The Nation's Health + police

Open Sesame!

"64 year old female, chest pain"

I was actually dreaming! What I was dreaming I can't remember but I'd managed to fall into a deep sleep whilst sat at hospital. It had only been 10 minutes but when I was eventually roused by the squealing of the radio, I jumped out of my skin thinking I was late for work! Clearly I wasn't, and the reality of sleep and living merging into one being had occurred. It's bad enough that I seem to be at work all the time, or recovering from it, but the fact it's in most of my dreams, means it sometimes feels like never really escape!

Anyway, that aside, by the time I was compos mentis, we were flying through the empty city streets. The only advantage of 4am is that the roads are empty. Other than that, 4am has no redeeming features. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil. Nothing. Zip. Diddly Squad. We were called to 34 St John's Avenue (obviously NOT the real road) and after squinting to see the numbers we found number 34 which was the corner property. We grabbed our stuff and headed over to the front door.

The house was in complete darkness, which seemed odd, but similarly wouldn't be the first time that someone has phoned an ambulance and been sat in darkness! I gave the doorbell a ring and listened as the noise resonated through the large Edwardian hallway. There was no sign of life so I gave the door a good knock. Again, nothing! What followed was a frustrated combination of door knocking, bell ringing and shouting thoroughly the letter box! The neighbours must have loved us!

We called up control and requested they gave the patient a ring back. A few moments later we were informed that it was a mobile phone that was now switched off and that they would have to treat the call as a 'collapsed behind closed doors'. Oh deep joy! That ominous feeling of having to venture into the unknown again! We were told that the police were on way so in the mean time we continued with shouting and knocking and generally making a racket! Sue me!

Within minutes our brothers and sisters in blue arrived! We explained what the situation was and after an attempt by them to shout through the door, one stepped back and booted the door open! He kicked it so hard that a) the impact against the wall shattered the glass and b) the door flew off it's hinges! Good effect! They went in ahead of us and began the room by room search. I sheepishly followed behind them! Empty. Empty. Empty. Empty! No patient and no sign of a recent patient! All looking rather disappointed and confused, we went outside. Clearly the noise of smashing glass and flying doors eventually woken the neighbours. Standing on the pavement was a woman in her dressing gown.

"What are you doing?!"

"We were called here because the lady is unwell apparently."

"Not here, the family are on holiday for 2 weeks! You sure you have the correct house?!"

"Yes, 34 St John's Avenue is where the call came from."

"This is 34 St John's Road, 34 St John's Avenue is the first house round the corner, they are always getting the two mixed up!"

I stood motionless, gulped, paused a second while the faint hope of the ground opening up and swallowing me whole came and went, and turned to the coppers.

"Smooth" he said to me laughing and shaking his head at the same time!

"I'm SO sorry!"

"It's OK, we'll just sit here for hours in the cold waiting for the locksmith to come and replace the door."

"I'm SO sorry!"

"You better go to the patient! Do you need directions and a map or will you be OK?!"

Yet again, I leave myself open to a merciless grilling and much banter from the police! You live and learn. As the saying goes 'Check the address twice, kick the door in once'. OK, that wasn't an actual saying, I just made it up, but it is now a saying I follow religiously!

By the way, patient was fine, in fact, she wondered what all the commotion was outside!

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