This is Going to Hurt 2.0 – A Christmas Musing
‘This is Going to Hurt’ by Adam Kay is certainly a book for those of us like me who find it all too easy to turn to their phone, TV or pretty much anything apart from a book for entertainment/escaping the rat race. Having seen most of my friends, colleagues, and partner read this – the inevitable fear of missing out struck whilst laying by the pool in Croatia.
Watching Adam Kay live and with the recent political events taking place I thought this could provide some light reading and offer the opportunity to vent prior to the festive period.
Adam identifies that most of us know someone working in the National Health Service (NHS) and we have all in one capacity or another benefitted from the wonder that is the NHS! I will forever be in debt to the doctors, nurses and orderlies who without them my dad wouldn’t be here now. However I had never truly contemplated how stressful, demanding and eye-wateringly exhausting working in the NHS could be. Which is pretty poor from me (my cousin is a nurse!).
I drew a fair amount of attention to myself whilst reading this. Mainly from interrupting the blissful noise of the waves breaking with what can only be described as hysterical laughter and occasional choking on beer as, Adam recalls yet another object being removed from an orifice. It truly is a wonder what the British public won’t put inside of them, probably for the best considering today I read that the all-knowing Americans want us to reduce our food standards in order to pump our meat with antibiotics and steroids. Although thinking about it if we are all jacked up immune systems running around maybe we don’t need the NHS*.
The UK press is always highlighting how desperate the healthcare system is for funding, staff and above all commitment from the leaders of our country. Despite this there is something that Adam mentions consistently through his book that the press never does, his personal relationships, not just with his partner but his family and friends. He has no time…..ever! I am very fortunate in that I know when I am working and that come Friday at 5pm I have two days to do whatever I want. That’s just not feasible for Adam or anyone else in the NHS for that matter. Yet we never hear about the personal toll that is being put on these everyday heroes as they go from the latest innovative place to insert a lightbulb to the horrifying bone crunching, blood splattering car crashes that happen all too often.
Something that Adam almost pleaded at his live show has stuck with me ever since; “next time you are in a hospital department, healthcare centre or GP office don’t be angry or irate that it is slightly later than planned”. This got me thinking, how many people have been short or even rude to someone who is constantly up against an untold number of difficulties and ultimately just want to help? Unfortunately, I have spent a fair amount of time in various hospital departments with my aforementioned father but, no matter how long we had to wait I always said thank you and at Christmas a box of Heroes (other confectionary items are available). It can make all the difference. Given recent political developments, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume there will be further cuts to NHS budgets, or increase privatisation a la US/Trump style. Now more than ever we need to remember the personal sacrifices our doctors, nurses, surgeons (etc..) are making to get us better. Smile. Be polite. Wish them a Merry Christmas (time permitting…) and remain patient, respectful and calm.
Throughout the ‘This is Going to Hurt’ Adam engages the reader with anecdotes and medical definitions – even his own breakthrough in medical science. Well more appropriately his advancement on the Glasgow Coma Scale…
To paraphrase – for some reason….particularly in A&E patients enjoy pretending they’re more unconscious than they actually are. The textbooks teach applying a pain stimulus such as squeezing a fingernail. My preferred method is to raise an arm above their head; if they aren’t unconscious it miraculously floats off to one side. However, if it doesn’t you then have to explain yourself to the relatives.
Even writing this I can’t help but laugh at the image of Adam lifting a patients arm up only for it to klonk them on the face to the dismay of the concerned relatives.
His last entry in the book and ending gambit at his show is perhaps the most heart wrenching and eye watering account that highlights why I and many others couldn’t do what he did and our current health workers do. Everyday doctors and nurses save lives but, one thing that is as certain as the tide – at some point our time must come. We lose loved ones and it hurts. But to be faced with death every day at WORK I can’t fathom the strength of character it takes to keep going in. For this I am truly grateful to everyone in the NHS and further emergency services.
With the events of Thursday evening regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum our NHS is something we need to look after and invest in – both financially and emotionally. Throughout the book I found myself pondering how we can all do our bit and so I ask you this…
Next time you having an appointment, make sure you attend or cancel with due notice.
When you’re sat in the waiting room don’t get angry or annoyed understand that they are trying, it’s not their fault!
When you visit a ward for a loved one take a box of chocolates, it can go a long way.
And always, always say a simple thank you.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
The Reluctant Reader
*Please note this is sarcasm and absolutely no way a personal view
(P.S. bulbs belong in the ground or the light fitting not in your lower intestine)