Tag Archives: Hospital

All Went Well

Well, that was easy.

I arrived in plenty of time, sat down, opened my book and was called through before I’d had time to read the first page.

Of course, they didn’t want me, they just wanted to move me to the next waiting area. This was crammed with men of a certain age, mostly with a slightly haunted air. This was due, I found out, to the next instruction.

“We’re going to do a flow test today, so I need to ask you to have five or six glasses of water.”

She pointed to the water fountain and left me to it. The slightly haunted air of my fellow drinkers was now explained. Take a man with a dodgy bladder, fill him with water, and it’s not exactly a recipe for comfort and jollity.

I was able to read plenty more of my book, though I wasn’t exactly able to concentrate as the water worked its way through.

Eventually, as I was beginning to feel a touch urgent, I was called through by the consultant.

All is good.

He turned out, despite his formidable qualifications and reputation, to be a warm and charming man with a sense of humour. This is not, as I have discovered over the years, always true of consultants.

He discharged me, told me to see the GP about the disturbed nights, thanked me for my patience and shook my hand.

I shook back then made off in search of a toilet. I may have avoided the flow test, but I still had six glasses of water to unload…

 

 

 

 

In Just Under an Hour

In just under an hour I will be in hospital being prodded and questioned.

I’ve run through it all in my head and hope I have enough answers ready to avoid them following up with more pills or tests. I already rattle when I walk too fast and am still having dreams of long corridors from my last three month session of intensive prodding.

Recently, I have started daydreaming about hospital food. I’m wondering if it may be a form of Stockholm Syndrome. I do hope not, because spending more time in hospital would definitely be the wrong treatment…

When I was in hospital twelve years ago the procedure which now takes a day and a half used to take three or four. It was much more restful and they used to take the catheter out before sending you home.

There are advantages to the new industrial system – probably more people seen, and definitely less chance of becoming ill from something you pick up in hospital.

There’s another thing I noticed – when I was in for three days I was glad to get out.When I was in for four days I was resentful at being sent home on Irish Stew day. I’d been looking forward to that stew.

Ah well, time to go.

Wish me luck.

 

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…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.