I have been spending quite a bit of time in hospital. Unplanned mainly and my first time on a ward. Not a glorious experience but really not so bad. The problem has been my wimpish approach to pain. I don’t like it one bit and as a consequence seek out strong chemicals to counteract it. Trouble with these chemicals, morphine and such like is that, for all the good they do, more or less all of them bung your bowels up like an escaping mole entombed up a drainpipe – Maria and can vouch for the immovability of a stuck mole after Paddy our cruelest cat led one to such a fate.. Well anyway along with the back pain a new and stronger pain began to grow along with extreme distension of my stomach. I am talking, a perfectly round, balloontaught, Alien’s womb affair. Anyway I found that, plus a few other ridiculous symptoms like hiccups that reverberate in your back, too much to bare and after two visits to A&E I was finally admitted to ward 14 with non acute something or other.
Ward 14 feels quite doomed. It is a kind of reception area of a run down comp with beds in. In other words everyone is a generalist, no one knows much about anything and the staff here are significantly ‘less’ in every respect than either the staff in A&E or certainly Oncology, including of course numbers. The result was a seven hour wait to see a doctor preceded by a less than encouraging conversation from a nurse, which consisted of “oh no you are in bed 17 I suppose” I was not sure where the disappointment lay, was it me or the dreaded bed 17? – anyway she has continued to this hour to be useless and pretty incompetent. After seven hours of this level of joviality, many accompanied, thank God, by my wonderful wife and son, I saw a doctor who pretty much instantly did the right thing and had me ‘enemaded’ commenting that my constipation was off the scale. I love that brave man! Thus I have been blessedly liberated from that pain but held up in hospital while they do it all again, just to make sure it wasn’t a one off and now at 19:00 we await Dr Bradfords last word and the endless filling in a forms. Could be a long night!! Hopefully though they will kick me out and not find a pretext to keep me here another night
Staying overnight was not as awful as I expected. My friends (I am still here so I can observe them as I type) are heavily tattooed, significantly butcher than me, possess strong Yorkshire accents and are very nice. I feel a bit like Hugh Grant amongst them. I just wish I had some working class credentials to flash about. There is a builder a plumber an ex miner. It is incredibly hot and humid and I stink. One is about to loose a testical and can endure pain like a Buddhist monk. His stoicism and good humour completely puts me to shame. Some people really are amazingly strong- how he has put up with the delays and I do not know. I would be in floods of tears and clawing the walls. Another friend has had troublesome blood results (been there got The T Shirt) he has been sat in the ward, perfectly fit, but exceeding anxious about what might lie ahead. I don’t envy him. The youngest guy in here has some sort of problem emanating from eating too much fatty food. It may be an ulcer or something. The eldest has a version of the miners disease is is currently sat sucking on a five foot gas tank. There is definitely a Yorkshire humour that I cannot quite tune into and equally my Sevenoaks humour seems not to travel. Thus I am condemned to being a tolerated outsider. Not alien enough to get a UKipping although for all I know I could get a scargilling politics stays off the agenda in hospitals which is a shame given the inordinate amount of time one has to contemplate it – yes I am still here 7: 7:15 pm.