So there I am, lying under a lorry, with my leg having been dragged along the road by a braking tyre, with said tyre on top of said leg. And I'm not dead. And My God, it hurts. I've never felt anything like this in my life. I've had two kids, braying like a donkey in agony and I've never felt pain like this. And I'm awake.
"HELP ME! HELP ME!" I'm screaming out. Pretty pointlessly really, obviously but partially I think I was thinking that I need to let them know I'm not dead. People's legs start appearing. I don't move because hey, I've watched Casualty and ER. Best thing to do is not to move, right? A woman appears to be crying somewhere to the right. Thank you for that but good god get that lorry OFF MY LEG. I can't quite describe what the pain was like. Three different elements going on. 1) My leg is injured at multiple points 2) My body has decided to release VAST tranches of adrenalin, which presently are causing my whole leg to go in to cramp. Thank you so much, body! Stop this now! And third. The lorry. My God. Sorry, I keep envoking a non-existent deity here but it's a traditional way to express the inexpressible. I mean it's not the whole weight of the lorry, just the amount that's channeled through one set of its wheels.
That's a lot of weight.
"GET IT OFF MY LEG!" I'm screaming. I don't really scream very often. I apparently scream pretty loudly. After an amount of time (I have no idea) the lorry driver reversed, pretty slowly ie: carefully, off my leg. Please note, I am merely stating what happened here, I make no comment positively or negatively. Christ, that felt better. In fact, that was pretty stupid of me, medically speaking. All kinds of crap could have happened as a result of releasing the pressure on the leg, so, if you're ever in that position, please don't remember what happened to me and imagine it's a good idea. But it felt better. BETTER.
I couldn't feel my leg to move it. I thought it was gone, frankly. There was a really odd pain on my knee which was like it had been mashed up, and weirdly, squished in to the floor like someone was standing on top of it. I could sense blood all over the place. I don't really know if it was. Oh yes, Mr Adrenalin bloody gland. I thought the general idea was that you were supposed to be pumping me with so much adrenalin that I felt no pain? LIAR!
Then a woman came along and looked after me. She was called Denise and I LOVE THAT WOMAN. Thank you, Denise, you are beautiful. You deserve every good thing. Seriously, I send you flowers from my heart on a daily basis and if I could give you a luxury break in Italy I would. All women (or men) who do what Denise did need huge rewards. I'll tell you what she did. She dropped everything, she held my hand and she told me what was going on. She gently took the piss out of me being so shouty to keep me talking. She started explaining what injuries she could see ("I can see some fat cells on your bum I'm afraid" Me: "Don't want to know! Don't want to know anything you can see".)
I'm going ahead of myself slightly. Denise arrived as I was doing the following. Yelling my family's home phone number out over and over because I feared I was going to lose consciousness and my lovely husband wouldn't know what the hell was going on. It was Denise who rang the number. Unfortunately, it was at the time of night when, if I'm going to be late home, I phone to say godnight and I'll see you when you're in bed, to the kids. So Nora answered the phone.
"Is your Daddy there?" I almost thought it was funny. In an "Oh no" kind of way. I attempted to shut my trap and not be yelling in pain in the background. Then I could hear that McK was on the phone. The "She's ok" phrase was envoked. Apparently he could hear me in the background. What was I doing? Moaning? Shouting? God knows.
Then after an unknown amount of time, the paramedics arrived. Halleluyah. "Give me morphine, please" were the first words that came from my mouth to the BRILLIANT paramedic who took over from Denise in the handholding stakes. they couldn't give it to me straight away for some reason so I had to have gas and air! Which made me inwardly amused, in a way. I bit the mouthpiece as if I was going to bite through the damn thing and sucked that horrible crap in to my lungs. To be honest, it didn't make a lot of difference. The other paramedics started cutting off my grey trackie bottoms. I don't think they were grey anymore.
"Here, look, I can move the other leg" I said, waggling my right leg around. And then, astonishingly, I found that I could move my big toe on my left leg. Oh Wow. They had cut through the laces, taken off my shoes and cut off the socks (sorry I was wearing two pairs. They were thin). There was my toe, on my apparently 'gone' leg - moving! The morphine arrived, in injection form. First lot made no difference that I could feel. So I had some more. the max amount I could have. To tell you the truth, it still hurt, a hell of alot.
We were going to be on the move. I suddenly had that addict's need to know that my phone was alright. I could see my bike, which looked... bizarrely still bike-ish and not a mangled wreck. "My phone! It's in the back pocket, behind the saddle". Someone, bless them, grabbed my helmet and shoved the (still working!) phone, my keys and the oyster card holder from my bike's bum-bag in to the shell of it. The Police must have taken it with them in the ambulance. I can't remember what I said about the panniers but of course, I was worried about my Air, I mean f'gad's sake! Priorities!
"Cait, we're going to have to put this collar on"
"There's nothing wrong with my neck" I explained. But it's protocol, just in case. And let me tell you, those neck braces are extremely uncomfortable. They had to get me on a stretcher. I knew it would be bad. It was. The paramedics put some kind of covering over part of my leg. I nearly hit the roof. And then, bang, we're in the Ambulance.
The only thing I remember about the ambulance was the coppers. Two lovely guys. They asked me basic questions and they talked to McK on the phone to let him know where we were going. By this point, the morphine had made me alot more comfortable. It's odd stuff. I could still feel the pain, but I could rise above it. Felt reasonably happy. I thought about how lovely the two Policemen were being. Sincerely decent, and the brilliant, clear, supportive wonder of the paramedics. This wasn't morphine talking. This was the truth. We are so lucky to be paying for people who don't just do the job, get their training and get paid. These folk were decent, lovely people. I had a little moment of being proud to be paying taxes.
Then I was in A&E. No waiting for triage for me!