When I heard that Adam Kay's memoir 'This is Going to Hurt' was being dramatised for television, I wondered how it could be done.
A hugely popular book, topping the charts for many weeks, it's clearly had a wide appeal but its wry and knowing observations on the life of a junior doctor would not be easily translated to the screen, I thought. And surely it would then undermine what was achieved so well in print - to entertain and enlighten, shock and inspire simultaneously.
Although I still feel that I prefer the book, the seven part series that is currently showing on BBC One is well done. But it is a difficult watch.
There is still some humour, and the acting is excellent - we really feel we know these characters - but it is a bleak presentation of our hospitals and of the overwhelming pressure bearing down on the people we call on for life and death decisions.
Although Adam Kay is presented as an unattractive individual in this drama (perhaps more so than in his books), we still see the subtle but distinct change in him when he needs to step up to the plate and save a life. What's more, every member of the team comes together for this common goal. There can be no point scoring when a life is at risk.
Reading the Covid diary of the ICU nurse, Anthea Allen, this week (Life, Death and Biscuits), I was moved to read of both her pride and delight in her team and in the nursing profession as a whole, and also how everyone implicitly knew their role, their contribution in any task or crisis. It is humbling and uplifting to read. When our society today continues to value individual goals and achievements, it is worth remembering how much good we can do when we work together.
Thank you for reading!