Conversations with patients and their relatives often turn to the weird and wonderful whilst waiting, ever longer, on scene for an ambulance. Ambulances are scarce at the best of times, but especially at this time of the year.
There's an absurd fascination in this wintry weather with attempting to stand on that frozen stuff on the ground and see if it really is slippery, and really does make you fall over, and really makes you break your arm/leg/hip. Let me help. It is. It does. It will do. So unless you absolutely have to - don't. Enjoy the view from the window, hot chocolate in hand, heating all around. Don't get me wrong - I fully understand, appreciate and endorse the need for building snowmen. And snowwomen, if you prefer. But stay off the ice! (The publication of this blog has been delayed due to MrsInsomniac doing precisely the opposite...)
Anyway - I digress.
Marik was one of those I'd term the "Worried well". He bought himself a blood pressure machine, just in case. And he had an hour-long head-ache, so he checked his blood pressure, which was fine.
Which worried him. So he took it again. And it went up.
Which worried him more.
So he took it again, and up it went, and he panicked. A little.
He spoke to the doctor on the phone who told him he was having a CVA, or stroke. Thanks Doc.
Well, that was it. Full scale panic. The FRU (aka clock-stopper), was sent, with the promise of an ambulance as soon as one became available. It may be a while. A history was taken, observations checked and found to be in perfect order, advice was given, and a request to be taken to hospital made. For various reasons I was unhappy about taking him in the FRU, so we'd have to wait for the snow/ice/leaves-on-the-track delayed ambulance to arrive and convey.
Whilst passing the time of day, I have a good look around the room and check out all the books. I have a bad habit of doing that, as it gives me a very good clue as to who the people in front of me are. I find that you can learn a lot from books, and not necessarily just by reading them. I see books on all the sciences, especially physics and maths. Books about stars, planets, discovery, the world, and its place in the universe.
Then I see bibles. Dozens of them, in a dozen languages. Shelves of them, 3 books deep, each shelf holding one of the languages. I'm a little surprised. Not at the fact that there is a bible in the house, but at the sheer volume and variety. I'm forced into a corner. I try not to show my curiosity/nosiness or whatever you want to call it, but on the other hand, I have to ask.
"Do you sell bibles for a living?"
"Well, in a way, I guess you could call it that."
"OK. What do you mean?"
"As you ask, I have to be honest. I don't like to tell everyone, but I'm a Prophet of the Lord!"
Now, how do you respond to such a statement? I want to say "A What???" or "Are you sure???" or, probably less appropriately, I want to shout "What the hell are you on about???" I didn't say any of them. I was much more profound.
"Oh", I said. For good measure, I think I even added an "I see".
Then he went on to talk about how he uses his knowledge of science to help him spread the word of God, help him understand, help him make the world a better place. He told me how he received his information, how he knew what to teach. He told me about the messages he received. They were the equivalent of the Twitter Direct Messages. @Prophet. @God. Cool. Wish I had that sort of inside information.
I also wondered if he'd been sent to help out an old friend of mine. I wonder if his prayers have finally been answered.