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The machine that goes 'ping'

It might have been my high school: Golborne Comp, or the general humour of the day, like Monty Python and Not the 9 O’clock News, but as teenagers, me, and my peers ‘had a laugh’, so to speak. Having emerged from my personal Hell, nothing has changed in that way, I have fun.

Here's a true story. I was 55 and I’d had a heart attack, which placed me in the Resus section of the A&E department in North Manchester General Hospital. There were wires and pads all over me; but interestingly, the machine that goes ping was absent.

That day, I learned the hard way, that they don't let heart attack victims watch their own hearts flat line on monitors next to their bed. Those screens are monitored elsewhere. Makes sense, doesn't it?!

Later, at home, with my resultant hospital paperwork, I discovered my heart had stopped (a cardiac arrest), but for just eleven second. Apparently, twenty seconds results in unconsciousness, so I didn’t realise anything at the time.

The funny part is that an A&E consultant visited my bed at one point, and he told me that a chief mentor of his, had insisted he should always feel a pulse point of any patient, regardless of anything, just as a routine.


Bearing in mind the gravity of being in Resus, I immediately replied with, "first make sure the patient is alive before continuing." It was absolutely hardcoded into me to crack a joke.

Had that consultant not been dark skinned, I think a blush would have been apparent.

Humour is vital!

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