I’m going to offend someone with this, but surely we need to recognise that in the 21st centry, religion does more harm than good.
Archive for October, 2007
Driving home last night at about 9:30pm, along the road from Crowthorne to Sandhurst, I did a bit of a double take.
“Was that really someone lying on the ground there?!?” Nothing behind me, so I stopped and reversed back. Yes, there really is someone lying at the side of the road. I get out of the car, pull on a hi-viz jacket and go to check. This guy is confusedly blinking in the glare of the headlights, and not really capable of much more than grunting. I’m a little unsure as to what to do next.. so I’m rather glad when I see someone else has stopped.
Matey (I never did find out his name) had seen him sitting against the tree a few minutes earlier and dismissed him as some youth waiting for a mate or just killing time, but when he came back and saw him comatose decided to stop.
Our casualty seems in no discomfort, but was confused and uncommunicative, so I get an emergency blanket to put over him – he’s just wearing a light shirt, no socks, and the paramedics later establish, no keys, wallet or ID.
A few minutes later Spencer, the friendly paramedic, arrives, takes one look and says “I think he’s had a stroke”, but when we get him to sit up the smell of alcohol gives a different diagnosis, as does the half bottle of vodka in the plastic bag we couldn’t see. The misdiagnosis was entirely attributed to him lying with his face along the floor – as he sat up it looked for a second like the classic symptom of one side being paralysed.
So, with the diagnosis confirmed, what do we do with him? Apart from a few grunts, he won’t talk to the paramedic, but Spencer’s pretty sure there’s nothing wrong that a good night’s sleep, rehydration, and a few paracetamol won’t solve, and tells our casualty that if he doesn’t want to head home, we’re calling the police and he’s sleeping it off in the cells. Thames Valley’s finest save him the phone call and turn up at that precise time.
After some conferring, the police are concerned that since he’s so uncommunicative, they want him to be checked in hospital. So we leave them arranging for an ambulance to take him away to be checked out. While that’s the end of my involvement, I have a feeling this might well be a “later, rinse, repeat” story: his behaviour didn’t seen just like “normal drunk” to me, but Spencer confirmed it’s actually fairly normal for the advanced stages of alcoholism.
I think the sad part of this, though, is that he’d obviously been lying there for a good few minutes before I stopped. And this is in a relatively affluent and well-to-do part of the world, not some run down estate where the odds are he’s been on something stronger than alcohol. That’s a sad, sad, reflection on the state of the world.