Monthly Meanderings no 5

Water and Ambulances


I needed an ambulance, so out of breath and unable to drive after my exertions of trying to move a large van from a boys leg (they say you get superhuman strength in those situations, unfortunately I didn't) I ran to the phone and dialled 199.

When it was answered I said (as much as I could manage) "Ambulance, now" and the address.
The man on the other end said "You have to phone another number for an ambulance.....6630300"

I quickly dialled the was a fax machine.

I phoned back..........he gave me the right number 630300

I dialled it........they put me through to another department

(by now I was totally astounded by this absurd surrealist situation!)

I quickly explained that I needed an ambulance NOW........Then began the "whats your number, name , address "saga

I had my breath and some strength back by now and rudely said
"Don't worry it'll be quicker to get a taxi"

Then I drove the boy to the hospital.

His leg had been crushed and he was in a good deal of pain,
It was almost an hour later ( after asking repeatedly if he couldn't have a pain killer, but he couldn't until  after the x-rays ) when I asked a doctor if there was a drug dealer in the hospital, or if I had to go to town to buy some heroin or strong enough pain killer.

Aspirin was then forthcoming.

Do find out the number of your local hospital......if you need an ambulance in a hurry, you will save time by knowing it........anger is useful at the right time, but that time is not when you are looking at a loved one spread across the highway or in the throes of a heart attack ........and don't forget to take some aspirins or pain killers with you.

Water is scarce in this part of the world, and yet you GIVE water to those in need of it. It is an ancient custom and the only civilised way to behave.

On Friday...I unfortunately had to take my children to a birthday party at Mc Donald's in Larnaca.

When my 4 year old had stuffed himself with chicken nuggets and 7 up, he came and asked me for a drink of water. 

 I asked the waitress ...

"I will bring you a bottle" she said

"No thanks "I replied, just a cup of tap water

"We don't do tap water" she answered" It's not fit to drink" (Now I realize the full irony of this coming from a place I haven't frequented in at least 10 years.)

"Why ! where do you get your tap water from ? Isn't it the same municipal tap water that we all drink every day?" said I

"We don't do tap water" she answered"

Any way the long and short of it is, that in our stupidity, we stand for things like this.......the thin end of the wedge.........soon, instead of campaigning to clean up our polluted air, places will start charging to breath their ionised, filtered happified variety, while you eat your "healthy happy meal"....ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

The water is not fit to drink ! Funny that, I won't let my kids eat hamburgers.

We live and learn. It seems none of the water is fit to drink!

The next ambulance story was in 2007, we have now joined the EU, and instead of the meat wagons with 3 or 4 tiers for stretchers, we now have proper ambulances. I received a call from a friend at about 10pm, distraught, as her daughter was showing signs of meningitis. Not only that, but the kids at the nursery school that she attended had been sent home that week as a child with whom her daughter had been playing, had come down with it and was in hospital.

I was about 10 minutes away and before I could go to help had to get someone in to watch my kids, also I suppose, I didn't really want exposure to a possible meningitis case which could then infect my kids, so I called her an ambulance. The hospital was only about 1km from the hospital, however I explained in detail how to get there as they didn't have a clue. I then made arrangements with the next door neighbour, jumped in a car and hot footed it over there.

As I drove into their street the ambulance was just leaving, followed by a police car. My friend was still distraught, they had taken the child and her father to the hospital. I put her in the car and drove to the casualty department.

We went in, I explained to the security officer on duty that the mother of the child who had just been brought in was here and wished to go to her daughter. The answer was no.

What! I grabbed her arm and marched through to the nurses station, whence the security guard was called in to remove us. I appealed to their better nature, the mother wants to be with her 2 year old, who is frightened and ill. Is this really your job, to deny this request, were they not parents? We are now in the EU, you cannot behave the same way as you used to.. that had the desired effect, she was allowed to go to her daughter.

I wandered outside, where I looked at the 7 nice new shiny ambulances. I even took some pictures, hoping to get a team in action either coming or going, but no (thankfully really) all was quiet.

After a while, they came out with their daughter in there arms, when I asked what had happened, they told me that they had looked at the child and said that she was fine but that if the symptoms still showed in the morning to take her to  doctor.  They then said that they had been told of in very strong terms. How dare they call an ambulance. Ambulances are for emergencies only. Don't do it again. So, 7 ambulances sitting doing nothing, are the drivers paid for drinking coffee ?

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