Nothing like a bit of head trauma to shake out the complacency, writes SIMON WALKER.

OUCH: All the king's horses and men have nothing on those who stitch people back together at our local hospitals.
OUCH: All the king's horses and men have nothing on those who stitch people back together at our local hospitals.

“Riding along on my pushbike honey, when I noticed you … ah.”

Great tune that – the Pushbike Song. So much fun, so catchy and such a contrast to the other day when I was riding along on my pushbike, honey, when I experienced a bit of head trauma. “Ugh!”

I don’t want to overstate the bump in comparison to the sufferings of   true calamity being experienced by say, our drought-stricken farmers or the people of Lombok. But it is  an opportunity to recognise  the good people  who stand tall in times of trouble. And there’s a lot of them.

My particular incident goes with the territory of riding a bike, I suppose – every so often you come off, and looking back, my fall was predictable perhaps.

The day after Malcolm Turnbull announced his drought relief package, it rained – a miracle-making ability Mal should play up as the next election looms – he may need it. And no problems from me. I wish it had flooded.

Trouble was, all the steel plates on the ground  round  the intersection of  Hunter Street and Stewart Avenue in Newcastle, where they’re doing revitalisation work, were wet. When I came up onto the footpath to avoid the peak-hour traffic, I hit the edge of a plate, bike skidded out from under and I  skonked my head on a pedestrian crossing pole.  “Tick tick tick” went the button, “tock tock tock” went my head.

Felt a bit like being hit with a baseball bat, and as the world commuted past, I contemplated through juicy dollops of blood whether I had ripped my ear off and the chances I’d be eating from a blender for the foreseeable future.

First shout-out here to the lovely lady  who took  time to inquire, ever so politely, if I was all right. I really appreciated this, whoever you are, and your calm assurance that my ear seemed still attached. Sorry to put you through that.

Second big call-out goes to the people at work  who invoked the First Aid protocol when I stumbled in, bandaged me up and then drove me  to hospital.

Apart from the care and concern, this was an OH&S triumph and should be noted in the minutes of the next meeting. Lord knows, those things can be a bit dry.

Third shout-out goes, in general, to the staff of the John Hunter Emergency Department who do an incredible job patching up the people of our region 24/7, 365 days of the year,  and, in particular, to the nurse practitioner who sewed my ear back together.

Hardly the sweetest thing to encounter for morning tea, and just one of innumerable cases she was juggling that shift, against the backdrop of her own life story which, as I discovered while she went about her business with needle, thread and lidocaine was amazing. 

Makes you realise how many talented caring people there are in an ED, and how you should aspire, wherever possible, to never encounter them in a professional capacity. But should it be necessary, take time to appreciate how remarkable they are and what an extraordinary job they do.