I was calm at the time. Like I was directing some sort of television show, where if I screwed up we could just do another take. It didn’t sink in. But it’s starting to now. My hands are shaking as I type, and I have to keep stopping because I can’t manage to work the keyboard. Perhaps I shouldn’t be blogging. No blogging helps me focus.
There was all kinds of drama with getting the kids off to school this morning. Trousers weren’t washed, it turned out that homework hadn’t been done, and not to mention getting them to eat breakfast was like asking them to swallow nails. I was given the breakfast duty while Fife sorted out the trouser situation — which was douse them with Febreze and hope for the best. (Douse the trousers with Fabreze that is, not the kids. Although the way they smell sometimes, that’s not a bad idea.)
Because of they mayhem, Fife didn’t leave the house until half eight, which means that the kids would get to school massively late. This also meant that I couldn’t get into the shower until half eight, making me really late for work, and I had a call scheduled with one of Loraine’s clients for nine o’clock. (There’s some sort of drama with the book cover the publishers have designed and I have to play mediator between the author and the publisher, and this morning was the author’s turn to tell me her side of the story before I speak with the publisher.)
Anyway, because I didn’t want to be in the middle of walking to work while on a business call, I just decided to take the call at home on the Blackberry, and not go into the office until after it was finished.
This woman ranted on for ages and ages about how they used a drawing for a cover image, and not a photo. Despite the fact that she’d given them a specific photo to use. I had to explain how cover art works (actually, it’s just down to what the publishers like, but I tried to make it seem more scientific than that), but this woman didn’t want to hear it.
Anyway, I’ll stop with the digressions. This post isn’t about this author who has her knickers in a twist about a cover.
The call finally ended, and I went to leave the flat but found PoshPhD curled up on my doorstep. I kicked her with my toe and said, ‘Move it. You’re at the wrong flat.’
She didn’t even flinch, so I reached down and shook her. Nothing. That’s when I reached down to roll her over and shake her awake. She had saliva down her face and her lips were a bit blue. I knelt down and put my ear to her nose; I could faintly hear and feel breathing.
I shook her quite hard and called her name quite loudly. Nothing, she was completely unresponsive. I rolled her over further, so that she was completely on her back, which made her hand flop open, revealing about half a dozen pills.
Shit. She’d taken something. Was it recreational? Or was she doing something even more stupid?
I rang 999 and told them my neighbor had overdosed on my doorstep. The operator kept asking me all these pointless questions before I could even give her the address. The questions were pointless because I didn’t have answers. In fact, when I said the first time ‘I don’t know. I just found her this way,’ the operator should have then asked for my address. But no, instead she kept on with the questions.
How long has she been this way?
I don’t know I just found her.
What has she taken?
What kind of pills?
I don’t know. Just get someone here now!
I got to a point in which I ignored her and just kept saying the address to the flat over and over again, until she gave up and said emergency services would be with me ‘shortly’.
I rang CoolTrous, and he got here around the same time as the ambulance. Who also asked me loads of questions that I didn’t know the answer to.
As they took her down the stairs, I saw her mobile lying on the ground. I picked that up, and went into her house and got her keys so we could lock up her flat.
Downstairs, CoolTrous asked could come in the ambulance, but the answer was ‘no’. So, CoolTrous and I rang a taxi and arrived at Ninewells just after PoshPhD. In the emergency room as we waited, it dawned on me that her family should be called. Would her family contact info be on her NHS record? It’s been so long since I’ve registered with a GP, I have no idea what goes on the form. And if PoshPhD’s family was on her records, would the hospital call them? Or would that be an invasion of data protection or something? Then I thought, should I call her family? Would they be angry with her? Is that even my problem?
I looked down at the phone wondering what to do, when the doctor came around to talk to us. PoshPhD had overdosed on Valium. I asked if it was accidental, but they said they didn’t know. However, the doctor did say it’s a good thing I found her when I did.
PoshPhD was being kept in a room full of people with tubes and other things sticking out of them. She had nothing attached to her, but she was almost grey colour, and was lying in bed on her side facing a wall. CoolTrous and I walked around to the side of the bed she was facing. She rolled over again, so her back was to us once more. I put my hand on her shoulder, and she shrugged it away. CoolTrous then walked around to the other side and put his hand on hers. He’d been fairly calm up until now, but he couldn’t hold it back any longer. Tears started gushing down his face.
I took the bus back from the hospital and went straight into work. It’s hitting me now. Finding her on the door step. You know I almost stepped right over her and went to work. I thought she was just passed out from the drink. What if Fife hadn’t been late getting the kids to school? If Fife hadn’t been late, I wouldn’t have been late. I would have gone into the office and never seen her. I could have come home to a dead PoshPhD on my door.
What if? What if? I’m not dealing with this. I need to ring someone I can talk to someone who can make sense of this.