In defence of my already substantial reputation as being rather predictable in bailing on social events, I must state immediately my reason was that my grandfather had another stroke. I went into A&E with my father at 8pm where the next 8 hours would be the most entertaining and tragic (for other people) I have had in a long time:
The first few hours were worry filled; keeping granddad talking, busy, laughing so as to not get down with having spent an already 8 hours on a trolley in an emergency department that was full of screaming babies and nutcases. I read snippets of factual stories from FOCUS, told stories of what I had been up to in recent times, got him chatting about olden times and his first car, and we whiled away the time quite nicely. Cue clock chiming midnight.
Into the "interview room" arrives a young woman screaming the department down, saying something about the devil. With her are two gardai, and she has to be forcibly restrained by 3 of the hospital security guys. She throws furniture around, tries to bite security, is in some sort of hallucination filled state and causing a general ruckus. All in all it is highly entertaining to the bored patients and relatives outside, albeit extremely tragic. Time moves on and the woman remains in that state, more drug induced issues present themselves in new patients: The man who has taken "LSD" and wanders around in his sunglasses telling everyone to "get out of (his) way", and the woman who has overdosed on 140 tablets even though she only had an absolute possible of 28 on her and later revealed she took 8.
As the night progressed the hallucinating paranoid woman was allowed into the general A&E cubicle area where we all learned about the dangerous devil she could see - he was red with blue eyes. For a large portion of the night he seemed to be located somewhere behind me, as that was where she spent a significant amount of time pointing at. There was a short spell of time where the devil changed format and took the form of "the nurse in blue with the hair", he did change back to his devil form again though. All my grandfather could do was repeat "It's crazy" over and over as he tried to get his old head round the state of the world today, a world that was evidently drastically different to the one in which he grew up.
I grew bored again when all three of the tragically entertaining patients were sedated and fell asleep. My attention was once again drawn to the stethoscope that had sat enticingly on the counter top right in front of me. I had been looking at it for near on 4 hours now, but there was never any opportunity to nab it to play with it. I had long since gotten bored of the nerve hammer I was playing with, testing my father and grandfather's reflexes, as well as my own, coming to the conclusion we were all perfect, so instead I distracted myself with thinking of the various diseases I might have and not be aware of. Sitting there I figured if I already had a history of Henoch Schoenlien, a recurring brain tumour, had a visible ganglion on my wrist and an ongoing arthritic knee... there were surely other things I could have (I have since diagnosed myself with temporomandibular joint disorder because of my negatively progressing locked jaw)... I quickly got bored of that game because really without google I could not accurately diagnose anything, and as much fun as the drawers of instruments and tubes were, they did not help with that. Just when I had given up hope and my father had promised to buy me a stethoscope for my birthday, did an opportunity present itself. Cool as a cucumber I leaned against the desk and sneakily nabbed it. Back to the cubicle I spent the next twenty minutes listening to my heart and my gurgling stomach. However it was now 2.30am and I was getting delerious.
Eventually the doctor arrived at 3am, the doctor who had been sitting behind the desk doing paperwork for the previous 2 hours without moving. The desk in front of us. After a long series of tests and questions, we were moved to a ward where at 4am we bid my grandfather goodnight and went home to bed.
I should add at the stage that my grandfather is still in hospital, but in great spirits!