I vaguely recall the lorry driver asking somebody if they thought he should reverse off me. I think at the time I thought that would be a smashing idea. Though I hoped he was quite accurate in his reversing because bits of me were between wheels and it was possible that in reversing off one bit he might end up on another bit.
I vaguely recall the ambulance men, when I was lying in the back of the ambulance, muttering the word, ‘Amputation…’
This did not fill me with joy. I didn’t really know what injuries I had sustained, but I knew that one of my arms and one of my legs may have been injured and what are you supposed to think when you hear someone say, ‘Amputation…’?
The hospital was just opposite the faculty so it only took a couple of minutes to get me into A&E. I have absolutely no recollection of anything until a few hours later. I was in a hospital bed and I had been given a lot of morphine. Somebody told me to try to get some sleep. I have no idea who it was. It may have been my Mum and Dad. It may have been one of my student friends. It may have been a nurse.
The next day I was taken into surgery and had the tips of two of my toes amputated. It was just my toes the ambulance men were talking about! Hoorah. They had been crushed under the wheel. The injuries to my arm were just (just!) nasty burns that had stripped the skin off the inside of my upper arm and forearm.
The toe amputation was done under local anaesthetic. When the local anaesthetic was administered, the anaesthetist kept asking me if I could feel anything. I am a wimp. Long after I couldn’t feel them poking my toes I kept saying, ‘Yes, can definitely feel that. And that. Yes, and that. Just give me more. And that. And that. Erm, yes, and that.’ As the anaesthesia started to spread numbness all the way up my body I eventually said, ‘Ok, I think we are ready to go!’
At this point the nurse told me, that the operation was all over!
I was in the hospital for four days. It was a nice little ward with 4 beds and a nice view across to the Biochemistry building. Diagonally opposite me was a very cheerful man who had just had both of his legs amputated. And opposite me was an older guy - I can’t remember exactly what was wrong with him. But for the time that we were both there, he was bedbound and had to use bedpans when he went to the toilet.
As did I…