Well, I had planned to do all sorts of things to do today once I’d finished my online work. The sun was out and there was not too much cloud, so I could walk/scoot along the coast to enjoy some of that sunshine, I thought that I might take lunch in a local bar, a possible trip into Malaga was on the cards; to see one of the Semanta Santa processions. The world was my oyster as they say.
Instead, I spent nine hours exploring the Spanish national health system.
It works well – slowly, but it works. It is no worse than our own NHS and is better in some ways. Please don’t read on if you are squeamish.
I’d decided to scoot into Los Boliches before descending onto the coast road and then on to the castle at Fuengirola, but because I couldn’t get parked on the Paseo (it is Easter after all and V. BUSY), I’d come back to park behind the railway station and was therefore taking an untried route when my 200mm front wheel found a >200mm hole I hadn’t seen.
I actually saw the ground coming up towards me but there was no time to roll or put out my arms (the usual impulses), so my face took the brunt of the impact. I knew instantly that my top lip was the worst of my injuries but the blood from my nose was the most insistent. Luckily, I’d packed a few extra packs of paper hankies, a bottle of water and (thank Goodness) my cotton hanky was freshly washed and ironed – it took THAT about 10 seconds to become soaked red. I made my way back to the car with paper hankies stuck up my nose, I was dipping water on my lip and wiping the various cuts and bruises on my knees and elbows (and one wrist) – but no one said a dicky bird.
I came home and made a better job of cleaning myself up before going to see Marlene at Monte Mare to ask if they had some antiseptic (we hadn’t here in the apartment, but we do have now). It was obvious to Marlene, after she’d cleaned me up a bit more, that I needed to see a doctor – so she plied me with sweet tea (and a straw) and called our friend Tony Brown. He told me to go and get my passport and E111. He photocopied these and then poor Tony, who has done this sort of things for folks – lots of times (and therefore knew what he was taking on), escorted me to the emergencia in Las Lagunas. We didn’t do too bad for time there, despite it being very busy; we arrived at 1400hrs and were out and on our way by 1450hrs. Sadly, they said I needed a special lip stitch, which they could not do at Las Lagunas.
So we then went onto Marbella to the Hospital Costa de Sol. Half an hour away.
We spent almost six hours there. The routine is to register, in the entrance. You are given an armband with allergies identified and you go through to the waiting area where you are, eventually, called for triage. Triage is a bit like ‘oh, you’re not dying, join the queue‘ but I guess that’s what triage is like everywhere. Then, we waited and waited until we eventually (almost 3 hours after triage) saw a doctor. She said that I must have an x-ray and have the wounds (the bridge of my nose has a massive lump missing) dressed before leaving. She would see me again after the x-ray.
Well, the x-ray was undertaken fairly quickly and we had to wait less than an hour to see the doctor again. However, the dressing hadn’t been done yet – so she sped that along and I soon found myself on a bed being cleaned up again and having my lip stitched. That went better than I expected – the anesthetic needle hurt far more than the four stitches he inserted. It’s uncomfortable now, but only to be expected I suppose. I have a white ‘Hitler’ moustache
So that’s it. I have to take paracetamol (no kidding) and keep my dressings on until Tuesday and go back to another clinic on Friday for the stitches removing. To say that I ache today (Saturday) is an understatement as, although my face took impact, the rest of my body was also shook up big time.
Big thanks to Marlene and to Tony, especially Tony, for their time and patience.
And now to show Sharon just what I’ve written here. I’m picking her up at the station in Torreblanca shortly – she will SEE the mess.