Catch Your Breath
One of my best friends recently called me after his wife gave birth in hospital, telling me about their anaesthetist. “They’re just fantastic! Then I remembered, Ed you’re an anaesthetist…f*cking hell! I can’t believe that…”. I like to think I’m an inspiration to all budding doctors that anything is achievable.
Ed is an anaesthetist and the irony is not lost, giving patients something he’s found in short supply – sleep. Strong drugs for his patients, strong coffee for him. It’s not just sleep-giving for this anaesthetic doctor as he navigates emergencies, patients not breathing for themselves and living with a terrifying sense of responsibility. It’s enough to leave anyone feeling numb.
It isn’t the straightforward route to medicine, given that it starts with a ghastly fascination with parasites, leading to a junior doctor snatching five-minute lunch breaks in the staff loos and dealing with all sort of bodily and anatomical disturbances, sometimes in his patients too. At least settling on anaesthetics means doing rectal exams are behind him.
And that is before Coronavirus arrives, which quickly turns his job into a nightmare queue of struggling with ill-fitting PPE and Covid-19 patients who can’t breathe on their own.
Hilariously funny, moving and truly insightful, Catch Your Breath follows Ed’s journey from bewildered medical student in Aberdeen to unflinching anaesthetist on the NHS frontline. A dose of insight into life on the hospital wards during the pandemic, while injecting hope that we will all get through this. There’s plenty of laughing gas to be had.
Sarah Harvey manages the translation rights for Catch Your Breath
Contact Luke Speed for more information