out there is nothing more mortifying than wearing turtle pyjamas, a neck collar, and a head brace while being strapped (literally) onto a wooden board to be hoisted onto a stretcher. Adding insult to injury, it was right about now I had to politely ask a paramedic to itch my nose for me.

After receiving a charity dose of morphine en route to Accident and Emergency, I decided sleep was the best course of action. Stumbling my way through giving my personal details, I lay paralysed on a bed. Then I realised I also wasn’t wearing a bra or underwear and I desperately needed to pee. I cried. After Mrs Bennet arrived late (because apparently feeding the cats still remains a priority) and the x-rays were checked out, I went home where the rest of my day consisted of sleep, broken every two hours by Mrs Bennet graciously making sure I was not dead or comatose.

Dignity is a funny thing. I’m not sure I ever had it. But life is so much more satisfying if you can strike fear in the hearts of Lexus owners when you park a fender bender near them.

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