Quick note – the antibiotics are working and I’m near enough free of pain, but as I’m writing about Wednesday night and Thursday I thought I’d go for sympathy via a heart-rending title.
My reward for demonstrating fortitude was a letter to Harvey 2 ward at the City Hospital. That was where, a month previously, my tale had started. It was also, give or take, quarter of a mile away from where I had started my journey that morning.
I got there before my notes did, and was shunted off to the Day Room of Despond. That’s not its official title, it’s just my description. I’ve been thinking of John Bunyan since reading Mr Standfast, and this seemed as good a time as any to get a reference in.
It’s also a chance to roll out my new literary project. I’m thinking of an historical crime series set in late 17th century England and written in a hard-boiled American style under the pen name Damon Bunyan. Yes, first the temperature comes down, then the puns return…
By the time I was finally called through to the ward I was quite comfortable in my recliner in the day room. The chair in the ward was quite painful to sit as the…er…swelling got in the way. It was also bad for my swollen and infected foot because I couldn’t put it up. Still, no matter, as I would be lying down soon. Apart from one thing…
Either a rule has changed in the last month, or I have put weight on, as I am now officially too fat to lie on an ordinary hospital bed.
It did, at least, allow me to hear this classic gem of English recalcitrance when I asked if I could just lie on the bed for a while.
“It’s more than my job’s worth to let you lie on that bed.”
I’ve never actually heard that in real life before, just in comedy scripts.
Fortunately an enterprising junior doctor, anxious for some hands on experience , found that the bed in the triage room was strong enough for me. He and his senior colleague explained that the abscesses needed draining and that it was probably better to avoid anaesthetic (as in general or spinal), the subtext being that it’s not good for fat people. Local anaesthetic, it appears, does not work well on abscesses. This left one choice, involving just a stiff upper lip and a large measure of macho insouciance.
“The procedure,” said the senior doctor, “is not without discomfort.”
He was correct. It was, I can confirm, an experience that had moments of discomfort.
Part 3 will cover the rest of the stay, the arrival of the bed and the unfortunate occurrence with the cannula.