This is a long one. Sorry.
I am starting to think that all you dammed Englishmen are right about fruit being a Scottish person's version of Kryptonite, as eating peaches (whole, fresh, and juicy, from Aldi - seventy nine of your English pence for a punnet of four if I remember correctly) cost me my one remaining fangy tooth, as my left-side canine failed to survive munching on the fourth of four peaches I chose to scoff on Tuesday night. It had already been root-canalled, filled (twice) and shaped down, so I shouldn't have been surprised when on encountering the fourth peach pit in about twenty minutes it decided to snap at the gumline, but I was anyway. What followed was a multi-agency tasking from His Magnificent Purple Eminence Himself as I decided to consult NHS 24 via the means of a phone call. (What really helped Him was that it had happened so late that there were no, repeat no, out-of-hours dental clinicians available for the entirety of my chunk of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board area of operation as this was a factor in what happened next...)
When I phoned up, after chatting to the triage nurse on reception, I was referred after a while to the NHS dental nurse who was dealing with toothy-related problems, and to be fair she did tell me that nobody in her trade was available that time of the night, but she did refer me to the Southern General Hospital's (I know the establishment has a new name to go with a massive amount of new buildings on the site but no-one I know uses the name - it's either what I just called it or the "Death Star") A and E department.
She assured me that it was the correct protocol for my particular situation - as the tooth didn't snap completely off and come away, I was afraid that the fang would do it whilst I was rolling about on my bed while asleep - and I would choke on it and die, and this information from me forced her to open another checklist.
There being a nice handy A and E department in a local hospital for local people that's in very easy hobbling distance from my humble abode made no difference, it was the Southern General or nothing. She advised me that the details of my case would get faxed over to the Southern and that was that. As it was a pleasant evening, and I am a tight arse of long-standing, I decided that it would be an idea to walk to the place rather than get bent over a chair and shafted by a taxi driver. Purple smoke went off in the background but I ignored it.
(I have a bike, but I make a point of not riding it if I have any sort of head injury as disorientation caused by that sort of thing would have me under a bus or a car in pretty short order, and I call a broken tooth a head injury as my what's left of my teeth are in my head.)
So I charged up my phone, filled an empty two-litre bottle of Tango Berry up with fresh water, packed a couple of sets of clean under clothing and toddled off. It took a couple of hours to cover the just over six miles distance, which was fine as I was not pissing out blood from my oral orifice, and as said before, it was a pleasant evening.
Things started to unravel completely on arrival at the Southern. Every nurse I talked to, and there were three of them, including two triage nurses, expressed great surprise that the NHS 24 dental lady had sent me to their establishment when there was a local hospital for local people that was in very easy hobbling distance from me as I said earlier, but all I could tell them was that I had been advised by the NHS dental lady that it was the protocol that I had to follow and they were it as far as I was told. This worked for the two triage nurses after some fast talking on my part, and so after speaking to the second one, after I had been there long enough that it was now two in the morning, I was set fair for a six hour wait.
Two hours later...
Enter stage right the Charge Nurse (who as far as I am concerned had His Magnificent Purple Eminence the Emperor Mong on speed-dial as her customer service advisor advisor) who was on duty...
"I don't know why you are here" - which she'd have known if she had bothered listening to the two triage nurses who I had talked to previously. "We can do nothing for you as there are no dental clinicians available" - which I had already been informed of by the NHS 24 dental lady on the phone call - even so, it wouldn't have taken a dentist to administer a local anaesthetic and just snap the broken tooth off twixt thumb and fore-finger as a running repair until I could see my fang farrier on the following day, as that's what the said fang farrier did exactly do when I did attend my emergency appointment. "You should have gone to your local hospital" - asked and answered by me previously. Twice. "Here's some paperwork" - which I couldn't be bothered reading as it was four in the morning by this point and I was torn between falling asleep on my feet and shouting at her for seemingly being pleased to be of no help whatsoever, which would have been pointless and probably involved angry confrontations with the local constabulary. "Go to your dentist in the morning" - in other words "the protocol that you've been told about on the phone befucked, what I say goes, I'm the Charge Nurse, and you go home now, you're not my problem".
I know nurses are busy, so are doctors, porters, and the like, but if I had talked in that tone of voice to a client when I was working, you know, that sneering "I'm right, you're wrong and **** off!" tone, I'd have been out on my arse a lot quicker than I was.
Still, I did get a lot of miles of walking done, with over the day having amassed about 18 Km, 157 Heart Points (the weekly target you are supposed to go for is 150), and over 24 thousand steps. To be honest, I didn't think numbers went that high.
Definitely a wait to morning case.