Back to hospital stuff now. Sorry to all that are squeamish.
My first night on the ward is hellish. For a start, it’s too hot. I can’t sleep. Nurse James gallantly tries to sort the air-con out and eventually it cools enough to allow me to sleep, a little.
The following morning I am able to assess my surroundings and my fellow detainees, who have also been responsible for keeping me awake for most of the night.
Opposite me is a man I have heard being told he can go home; he reacts badly to this news and refuses to go.
To my left is a chap who I never see; he is in for some rather unpleasant and invasive bowel cancer related surgery and he insists on keeping the curtain between us drawn. I have no objection to this. One less person to be irritated by.
Diagonally opposite is an Irish guy. He seems to have nothing wrong with him. He keeps getting up and wandering around. He is surrounded by a massive stockpile of drinks and chocolate which makes me think that he knows something I don’t and a No Deal scenario has already happened. I wonder why he is even here.
As the day progresses, the Irish guy attracts a large ensemble of friends and family. At one point he is taken away somewhere, and his entourage goes with him. I snooze, and wake to hear what sounds like a fight kicking off amongst them. This seems to have been fuelled by him being (saying he had been) told he can go home but the staff not being kept in the loop. He calls someone, and soon, he is gone. A calm settles over the ward.
James appears at my bedside.
“You’re moving,” he informs me.
“Awww, are we not to have another night of you fumbling with my genitals?” I ask.
Soon, I am being wheeled from my bay, into the service lift and up to a different floor. I’m deposited into a corner of a new ward; there is nobody to my left but opposite me is a chap clearly in some discomfort, next to him is a man who already looks dead but has a visitor sitting chatting to him as if he hasn’t noticed.
A male nurse comes over and introduces himself; he is Kenneth and it transpires that it’s his last night of service on this ward. Although it’s unspoken, it’s clear that he would really rather I was no bother to him. I have no issue with complying.
I feel a little bit of heartburn/acid reflux coming on. It’s something I get every now and then, and so I know how to treat it. I call Kenneth, and explain the problem, asking for a Rennie or some other antacid/milk of magnesia solution.
“I’ll ask the pharmacist,” is the response I get. Of course, I realise, before anything is administered, they have to seek approval. I lay back and wait.
But it gets worse. I call the nurse again and ask where we are with the antacid tablet. Kenneth tells me he has asked the pharmacist, and he will chase them up.
Five minutes later, and I’m suddenly aware that something is going to be coming up if I don’t get some medication quickly. I call the nurse again, and tell them I’m going to be sick if I don’t get something quickly. I’m provided with several cardboard recepticles to be sick into. Courteous to the very end, I oblige, vomiting into each one and setting each filled one on to my table, until I have no more to fill.
At which point, the projectile vomiting starts; I remember hitting one (already filled) cardboard tray, knocking it over, my sick spattering all over the floor and wall. It was quite spectacular.
The nursing team all rushed over to me, but by now it’s too late; I’m throwing up like Linda Blair in The Excorcist, jets of black liquid shooting wherever I point my face.
The nurses begin mopping up my expelled detritus, and a decision to move me to my own room is made. As my bed is wheeled from the ward I shout a “sorry if I disturbed you” apology to my ward-mates, whilst also trying to tell the nurses that I’m not normally this much bother, honest.
Several hours later, the sickness subsides, and I realise that the palaver I’ve caused has inadvertently acted in my favour – I now have my own room, where I remain for the rest of my stay in hospital. Result!