Last night he managed to miss his footing at the top step and he fell backwards, whump, landing on the log basket at the bottom of the stairs.
He was very badly winded and it took a long time before he could try and get up. I checked that his toes wiggled and his fingers wiggled and that he still had feeling down his back and leg.
As soon as we were able, we drove to A&E, our local one being about 7 miles away. We got there at 1.30am.
It's changed a lot since I was last there. Now they have a vending machine, a bottled drinks vending machine, and a Costa Express machine. It was also much brighter and cleaner than I remembered.
The wwaiting time was estimated at 3.5 hours. We were triaged fairly quickly, with he triage nurse assessing that DH should be given the once over by a doctor, just in case there was internal damage.
3 and a quarter hours after arrivin, we were called. DH was assessed, and we were sent for many, many xrays. This was an ideal time to visit the xray department, DH was in the xray roon a couple of minutes after arriving.
Next, straight back to the A&E to find out what the Xrays said. Fractured rib, and possible damage to one vertebrae.
This part of the process had been super-efficient, and 45 miutes after seeing the Doctor we were waiting to see one of the orthapaedic team to find out more about the vertebrae.
After another hour and a half one of the orthapaeds came and poked DH a lot, and then said he was going to look at the xrays and discuss with his colleagues. Personally I would have preferred that he looked at the xrays then poked and prodded.
A couple of hours later, one of the lovely A&E peopl echased up for us and spoke to another orthapaed. She appeared a little later and said it looked like DH needed a CT scan and possibly a stay in hospital. Later still, we saw the orthapaeds again. This time the decision was a back brace, another xray (with back brace), and a follow up appointment tomorrow. Painkillers were prescribed.
Much later, the porter arrived, and disappeared again when what we had been told didn't match what he had been told. We waited for him to come back, but he didn't, and in the end we decided to take ourselves off to the Plaster department. The kind nurses in A&E found a wheelchair for me to use.
By now, the hospital was heaving. The people who were fitting the brace were lovely and really helpful.
The Xray department was jam-packed, and the wait was showing as an hour and a half. A&E referrals must have been in the fast lane, as DH was seen in about half an hour.
We stopped on the way out to sort out the next day's appointment, and we left the hospital some 11 and a half hours after we had arrived.
Lucky for us the parking charge is capped at £10 for 5 or more hours.
Home, cup of tea, lots of biscuits. We want to try and stay up, otherwise we won't sleep tonight.
And we have to go back to the hospital tomorrow.