Have you ever been in a situation where you honestly didn't know whether to order someone to go to A&E based on nothing but a gut feeling that they may be seriously ill???
Well, that is not an entirely true assessment of the situation I found myself in a couple of weeks ago - but it was a true assessment of a similar situation I found myself in when I was working.
In both cases I was convinced something was seriously wrong with someone I knew - as in medically wrong with them.
The first situation was difficult because I didn't really know the person that well - the fact their skin almost ressembled a sheet of white A4 paper in colour was a clue that all might not be well with them (there is "white" skin colour and there is white skin colour) they were coughing a bit as well. I told the person to go to a Dr ASAP. They complained that they were OK. The next time I saw them (approximately a month later) they thanked me for telling them to go because they had pneumonia.
A couple of weeks ago I was worried about a friend of mine because they seemed quiet (as in almost "tinopener" quiet), not really firing on all cylinders, and their facial colour-scheme indicated they were poorly.
Now, this particular friend had had a go at me previously for trying to make sure they were OK. Also, I felt it would be disrespectful to say "Hospital - NOW" to them due to the fact they are somewhat older than me (and I couldn't be certain if my hunch was correct - it turned out that I was right at the same time as being wrong - as in it was an existing condition, just not the one I feared it was).
You may be able to imagine the guilt I felt when I heard that my friend had been rushed into hospital three days after I last spoke to them.
Luckily, when I saw them on Friday they were almost back to their usual self. They did say something interesting though.
Apparently I hadn't been the only person who thought there was something not quite right with my friend - but none of us had had the courage to speak up when we had the chance.
When I explained my reasons for not speaking up (or at least one of them) my friend ordered me to tell them if the same thing happened again.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that there is a fine line between being nosy and pushy and acting in what you honestly feel are the best interests of someone you know (more so when you don't know the full story).
I will never know what would have happened if I had had the courage to speak up - my friend could have ignored me and still ended up being rushed into hospital (let's just say that the chances of my friend actually making that visit just on my say so were slim to non-existent).
So - please ask any friends you have how they want you to act when you feel there is something not quite right with them (but you cannot put your finger on esactly what is wrong) - it could save their life!!!
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