Recently the Prof and I were caught up in a mega traffic jam on the way back from the beach. The A55 (the main duel carriageway serving North Wales) was closed both ways as the police dealt with a suicidal woman who was threatening to jump from a bridge, and in soaring temperatures we, like a few thousand others sat in our cars waiting for the roads to clear.
Twitter abounded with pithy and then just plain rude complaints about just how selfish the woman involved was, and frustrated in our hot car, I remembered a time when I was on the other side of such an incident!
Then, I worked in York as a junior staff nurse in the city's flagship psychiatric hospital, Bootham Park and on one sunny afternoon, I remember being asked to help a colleague after the patient she had been admitting unexpectedly ran from our ward seconds after being brought in as a voluntary patient.
We had no idea of what could be going on in the guy's mind, all we knew that he was said to be suffering from anxiety, but as he raced down the long drive towards the city centre the female nurse and I both felt that cold dread of something not quite right.
Generally, nurses were expected to retrieve absconding patients only within the hospital grounds, leaving the police to find any in the community, but then without hesitation we both chased the man as he turned left out of the hospital gates and down Petergate where we lost him in the tourist crowds.
What seemed like an age later, we were joined by a policeman who had just heard that a colleague of his had approached a " suspicious" man in York Minster who had suddenly bolted up onto the South Transept roof, where he, without the slightest of hesitations, had thrown himself off.
Now ,if you are ever "inconvenienced" by such events like the one The Prof and I found ourselves in a couple of weeks ago and find yourself less than sympathetic to the person sat on that motorway bridge -spare a thought for the emergency personnel who are trying their best to deal with the situation.
Even though that nurse and I had not got any real notion of what was going on with that patient, the cold, paralysing fear that he had taken his life whilst under our " care" was a feeling, we will never ever forget and I know that the policeman we met up with felt exactly the same.
As it turned out, the patient actually survived his fall but sustained life changing spinal injuries as a result of it and I was part of the team that went to assess him again as he was being rehabilitated in his wheelchair. Strange as it may seem, he had absolutely no idea why he had jumped from the roof in the first place!