Tuesday 18 October 2011

Musings from a waiting room

"25 year old female, Haemotemesis, Abdo pain, Nausea"

This patient struggled through her 12 hour shift, took analgesia as per packet guidelines and when symptoms worsened didn't call 999. She made her own way to A & E. She is me! Take note!

This blog was inspired by the 5 hours and 51 minutes I spent people watching in the A & E department waiting room of a busy hospital. I fear the experience has scarred me, it may take a while to recover emotionally. I was in severe pain. I checked myself in, took my seat and waited patiently with the masses. I watched. And watched. And watched.

The Teens - Every waiting room has them. Tonight it was a group of 3. 2 guys and girl, about 16 years old, one had a bandage on their hand. I gather he punched a window. Of course he did. Their conversation was mundane and juvenile. "yes bruv, no bruv, 3 bags full bruv". They had the combined vocabulary of an Otter. Luckily they were only offending my senses for 2 hours but it was a long 2 hours.

The Cougher - 35 ish year old male. With his wife / partner / pet. I couldn't tell. Anyway, god gave us hands for many reasons but right now their only real use is covering your mouth when you cough. I don't want your plague. I dont want to have to dry my face. You don't even need to be here. Go home, have a Lemsip and man up you big girl.

The Fighters - More commonly seen at the weekends but they made an appearance tonight, just to mock my existence. Donning the usual Hackett and Nickleson polo shirts, stained in blood they lorded over each, spouting macho nonsense over their plans for revenge. Pathetic. You're not hard, if you were, you wouldnt be in hospital. Get a job, stop drinking and fighting on a Monday night and piss off!

The big family outing - Sat opposite me are what I believe to be a Nigerian family. A husband, wife and their litter of 4. I'm guessing the youngest was unwell but I don't really care. What I do care about is the lack of control they have over their sprogs. This is a hospital, not a crèche, if you feel it necessary to bring them here (why one of you can't keep them at home I don't know), shut them up. Don't let them run around or throw things or shout or scream or talk. Silence. Or, at least make a vain attempt to let them know their behaviour isn't acceptable. Don't just sit there. It's getting on my tits.

The sleeper - It's a busy waiting room, people are unwell and are having to sit far too close to each other than should be legal. However, the situation is made less comfortable by a 40 year old man who believes it's his divine right to lie across 4 chairs and sleep. Selfish moron. I did not let this pass without comment.

The chatter - My phone (on silent) rang 3 times during my visit. It was the same lovely person each time (I said I'd mention them, thank you) but I went outside each time to answer it. That's the done thing. This 'businessman' was far too important for courtesy. He thought he would share. All night. And keep his phone on loud so every ring and beep grated in my ears. Self obsessed rat. The gaul of some people astounds me. I also never worked out why he was even there.

The moaner - I'm waiting, the teens, the cougher, the sleeper, the family and the chatter are waiting. Most of them, no all of them are grating on my senses but they are waiting their turn. Why are you any different? Loud, obnoxious moans, spouting off about rights and quality of service. Taking it out on the receptionist. Trying to gather followers to his cause. IT WONT MAKE A BLOODY DIFFERENCE. Wait your bloody turn. It's the NHS. That's how they roll. Don't like it, jog on and go private, but whatever you do, do it quietly and away from me. Moron!

I could carry on for hours and I may take up this subject again but I'm gonna leave it there. Waiting rooms are horrible places. I wasn't alone in my obvious displeasure at my surroundings. There were plenty of people, some unwell and some injured who kept themselves to themselves and waited their turn. Eventually my name was called and my waiting room safari was over. I had to endure some of the most intolerable people society have to offer. Maybe I'm a snob, I probably am, but having to sit with that bunch of misfits pained me. I have no doubt that David Attenborough could have happily filled a 6 part series speaking about their habits, habitats and breeding rituals but quite frankly, they don't warrant the air time.

NB: Big thank you to @Jaysmithjay for a Twitter welfare check every 20 minutes. Legend! :-)


  1. You forgot the baby with a temperature wrapped up in more blankets than are in a blanket shop! If I had a pound for EVERYTIME I went to a&e and some parents brought in their child with a temperature and it was wrapped up like a mummy well if have at least 12 quid.

    1. Have a look at More Musing from another Waiting Room from the February archives! The Hot Baby!

  2. To the Moaners: take comfort in the fact that you are having to wait - it means you are not a serious case. It's the poor sods that are being rushed through ahead of you that you need to worry about.......

  3. To the Moaners: take comfort in the fact that you are waiting - it means you are not a critical case. It's the poor sods that are being rushed through ahead of you that you need to worry about.......


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