I had the dubious opportunity to conduct an experiment on the random kindness of strangers yesterday.
After spending two days in London with my daughter, we were travelling on the No. 48 omnibus toward London Bridge station, when I began to feel unwell.
We had already been standing waiting at the bus stop in full sun, on one of the hottest days of the year, for more than 20 minutes, and when the bus finally did arrive, it was hotter than hell, packed to bursting and we had to sit right at the back over the engine.
The bus journey can take up to 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, and as we crawled along, I became increasingly aware that something wasn't right. Extreme heat really does have a detrimental effect on my MS and eventually I had to say to my daughter that I was feeling 'odd'.
One look at my white, clammy pallor and she fought her way up to the front of the bus to ask the driver to stop straight away. By the time she got back I was semi-conscious, then vaguely aware of trying to stand up, then everything went a bit black and when I came to I was on the floor of the bus. Several kind people managed to carry me off, whereupon I violently threw up and collapsed again.
A very nice lady bus passenger phoned 999, even the bus driver was trying to help. A passer-by gave us a bottle of water, which I then wasn't allowed to drink.
From my vantage point at pavement level, I was vaguely aware of passers-by stopping to ask if we needed any help while we waited for the paramedic to arrive. As we were in the heart of the City of London, most of the feet I could see belonged to suited and booted businessmen. Of those, only two of the many dozens who hurried past stopped to ask if we were ok. By far the majority of people who were kind enough to enquire if they could help, were young people, including several tourists. Although one shambling old down-and-out asked if we were alright, then enquired, rather shamefacedly, if we had any change.
I've no idea how long I was non compos mentis, but gradually I began to feel less like I was facing imminent death, and slowly returning to the land of the living. By which time the first response paramedic (Charlie) arrived on his bicycle, laden shoulder high with panniers full to bursting with high-tech equipment. Reassuringly, having found a pulse he gave me a quick 'once over', confirmed my blood pressure was rather low, blood sugar was ok and offered me the less than inviting opportunity to go to hospital for a proper check. All I wanted to do was get home, so after helping me stand up, and waiting while I regained my equilibrium, he waved us goodbye and headed off into the heat-shimmering London traffic.
After this lengthy hiatus, it was back onto the dreaded No. 48, where thankfully we both got a seat, and onwards to London Bridge. Despite my protestations, my daughter was adamant that she was coming back to Hastings with me on the train. Thankfully, that part of the journey was comfortable and uneventful, although I continued to feel a bit 'spacey'. Having safely delivered me to a waiting PP and Small Dog, she then turned around and got the next train back to London.
So this is by way of a thank you to all the anonymous good samaritans who took the time and trouble to help me in my hour of need.
And of course, to my lovely daughter who made sure I was comfortable, stayed reassuringly calm throughout, coped with guiding the paramedic to where we were using her mobile phone, and looked after me so well through a scary and stressful situation.
Thank you my lovely.......
I'm feeling much better today.... albeit still a bit shaky and spacey and my right foot is hurting so I'm guessing I twisted it when I went down. All in all though, not too bad considering. However, I'm staying out of the sun in the cool indoors today, just in case....