Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If Only

Yesterday was a terrible day.

My walking group had a choice of an out of town easy walk along an old rail line with a 2 hour train journey to get there (the route I took last week). I would have preferred this but my sister had to take her husband to the airport so we instead went on an inner city walk, The Rocks, the oldest section of Sydney. We actually could have gone on the other as my sister had a quick trip home from the airport. I have often visited the Rocks. We did have an interesting tour of the oldest Catholic church in the city led by one of the priests. The rest of the day was listening to one of our group reading long explanations of the history at different points. I hate standing around and knew a lot of it anyway so was bored stiff.

In the afternoon, I decided to leave early and catch an earlier train home than the rest of the group, my sister came with me.

The shortest way to the station was across a busy road leading onto the Harbour Bridge. My sister suggested we go a slightly longer way and use a pedestrian crossing.
As we went that way a man approached with a dog on a leash. The dog ran one side of my sister, the man the other and my sister sprawled on the ground. She had a cut lip and cut hands but a very sore left wrist and right foot. A nearby cafe brought a glass of water. I hailed a taxi and we got her into it and said to go to her house. She felt terrible so I asked the taxi to go to the Emergency at her local hospital instead. As we arrived my sister said she did not think she could get into the emergency. I paid the taxi driver and in my haste apparently dropped my wallet.

We did make it into the emergency and the woman on the desk told me to bring my wife to the window. At that moment my sister went extremely white. This was probably a good thing as nurses ran to her, her blood pressure had dropped alarmingly so a trolley was brought and we were quickly inside. Fortunately her condition improved.

However even then it was 3 hours before she got to x-ray and a bed in the emergency ward. Having a bed does not mean an actual bed, still on the trolley, but now at a station with a nurse etc. rather than in the corridor. Emergency corridors are awful as traffic accident victims come in and are raced to surgery passed you, also elderly patients who speak little English are screaming and crying as no-one can understand them.

I rang and cancelled my credit cards but there are so many other items including driving licence and pension card, I think about $65 cash. I had put the $30 change from taxi into my pocket as I rushed to help my sister. I rang my brother-in-law now in Queensland about to take a yacht to sea.

6 hours after arriving we were still waiting on the doctor to report. It was after 8 and I could not find if they were going to release her so I would take her home and stay at her place or keep her in. We decided that if I left they would have to keep her as she had no-one at home. So I arrived home at 11pm. Needed to find my valium type tablets, which I have not used since I left full time work 7 years ago, in order to sleep.

Now at 7am I rang my sister and she has told me she is in a proper ward with wrist in plaster, foot is improving. I will drive down now, probably in peak hour traffic although she has told me not to hurry, and take her home I will probably have to stay with her a day or two.

If only we had gone on the other walk.
If only I had been prepared to stay with the whole tour and not leave early.
If only we had risked crossing with the traffic.
If only that man had kept better control of his dog.
If only I had been less panicked as I left the taxi.



motheramelia said...

Some days are like that. "If onlys" only make us feel worse. Thank God your sister had nothing worse than some bruises and a wrist in plaster. Thank God you put the $30 in your pocket. Thank God your brother in law hadn't left yet. Thank God you had some "valium." I prefer to use "at least" instead of "if only." I may be an incurable Pollyanna.

Brian R said...

Thanks Amelia for the much better spin. Only thing is my brother-in-law had left and is up in Queensland so I have all the responsibility.

Birdie said...

No, no, no. No if onlys! That way lies only pain. I like MotherAmelia's comment. "At least." You are a good brother to attend so well to your sister's needs. Thank God for that!

Davis said...

Yes, Brian, many things to give thanks for, though you've both had some trials.