Heartfelt thanks to the NHS

Last week, I had a large allergic reaction. This is something I am used to so I called 999 and asked for an ambulance. They asked for my symptoms and an ambulance was sent to me. The operator stayed on the phone with me and for help from an on-site paramedic who decided I needed to use my EpiPen. Those words were scary, I’ve carried EpiPens for 9 years or so but have never had to use it before. I was quite convinced I couldn’t do it, I mean, who wants to stab themselves in the leg? Hmm, not me!

The operator was very calm and told me that I could do it and that he would be with me every step of the way and, he was.

I didn’t even feel the needle go in and I’m glad he was there, even though it was at the end of the phone as I am sure would not have allowed enough time for it to do its job. You have to keep the EpiPen against your leg for 10 seconds and then rub the injection site for 10 seconds and I was hugely reassured hearing him count that down, I am convinced I would have counted way too quickly.

It only took a couple of minutes to kick in and then less than 5 more for a paramedic to arrive. I was taken to A&E and observed there for several hours until I was free of the reaction and my heart rate blood pressure had returned to normal.

I called 999 around 1.30am and was at A&E just after 2am (I think). As much bashing as the NHS gets for when they do get things wrong, I, for one am very grateful they can be as efficient as they were with me that night (morning). I was sent home with a few days worth of steroids and many good wishes from the nurses looking after me. Without such easy access to the medical I needed there might have been a totally different outcome.

Until recently my local hospital was in special measures and for quite a while it seemed that there were negative stories in the local papers about it every day. I have no complaints about it, I’ve had outstanding treatment every time I’ve been there and last week was no exception.

We are fortunate to have such a service available to us, I dread to think how much I would have been charged if we didn’t have, way more than I can afford to pay though, I’m sure.

I honestly can’t thank everyone I came into contact with that night enough, from the 999 controller to the HCA who helped me walk to the toilet. They all treated me with respect and kindness which goes a long way when you’re scared.

I was on SERV duty that night so one of my SERV guys gets a special thanks. I woke him up and announced quite fiercely that he needed to take the phones NOW, which he did. Not many people could wake up to a phone call of that magnitude (and volume) and just deal with it, I’m not sure I could have done even though I do wake up quite quickly.

I am now armed with replacement EpiPens and reassured that I can manage to look after myself during a reaction, even to the point of “stabbing” myself.

All the People, All the Time

policecommander

Last week, I was listening in as a senior Met officer suggested that they could think of no other organisation in the UK that is the subject of headline scrutiny as frequently as the Police Service.

‘Every day except Christmas day,’ they remarked.

Policing is being tested and challenged – invariably in the public domain – as never before.

Rightly so, you might say.

It set me thinking about my time working for Sir John Stevens – when he was Commissioner of the Met.

One afternoon, he walked into the office and asked my colleague and I to draw up a list of the institutions and individuals to whom, in one way or another, he was accountable.

I suspect he wanted to make a point.

I don’t have the original paperwork – but, written today, the running order looks something like this:

• The Queen
• Parliament
• The Home…

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A Diversion from my day to day life

I’d never thought of this point of view until now, even though I’d had dealings with incidents like this while working in admin with a forensics team

Sgt Harry Tangye

Nothing worse than driving up to a closed road with no explanation. Nothing worse than driving past a scene at 4mph after a 2 hour wait to find 6 police officers doing nothing with two on their mobiles. Don’t they realise I have missed my appointment and now have to re arrange it.  Don’t they realise I have missed my dinner I wanted with my family. Christ, what is this world coming to. Perhaps they could do with some more cuts if they can’t be bothered to do simple things like put diversion signs out for people, or get a shifty on so I could have done the things I wanted.

Well strap yourself in, we are going on a bumpy ride.

Serious Road Traffic Collision reported, and I’m on my way.  I have done these before, hundreds to be fair, and I know that two of my units are…

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First post of 2016

I have purposely left my first post of the year until the end of January (honestly!) I did this purely to have a little more than just Christmas to reflect on. Christmas was great, my mum came down from Scotland to spend it with me. She even complimented me on the dinner although, if I’m honest, the slow cooker did the hard work. I made a fantastic pot roast for dinner and we both agreed it was amazing. I had quite a bit left over and it was just as good cold on Boxing Day.

I spent New Year’s night at home with my mum which was nice too although we were both in bed before midnight. I had to go to bed earlyish as I was on SERV duty from 6am on New Years Day. I spent the afternoon of New Years Eve in the cinema seeing Star Wars (in 3D!) I loved it although the 3D was a bit tricky to get used to at first. I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t duck or move to avoid anything flying out of the screen. I suspect that the person I went with appreciated that as well as it meant I didn’t head-butt him or land in his lap which would have been a little painful as I’m no lightweight!

On that subject, I am 2 stone lighter than I was last summer. It hasn’t been easy but I had given myself a goal of losing 30lbs by Christmas, I didn’t quite lose it by Christmas but got there eventually and long may it continue as I have a lot more stones to lose.

I’ve become something of a regular cinema visitor again which I am thoroughly enjoying, possibly because I’m going with someone who likes spending that time with me which is always a bonus. He also didn’t run away screaming when I said I’m a Tarantino fan which was a relief. I’m still not sure why so many men I know are intimidated by a woman that likes his films, we’re not all into chick flicks you know. In case you haven’t guessed, the last film we saw was The Hateful Eight, not Tarantino’s best film in my opinion but not terrible, less blood and guts than I was expecting though.

I submitted my 3rd essay a couple of weeks ago, the terrible second essay only got me 45% but as I really hadn’t put the effort into it, I’m pleased with that as it is above a pass and wasn’t a zero which is always a bonus!

The start of the new term sees me taking a module in social research methods. I am not ashamed to admit this one is going to be a struggle. You would think that any module without an exam is a cause for celebration and, normally, I would too. However, any module that has either social or sociology in the title fill me with terror. I have no idea why I struggle with those modules so much but I do. I have a feeling it could be because there are more theories discussed than facts. The criminology modules I have taken have had a good mix of theories and hard facts which seems to sit better with me. My struggle with sociology based modules could also be a self fulfilling prophecy, I see the word and my brain runs away screaming so I conclude I will struggle. I will update that theory when I submit my first assignment for it next month.

I’ve started dyeing my hair red again too and have loads of compliments on it including one of my (male) lecturers and, as lots of women will say, men rarely notice things like that. So it’s staying red for the foreseeable or until Nice n Easy stop selling my preferred shade. Note to them: please don’t do that until I am at least 70 and can no longer get away with it, thanks. Sadly, this is where my girliness kicks in, I chose not to wear a hat on one of the colder days recently as I only had a bright red one and it would have clashed with my hair. Yes, I actually said that! I don’t think there’s much point in me carrying on with this post now that everyone who knows me has passed out after reading that last sentence.

Now I have the first post of the year out the way, I’ll endeavour to post more often, hopefully for all of us, slightly shorter posts than this one.

 

 

 

A Copper’s Christmas

policecommander

And now for something just a little bit different…

…A retelling of the Christmas story using detail drawn from a little known historical source – the Daily Crime Bulletin of the Bethlehem Police Department (known by all as the ‘BPD’ – and by some as the ‘Thin Beige Line’).

Published daily by the local Constabulary, the Bulletin offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and men – whilst shining new light on an old tale.

————————————-

Bethlehem Police Department
Daily Crime Bulletin
(Date obscured)

Late Turn – Briefing for Operation Census

– Substantial number of migrants arriving at border during past week;
– Limited community tension reported – no incidents of note;
– Large crowds expected in Bethlehem this evening;
– No intelligence re: pre-planned disorder;
– Terrorism Threat Level remains at ‘Severe’;
– 12 officers on duty;
– Roads Policing Chariot in for repairs…

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2015 is/was tough

I can’t believe how long it is since I posted!

Tonight, I am on control duty for SERV Kent and, as I was logging an earlier call, I realised that it will soon be a new year. Now, I am not stupid, I realise January and 2016 happen in a few weeks but seeing January 2016 pop up on the calendar made me realise just how close a few weeks seems.

This set me to thinking about 2015 up until now. It has been tough but also fun; sad but also happy. At the beginning of the year, the new neighbours showed just how noisy 2 skinny girls can be. I’ll gloss over the neighbours a bit as legally, there are things I can’t say and morally, things I won’t. They’re beyond noisy, music, fighting, all sorts. Some of the other neighbours and I have been forced to call the police on several occasions and, thanks to all the stress, lack of sleep etc, I gave up on uni for the rest of the last academic year. It’s been a tough ride with them and isn’t yet finished. And that is all I have to say about that.

At the beginning of the year, my lovely step nan died which was really sad (that sounds so lame!) I felt hugely guilty about being happy to reconnect with various members of the family at her funeral but that is what happens. I loved her so much but hadn’t really been able to put it into words with her, I hope she knew.

A couple of months later, I was made head controller with SERV Kent, a massive honour and responsibility which at the time, was a much needed boost. I hadn’t realised just how much work went on behind the scenes but I attacked it as I always do with new learning curves and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Then, in the summer, something that I had been thinking about a for a while got given a sudden push, I dumped my boyfriend. He had been there for me in the days after I filed for divorce which was great but our relationship never developed which was not so great. My only (and I mean only) regret is that I didn’t tell him face to face. I couldn’t, not because I didn’t want to but because he didn’t turn up to see me when he said he would which was becoming a regular occurrence. I am no longer a notch on someone’s bedpost (sorry to my family for that sentence!) I had spent a long time, several months, now I look back, feeling less than important to him but hadn’t had the courage to do anything about it for way too long. The speed with which the musings about it became an action hit me like a truck but, thankfully, I didn’t fall apart over him, far from it. That tells me it was absolutely the right thing to do and the right time to do it. I actually smiled when I met with my university mentor and told her what I had done, I genuinely feel like a huge weight has been lifted and even admitting that doesn’t make me feel sad.

I am back at uni, my attendance thanks to ongoing lack of sleep hasn’t been anywhere near great but I am doing OK. My first essay got submitted on time and, despite me convincing myself that it was the worst one I had ever written, I got a mark of 62% which I am so proud (and a little suspicious) of. It made me remember that I can do it, that I really do deserve to be at university and that I actually do have a reasonable amount of intelligence in my brain! All those doubts will come back in a day or two, I’m waiting on the mark from my second essay and a plank would be able to tell me that was nowhere near as good as the first!

I sent my mum a text telling her my essay mark for what I described to her as a crap essay and her reply made me giggle:

“You clearly have superior and higher goals than your lecturers. Well done”

Thanks mum and, I think you’re right. In case she’s reading this, yep, I said you were right! I am unbelievably hard on myself when it comes to my studies, I constantly berate my own work and abilities and this absolutely needs to stop…now! Ah, who am I kidding? I will probably never stop it but will do my best to be less hard on myself.

So, a tough year but also, in a weird way, one of the best I’ve had in a long time. That reads weirdly, even to me. How can a tough year be a good one? Because I am still managing to function, I am coping with all the crap being flung at me by others as well as by myself. And, get this, I AM strong. Until today, I had never believed that but now I do and I will remind myself of that every time I feel like just giving up and hiding under the duvet forever. I expect I will still fall every once in a while but I know that I won’t stay down for long and that every trial that gets thrown at me from now on will lead to me getting even stronger.

I hadn’t planned on such a long post, it just turned out that way so I will end it with this:

2016, bring it on, I am ready for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four years on…

I had a bit of an epiphany recently, yesterday in fact. This was brought about by the fact that I filed for divorce 4 years previously. The night (and day) before last I was not in a great mood, grumpy, miserable with a dollop of useless thrown in for good measure. I had put this down at first to a bad night’s sleep and an early morning SERV call.

When I realised it wasn’t just that, I told myself off, quite forcefully too. I have achieved much more in the last 4 years than I ever thought possible and even more than I had in the previous 4 years. I wrote a list of how I am now worse off than when I was married, there is only 1 item on it, money. I am financially worse off, but that is it!

The list of things I have achieved and am proud of is huge, way bigger than I could have ever imagined. I’ve had a lot of support on this bit of my journey but there is much I have done on my own and I am insanely proud of that.

So, today is a real new start, I am going to be kinder to myself, push myself were necessary and properly build myself back up to the person I once was. I’m under no illusions, it’ll take time and I may wobble but I will get there.

My mental health is still tricky and I am still on medication but, I asked for that help so that makes me strong, doesn’t it?

Watch out world, Sarah IS free! 🙂

Stick ya bits !!

A clearly written piece about an incomprehensible decision

Constable Chaos - UK Police Blog

stick ya bits

A story on the news caught my eye this morning, but not for the reason you were probably thinking.

Read this >> Vagina piercings count as FGM, even if you’re a consenting adult .

Apparently, according to the Department for Health, women who have piercings down below will now be considered to be victims of Female Genital Mutilation.

Let me just say that again in case you missed it. Grown women, of full mental capacity, who make their own decision, of their own free will, to have their private bits pierced, will now be considered victims of a vile and disgusting crime … which by default, must have been committed by well trained staff at highly regulated, clinically clean, piercing parlours.

Now I’m no expert in this, mainly due to lack of available and willing research subjects this morning, but if we can’t tell the difference between a grown woman…

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It’s been too long..

I can’t believe I have neglected my blog so badly. Mind you, I have been struggling with my physical and mental health over the last few months.
I twanged my dodgy back at the end of last year, had a sinus infection that lingered at the start of this year and had a mental low exacerbated by these 2 poorly episodes and stress at home.

Things are looking up slowly so I’ll be back irritating you all regularly soon.