If You Faint, Fall Backwards! Medicine: Warts and All
Here I was a skinny sixteen year-old farmer's son from the tiny Victorian country town of
Garfield, waiting poised on the balls of my feet, eager for my mentor to open the door.
"Don't touch anything, keep still and if you faint, fall backwards and not on top of
With these less than inspiring words of advice, I entered the operating theatre with Dr
Alan Worcester, full of excitement and tense expectation about my first view of a surgical
"Don't worry Dr Worcester, I'm not going to faint - I'm looking forward to
seeing it all," I replied, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt.
The student in front of me slid slowly down to the floor while on all sides people
retched and vomited. Beres and the chap on the other side of me clung to me for support,
while most of those still conscious tried to make a desperate scramble for the small,
solitary exit door. The corridor rapidly filled with pale, shaking figures and I was one
of the few left standing and still observing the procedure. I was relieved that I did not
feel any shock or nausea, but I did feel for my suffering friends.
The Coldest Night
The sight before my sleepy eyes as I opened the door was enough to startle anyone wide
awake. She stood on the doormat, a thin young woman, literally blue with cold, shaking
all over and wearing nothing but a tiny wisp of transparent nightie.