Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Only When I Laugh...

So hospital eh?

What a cool experience! I love hospital…seriously. What could be better? Laying in bed, pleasant nurses bringing you food, tea, drugs etc. I had a blast!

I wasn’t all fun, fun, fun though I did have to wear a pair of pants that resembled the little white net you put your washing powder tablets into. I also had to have several injections, which whilst not all that unpleasant made me act like a child.

As I commented of the day of my day of arrival to the ole’ hospital I was slightly nervous, though this was cleverly disguised as hunger. I was frickkin’ starving. I just drank as much water as I could and chewed my way through as much chewing gum as Big Sam Allerdyce and Alex Ferguson combined.

My taxi driver who drove me from Runcorn station to my impending date with the surgeons looked a lot Dan Castellaneta and didn’t ask me what I was going in for. The fucker should have seen I was anxious and at least given me a token conversation. This rudeness cost him his tip! (He won’t be doing that again I fear)

Having already been to this particular facility I knew where to go and I was mentally prepared as I could have been.
After a ten minute wait and more water and chewing gum, my name was called along with anther chap’s. He stood up and I followed the porter, the other patient and his tidy looking blonde girlfriend whom I’d clocked as soon as I walked in. This made me feel ever so slightly ill at ease. We were led into a lift and a two minute walk later we were in a ward. There were four beds, two of which already had people in their gowns. These two guys were both in their late fifties/early sixties and one of them was a rather hefty looking chap who was laying on his side reading a copy of the Express. The other look quite sensible as if he’d been an Bank Manager or something.

Eventually a young and not particularly good looking nurse arrived and drew the curtains around me. She asked me to get changed into my gown and pants. I wanted to make sure that I wore the gown the correct way round this time and regaled my story of putting on backwards last time. She found this hilarious (as did a nurse friend of mine when I told her) especially when I explained that the nurse then told me they could be worn either way- though she failed to point out that my knackers were on display. She proceeded to ask me a slew of boring but necessary questions then shaved my knee with a electric razor.

About ten or so minutes later I was led by the not particularly good looking nurse to where I’d be getting ‘cut’. I had to wait outside for several minutes whilst a women (An anaesthetist I’m guessing) asked me more of the same types of questions. She was wear clogs and the archetypical surgeon’s scrubs. She was alarmed when I told her I’d drank lots of water and had chewing gum, in fact she looked so concerned thought I’d put the kybosh on the whole procedure.

“No one said I wasn’t supposed to do this!” I repeated apologetically.

She gave me that look as if to say it was obvious. My life was in her hands so I decided not to argue.

I was led into the operating theatre where there was a solitary and scary looking table and approximately 5 people cleaning and sorting surgical apparatus (I assume it was surgical apparatus) wearing the mask and cap and scrub type regalia. Some beardo hippie looking type doctor attached a valve into my left hand (which hurt) and the anaesthetist strapped a huge tourniquet across my thigh. I winced with pain as the velcro on the tourniquet removed several hairs on the inside of my upper thigh -millimetres from my tackle. She laughed and told me not to be a baby- I demanded the drugs and they duly obliged.

“You’re going to stat drifting off shortly” Beardo said as I could feel the anaesthetic entering my veins.

“I’m going to count…1…2…3”

I felt my face go funny- sort of pins and needles, which was akin to the first time you smoke a cigarette, I felt dizzy and before I could get a remark about him being like Derren Brown I let out a girly giggle and I was out….

I can sort of vaguely remember a female doctor telling me to remove my oxygen mask. I was very disoriented and I wanted to go back to sleep.

“How’s the pain?”
“How would you rate it? 1 out of 10?”
“It really hurts does it?”
“yeah- you’ve done the wrong leg”
“Only joking….” And I drifted back to sleep.

I awoke again and tried to crack the same joke. In fact looking back at it now, I regrettably said it six or seven times to this very patient soul who was still stood beside me.

“We did the ACL
“All went well…”
“You’ve done the wrong leg….zzzzzzz”

I awoke again and she was still there. “piss off and let me get some kip” I thought but didn’t say out loud.

She chatted to me trying to rouse me from my slumber taking about iodine and other complex medical issues. My doctor came over and said something, but I couldn’t hear him. It was like the teacher in Charlie Brown; “wa wah wa wah wah wah wa”.
I noticed a clock and it said 4.30pm. I walked into the operating theatre at 12.20...some sleep huh?

I was wheeled back to my ward on the bed and I felt like a child. It was great. We slowly glided through corridors, in a shiny metallic lift, past some pretty nurses sat behind a reception. As I trundled past them they gave me a sympathetic smile and I in turn gave them the thumbs up as if I was a RAF pilot who’d been shot down during WWII- their hero!

Soon I was back in my ward and one of the two gentlemen from before greeted my return and I saluted him.
All I wanted to do was fucking sleep. This was thwarted by nurses who insisted on taking my blood pressure and temperature every 15 minutes. It seemed that every time I closed my eyes I was awoken by them with their kind smiles and reassurances. I must admit I was starting to like it there.
In between nodding on and off and having my temperature and pulse taken, the phone by my bedside rang and Lisa was on the other line asking how it went. I grunted down the phone for five minutes but was feeling pretty lousy and extremely thirsty and from what I gather from speaking to her afterwards – I made little sense.
The two guys opposite had knee replacements. I lay on my back thinking this was a pretty sweet life as another nurse pumped some drugs in me via the valve on my left and.

The heft patient laying next to the guy opposite me was something of a character, something of an old sage if you will. He had a Ricky Tomlinson type scouse accent and cracked jokes at any given opportunity to the nurses and patients alike. As I tried to sleep I could hear him chatting to the other knee replacement guy opposite me about how he only had an epidural and was awake during his procedure.

“I could hear them sawing my bone and stapling me back together.”

He then spent the next hour or so ringing around his huge family, kids, grandkids, nephews etc. He had a very sweet way of saying “hello” when the person he was calling picked up the phone. It was the kind of ‘hello’ you may expect a dear old cleaning lady to say as she popped in the office to give it a quick Hoover before calling everyone love and discussing Coronation Street.
I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t exactly make out what he looked like. He was a hefty fella though and no mistaking.

After a good snooze I awoke to the sound of the guy opposite my puking and apologising whilst doing so.

“I’m dreadfully sorr---bluuuuuuueeeugh!!! This has never- bleeeeugugh oh I’m so sorry Speeeeeewwwughhh” I awoke feeling much fresher and was offered some tea. This made me feel sick and I got the spins. Despite not feeling hungry I accepted some sandwiches which I ate with my head in my hands, knowing that I must be hungry so this will make me feel better and fighting the sickly feeling in my head and gut.

Thankfully they stopped checking my temperature and blood pressure and they wheeled in the chap who came in with me (the one with the fit girlfriend). He looked very sleepy and didn’t answer many of the inquisitive questions asked by the hefty chap. I chatted to the two other patients and the big chap relayed a dozen or so anecdotes about when he was a copper in the seventies/eighties and the injuries he’s had. Despite my reservations that this man was a twat of the highest order, I was entertained by these stories as was the nurses and other patients.

I felt very comfortable on the bed, and listened to my MP3 player whilst the other patients had their visitors. Despite insisting Lisa didn’t make the arduous trip to Runcorn (From her work this would almost take and hour and a half there and the same back) I wished that some of my friends had offered to drive her there.

Groggy, I watched Gordon Ramsay’s ‘The F Word’, was given more tea, biscuits and drugs. I asked the large and friendly African nurse how I was supposed to take a piss. The nurse drew the curtains and gave me a bottle.
“Can I not walk to the toilet?”
She pointed to the valves and other apparatus coming from underneath my bandage and out from my knee.


After nearly fifteen minutes I finally managed to squeeze some dark yellow urine into the bottle. It smelt funny.

When the nurse collected it she gave it an impressive look and congratulated me.
”If you hadn’t passed any urine we’d have had to have out a catheter on”

“And trust me YOU don’t want THAT!” shouted the big bloke whilst the other knee patient pointed to his and winced.

The pressure was on.

I went to sleep fast.

I awoke to see the nurses switching on the lights above the big patient. ‘Wow! That was one of the best night’s sleep ever’ I thought. I looked at the time and it was 12.30am. Great!

After more blood pressure test I was finally left to sleep until 4.30 when I woke up to the dulcet tones from the snoring of the hefty patient and a full and bursting bladder.

“Don’t think about the catheter, don’t think about the catheter, don’t think about the catheter” I muttered to myself as I tried will much gust to take a piss in the bottle in the dark in my bed. By 5am the bottle was almost full and I was fully awake.

I stayed awake and listened to the loud snoring from the big patient, who when he awoke at 6.30 claimed it didn’t sleep all night.

I was then met by the doc at 7am who told me it was unlikely that I’d be leaving that day. Half and hour later a nurse told me the opposite, and after a bed bath- which I’m glad to say I was allowed to do myself my small Indian physio told me the same.

After the physio session where I was given some crutches, I the had to wait until 7pm to speak to the doctor who was to give me the all clear. It was 10.30am. This time dragged. I spent most of this time trying to sleep but chatting and to a certain degree, bonding with the fellow patients. When I was finally told to piss off home, and wheeled out of the ward on a snazzy looking wheel chair I felt very sad to be saying good bye to these men whom I’d spend so much time with, but never once enquired as to what their name’s where.

The taxi driver who drove us straight home, didn’t say much but had strong B.O and a photo of his kid bluetacked on to his dashboard.

When we got home and up the miles of steep stairs, I tried to make myself comfortable and raised my glass (well my tea- I’ve been booze sine I went in) to the hefty chap and the other guy, who were to remain in the hospital until Sunday at least. 5 days!!!! The Lucky cunts!


Cold War Kids-Hospital Beds

LCD Soundsytem- Never as Tired as When I Wake Up

Noah John- Infirmary

Tiger- I’m in love with RAF Nurse

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