Tag Archives: Hospital

It’s happened already!

Do you remember me saying I’ve used a fingerprint as part of the set-up for my phone? And that I’d probably lose the finger now?

Well, I still have all my fingers, but…

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Sorry it’s a bit blurred but I had to frame it to miss out the clutter on my desk and take it with one hand, so focus proved to be a step too far.

It was the result of a blood test rather than accident, and I really ought to have thought about it before letting them use that finger. It bled quite a lot, because they’ve pumped me full of Warfarin and the injections that I can’t remember the name of. (That’s a little inelegant, but “the name of which I cannot remember” seems worse). I had also bled overnight from the site of the injection I gave myself last night.

Annoyingly, despite the bleeding, the numbers indicate that I’ve failed to reach the necessary threshold. They have upped the dose again and booked me in for a test on Wednesday, because I clearly have nothing better to do than go to hospital for tests. No doubt they will want me back on Friday  too.

Having switched the phone off as requested when I entered hospital I had to restart it to call a taxi. This involved jugging stick, phone and bag as I tried to remove the plaster with my teeth.

The result of all that was that I managed to get blood on the sensor which, unsurprisingly, could not be persuaded to open the phone. Application of a handkerchief to both finger and sensor finally enabled me to ring a taxi.

I’m having a rethink on this fingerprint technology.

 

Pizza, Shopping and Death

I’m not quite sure how to order the words in the title, so I settled for my order of preference. I like pizza, I sometimes like shopping, and although I’ve never tried it, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like death.

We had the pizza at Pizza Hut in Mansfield. It was the Lunch Buffet , featuring unlimited pizza and pasta with unlimited salad. They have improved the pizza selection since last time we had it. It used to feature very dull pizzas, such as cheese and tomato and cheese tomato and onion, which always made me feel I was being short-changed. That has changed and there was an excellent selection, including Hawaiian, pepperami, chicken and bacon, BBQ and Vegetarian. There were others too, but I  forget. The salad was OK, though the bowls were small so even Julia went back for a second helping.

The trick with all you can eat buffets is stopping before you are uncomfortably full. Or is that just me? Anyway, after eating two plates of pizza and two bowls of salad I felt comfortably full, and haven’t needed much for tea.

The shopping took place at the East Midlands Designer Outlet. It’s quite good, if you like walking round lots of shops that sell things you neither need or want.  Julia bought a flask and I bought some books. No suprise there, I suppose.

Finally, death. I had a few minutes to think, whilst sitting on a bench waiting for Julia, and for some reason started thinking of living wills. They asked me if I had one when I was filling in some of the interminable paperwork in hospital last week.

I don’t, and, after looking it up and finding out what one is, I’m a bit concerned that they thought they might need it.  I’m also concerned that at the age of 59 I didn’t actually know what one was. I assumed it was a recording you could play at the funeral for the assembled family with a few jokes, a bit of poetry and some wise remarks for the kids.

It could have been quite embarrassing to have handed the NHS a DVD with a couple of jokes and some paternal advice when what they really wanted to know was if they could feed me down a tube.

I think I’ll pass on that. I’m not sure anything worth eating can be fitted down a tube, apart from porridge and very thin chips.

Nouvelle Cuisine and the NHS

Yes, I was admitted, I was (finally) operated on and the food was good.

You can’t tell from the picture, but the chips were nice, the peas were tasty and the fish was excellent in its crispy coat.

However, it wasn’t large. There’s a lot of space on that small plate. Look at the fork for scale. When they uncovered it I didn’t know whether it was a starter or a cruel hoax.

Remember that I’m using my phone for taking this picture and the perspective is distorted. The chips were just average size, and there were only five of them.

 

One of those days…

It’s been one of those frustrating days again.

Wrote some emails to the hospital. It was difficult to get the tone right – no point being sharp or rude, but I don’t want them to think they can get away with second class service. The trouble is that you edit so much you start chasing your tail.

I’m having an Alice in Wonderland sort of feeling, as the hospital version of my story is subtly, and maddeningly, different from my recollection. (Yes, I could have mentioned Dali or Kafka there, but I would not have had a photograph to use).

Sent the emails and find that neither of the recipients is in the office till the end of the  week. By then I may well be on my third cancelled operation.

Dropped Julia off at an Open Day they were having at Mencap. This involved driving across town and exploring several sets of roadworks. They proved unexciting and rather frustrating.

Then I cut through Sneinton on my way to the pharmacy. The things I’ve ordered hadn’t arrived. Sneinton is an interesting place with lots of history, but, as usual, I ignored that and just moaned about the traffic.

Called at the jeweller, moaned about life.

Went home. Emailed the hospital. Rang hospital. Rang GP. Rang District Nurse service. No District Nurse available to answer phone. Hospital rang me.Got email from hospital.

If it carries on like this they will be inviting me to the NHS Christmas Party.

Only When I Laugh

I have now lunched. We had the £6.95 lunch at Frankie and Benny’s (we elected for cheeseburgers, chips and a spoonful of coleslaw). I added strawberry ice cream for £2.50. Julia ate the wafer off my ice cream.  She does that every time.

Total bill was the same as the Harvester but you get a lot of salad at Harvester and not much at F&B (though the music is better at F&B and the toilets are easier to reach).

Now, my morning in hospital…

Rising at 6am I bathed, dressed, packed and gathered my paperwork together. I didn’t have breakfast (because I had to stop eating at midnight) but did have a mug of water and my pills at 6.30, the latest I was allowed to drink.

All went well to start. I spoke with the surgeon, two anaesthetists and some nurses. I was prodded, bled, monitored and documented. Everyone was very pleasant and it was very relaxing.

Then I dressed in a hospital gown, put on my new grip socks and started to watch TV. And more TV. And yet more TV. At that point I was getting a bit concerned about the wait. For one thing, it was a bit long, and for another, I was starting to worry there might be a problem. But there wouldn’t be a problem, would there?

A little later – it was about 10.00 a nurse approached and gave me a cup of water, telling me I could have it as long as I drank it in the next ten minutes as I wouldn’t go through to theatre until at least 12.00.

“Yes,” I said, “I thought the water was bad news.”

From there it was all downhill…

This is how the farcical charade developed.

In December when I was admitted with “the swelling” I was allowed to lie on a normal bed in the first floor male urology ward (known as Harvey 2).

In April – the first part of the surgery – I was allowed to use a normal bed in Harvey 2.

In May, when I was admitted with the abscess I had to have the bariatric bed, in Harvey 2.

Now, I have to have the bariatric bed but am now officially too fat to be allowed upstairs, according to the evacuation protocol. There was no bed on a ground floor ward so after the 12.30 bed conference they cancelled the operation.

I just don’t understand why they keep moving the goalposts.

Now, I’ve never denied being fat, but within a pound or two I’ve been the same weight for years. I haven’t suddenly become too fat for the upper stories.

I’m also happy for them to have protocols. They are a big organisation and they need such things to function. And so their many jobsworths have something to do.

They were surprised when I laughed, but what else can you do? Getting angry won’t help. And being rude to the staff won’t help because it isn’t their fault – they just get left to apologise for the acts of others.

Before I left, they fixed me up with another date.

It’s two weeks away.

But there’s no guarantee of a bed.

Tomorrow I will be more cheerful.

 

 

 

 

Fish, Chips and Disappointment

Well, I’m back home already. No overnight stay, no pain, no blood.

On the downside, there was no operation.

I rose at 6.00 and, like Paddington Bear, breakfasted on marmalade sandwiches. Five and a half hours later I was washed, packed and provisioned. I was also starving and slightly nervous, as medical staff kept drifting through, asking to see my appointment letter. In the end one of them, having drawn the short straw, sidled up and asked me to step through, obviously trying to separate me from the herd.

“I’m sorry, but you’re not on our list.” she said, and like a modern nightclub the NHS operates on the policy of “if you aren’t on the list, you aren’t coming in”.

So, despite having a letter telling me when to report, despite having rung to confirm and despite having had my pre-op done while I was on the ward last week, I was sent home.

That’s the summary anyway. In real life it took longer, with more muttered excuses and a lot of waiting.

I’m now waiting for a new date.

On the positive side, this gave us the time to enjoy the sunshine and go for haddock and chips at The Big Fish  and Julia allowed me to have syrup sponge and custard to get over my disappointment.

I’m now engaging in one of my favourite activities – mentally composing a letter of complaint about my cancelled appointment. I always seem so much more intelligent at this point – the draft always seems so much better than the final written version.

I’m currently debating whether I should offer to fit catheters to the staff concerned as this might concentrate their minds on the delay in removing mine.

 

Turning into Nero Wolfe

I think I’m turning into Nero Wolfe. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just seems to have happened. I’ve turned into a fat man who doesn’t leave the house. I have the waistline, the aversion to exercise and I even have a selection of orchids. I say a selection, but I’m actually 9,997 orchids short of Wolfe’s total.

OK, I’ll come clean – I’ve had the waistline for a while, but being confined to the house hasn’t helped.

The cost of Nero Wolfe books on Kindle starts around £4, which is higher than I want to pay for something with no physical presence. I’ve bought one for  a penny, though P&P is £2.80. It’s a tricky balancing act. £4 for a load of pixels, or £2.80 for stamps and a second-hand book I’ll give away.

I’m currently packing for hospital (just one more day left) though it’s unlikely I’ll get a lot of reading done while I’m in there. I’m making sure to pack Wodehouse this time, and a packet of sandwiches.  My previous experience shows I’m likely to need cheeriness and sustenance.

What I really need is an auriga to follow me round the hospital and  whisper in my ear how lucky I am. I tend to find that as I lie there in the operating theatre my good fortune isn’t always at the forefront of my mind.