January 5, 2014

Morphine and Helicopters

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

On December 30, I was walking with my wife (Kirsty), my dalmatian Henry on the beautiful Dorset coastal path reflecting on the successes and failures of 2013 and looking ahead to 2014 – you know the type of stuff, eat less, go to the gym more, get six pack abs, write more often, learn Mandarin.

Then I slipped. Not a big slip, but I did do a rather dainty pirouette (Len would have been so proud) before I hit the ground, hard. Now I’m used to being pulled over by my dog but today was different. Unlike every other time I simply couldn’t get up.

Inconveniently my right shoulder had decided it did not like the rest of my body and decided to detach itself. Not fully of course but it definitely ended up in a different place to where it was supposed to be.

I don’t count myself as a wimp, I’ve had two motorbike crashes, I’ve lost a front tooth (when I say lost I mean someone stronger than me helpfully removed it) but dislocating a shoulder really is rather painful.

Henry my loyal rescue Dalmatian was brilliant – when he saw me fall on the ground and cry out in pain he immediately ran to my left hand which had been holding a rather lovely granola bar, ripped it out my hand and ran off to eat it (I should have left him in Battersea).

Kirsty took a slightly different course of action and told me to stop moaning and get up but even she eventually realised something was wrong and called 999.

Luckily we weren’t on a high point of the Dorset coastal path but nonetheless we weren’t close to any roads so the Ambulance Service had to call out a helicopter.

15 minutes later, Alan, Claire and some other nice ambulance folk arrived (sorry I cant remember everyone’s name, but to be honest I had some other things on my mind that day). They proceeded to cut me out of my brand new expensive jacket which Henry then ran off with and ripped it to shreds.

They were all lovely especially when they gave me a large dose of morphine and a lot of gas and air. They weren’t so lovely when they tried to put my shoulder back into its socket. To be fair I probably didn’t help myself when Claire asked me to hold the gas and air mouthpiece with my left hand and I replied “bloody NHS, I bet you I wouldn’t have to hold it myself if it was a BUPA air ambulance” then for some reason all I can remember is a huge amount of pain and awful lot strangulated screaming (I think a pod of dolphins showed up at that point thinking one of their own was in trouble). But unfortunately my shoulder would not go back into its socket. I’m pretty sure I heard one of the ambulance crew say “he’s had all the morphine he is allowed” and that I probably needed some ketamine, of course I could be making that up as at that point Claire turned into a cat…

Unfortunately I don’t remember much of the helicopter journey. However, the bit at the hospital that most sticks in my mind was when a rather burly (my wife would say hunky) nurse practitioner called Fred decided to give me enough morphine to knock out a horse and then rather forcefully (in my opinion) yanked my arm out at 90° and then rotated it above my head as I manfully screamed and wept like a baby and skilfully put my shoulder back into it right place.

After that there was an overwhelming sense of calm and relief and Richard another lovely chap brought me a cup of tea, got me in a sling and a gown and 40 minutes later I was back safe and warm in our holiday cottage

So I just wanted to thank the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance crew and everyone at Dorchester County hospital, you were absolutely brilliant. It may not be the perfect start to 2014 but I’m pretty sure without your speedy help it could have been an awful lot worse.

To find out more about Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and their work check out: www.dsairambulance.org.uk

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.


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