It happened at about 7 o'clock. We were all in the kitchen, laughing, joking, messing around, Princess Fairy Toes teasing me about my inability to cope with the three people crammed into my small kitchen, clearing up the mess from dinner, Siobhan washing up, visiting for the weekend.
I was already tired, Siobhan and I having been on a girly shopping trip earlier in the day so none too steady on my feet as I tried to open the cupboard under the sink. My hips dislocated, I wobbled and fell. As I toppled forwards the corner of the open cupboard door broke my fall before I hit the floor...unfortunately hitting smack into the corner of my collar bone and throat. The impact was hard and harsh. My collarbone popped itself out to the side, dislocating rapidly out and relocating itself back in a moment later, visibly damaging the tendon attached at the tip, running up into my neck as it went. More importantly though, my thyroid dislocated out as did my larynx.
That was it, I couldn't breathe. My throat shut firmly into spasm. Toes and Siobhan had dropped everything they were doing when I fell, Toes catching me in the small kitchen, knowing something was very wrong. He saw my collarbone pop in and out, and as I struggled to work out what had happened, my hands go to my neck, heard the crunch as I reached up and pushed my thyroid gland back into place. Later said he saw something else move around more disturbingly that he knew to be my larynx.
Both Toes and Siobhan asked if I was ok. I couldn't speak properly. I realised I couldn't really breathe either. So used are we all to falls, dislocations and any manner of trauma none of us were particularly panicked, Toes moved me into the lounge where it was lighter and more spacious so he could sit me down and see what had happened. Then he did worry. I still couldn't breathe properly. One minute I was fine, next I couldn't breathe. Couldn't speak properly to explain what was wrong. Toes wanted to know where I kept my pens. He wanted a 'biro' to hand....just in case he said. I flapped my floppy hands, wheezed a bit and managed to croak I was fine. Was breathing by then. Then I couldn't again, my throat spasmed tightly shut. Open again. Spasmed shut again. It was lasting for around a minute, minute and a half at the most. I was looking a little blue about the gills.
Toes found my ventolin inhaler and gave me a dose of that, concerned as I'm not usually wheezy. He then got the oramorph from the fridge, gave me 5mls of that which I choked and spluttered on a bit but swallowed, then promptly stopped breathing again. I'm well set up for all manner of emergencies at home, having these days an exceptional GP who prescribes wisely, but all three of us realised that this was more than typical. By now a few minutes had passed and I could speak a little, though not properly, my voice trailing off into slurring and nothingness after only a couple of words. We considered calling an ambulance, driving to A&E or staying at home and realised that I was going to have to go in, but not by ambulance. I have extremely strong views about the use of ambulances. They are for severe and life threatening emergencies only. We had access to a car, someone to drive, someone to help me, and it was probably quicker and easier just to drive. Or maybe I'm just afraid of ambulances as well as hospitals.
We found house keys and mobile phones and went out the front door. I collapsed in the road. My body was clearly struggling to cope with the shock. At my bendiest time of the month anyway, the spasms caused by multiple dislocations and shock were having huge impact sending me into what we fondly describe as a spaz attack...where I become so lax and floppy I dislocate constantly in and out of multiple joints causing me to look a bit like Elvis on a bad acid trip gone seriously, profoundly wrong. Its usually pretty amusing, especially as I tend to howl with laughter...but the lack of oxygen thing meant not so much laughing this time. That came later.
We got to the hospital quickly. Like most hospitals now you have to go through a barrier into a car park so they can later charge you to get out. A&E is no exception to this rule. Toes needed to drop us off as close as he could to A&E. It wasn't close enough. It was obvious I wasn't going to be able to walk the handful of metres to the doors. Siobhan had to half drag, half carry me into the building whilst Toes parked and ran back to get a wheelchair which he plopped me into just before I hit the floor at reception where Siobhan was struggling to hold me up.