scribbles tagged ‘healthcare’

tumourtuous

Sunday, October 5th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

My brain tumour is actually quite big, but it hasn’t got any bigger

I nearly fell off my barstool the first time mum mentioned her brain tumour. She talks of her brain scans last year, before dad died. Holding her fingers and thumbs together to demonstrate the circumference of the tumour. Golfball. Is she exaggerating? I hope so. I can hear the Doctors jargon seeping into her story and marvel at her ability to act the story

It’s not where it will affect my eyesight. She closes her eyes

It will affect my balance if it grows. She lifts her left leg and holds her ankle behind her back demonstrating her good balance.

No surgery for mum, mum thinks this is because she’s old, may recover slowly, and brain surgery is expensive. She doesn’t sound too put-out. She sounds pleased – to have avoided surgery. I can empathise with this.


what do you think of that »

calm in a storm

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

My bed is a wreck.

2 days of lemsip enabled battling with my bed sheets before I regained post-flu levels of physical and mental calm.  Without Sampo’s sturdy and steadfast body to weigh down the bedding it’s much more likely to find the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the staircase…..

The 6 earrings that I never remove were neatly paired and placed on my bedside table. Apparently, in the middle of the storm I decided to remove and place them in an ordered sensible fashion. I don’t recall doing this, or have insight into why I would do this.  Were the studs weighing me down during some essential battle with some imagined foe of my fever? They’re back in place now.

Full steam ahead…

 

 

 


2 bits of fabulous banter »

thumbscrews or guillotine?

Monday, April 8th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

MumThe constant nausea and depression as side effects of drugs to keep you alive, or high risk of death by a stroke at anytime?

Dilemmas faced by the elderly are far beyond difficult

I phone Mumsie regularly, try to visit at weekends if I find that she will welcome a visit. She’s beginning to prefer to be alone, finding reasons to send dad out of the house.

You can hear so much more than what is said in a mother’s voice.  In the last 2 months mum’s has changed dramatically from fluid bubbly chatter through a slow jerky rap to a slower monotonous drone.

The doctor took her off the drug that was depressing her and replaced it with Aspirin.

I want her to be happy, this gift is sometimes easy with little things like a family afternoon sleep-over.

 


2 bits of fabulous banter »

morning after pills

Saturday, April 6th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

DadOne of the breakfast rituals that has evolved at mum and dad’s home is loading-up their daily pill portions to ensure they take the right pills at the right times and can be confident that they haven’t misremembered taking them.

This is dad’s personal container after it’s been loaded. He knows what each pill is for, what it’s called and has a system for the pill-case division. He proudly talks me through it’s contents while mum chips in occasionally with a cheerful ‘I take that one too“. They go on to compare their different pill regimes for me, why mum takes aspirin to thin her blood while dad takes warfarin, pronounced by dad as “wool for in”.

We’re competing for who takes the most, different, pills

They’re like a couple of kiddies comparing toy collections. I smile and tease them about the drug names. The size and mix of drugs in this daily dose to keep an 80 year old on track for longer life surprised me.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

cheating elbow and pinkie

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

using my pinky to leverage the glasspinky in position to leverage the glassMy physiotherapist pointed out that moving my elbow to complete some of the physio excersizes was actually “cheating”.

No cheating allowed.

I’ve since noticed that I’ve developed a whole range of little movement cheats to compensate for a slightly rigid wrist. For example, notice how the upper line of the thumb and back of the hand (from the wrist) hasn’t moved in these two photographs – yet the tilt of the glass has changed.  I can mimic gintly tilting a stemmed wine glass by moving it with my little pinkie.

Can you see the offending digit in action?

tut tut!

 


2 bits of fabulous banter »

behavioural and biscuits

Friday, October 12th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Or what I’ve found out about Huntley and Palmers so far:

Joseph Huntley and his son Thomas opened a biscuit shop at 72 London street, Reading, in 1822. As Quakers, the Huntleys believed in honesty, self-discipline and hard work. They used high quality ingredients and sold their cakes and biscuits at a fair price – passing on savings to the customer rather than accumulating unnecessary wealth. I like their approach.

Prudential HeadquartersIn 1846 the firm purchased a factory on Kings Road for £1,800. The factory was positioned on an island site between the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon canal. It had a floor space of 5,000 square feet and was spread over an area of half an acre. The Island is currently the home of the Prudential’s headquarters.

In 1850 the working week for men was 58½ hours – 6.30am to 6.30pm.  In 1872 the working week for men was reduced to 54 hours, the same as for women. By 1918 it had been reduced to 48 hours. Huntley and Palmers employed about 10% of the whole Reading town workforce, 5,409 workers by 1918

From 1855 Saturday evening entertainments were held to keep people out of the public houses. A Mutual Improvement Society was started and all employees over 16 could use the library on payment of 1d per week. Weekly lectures were also organised during the winter months.

By 1860 Huntly and Palmers employed 500 staff who produced 3,200 tons of biscuits per year.  In 1861 the average weekly wage was 16s 9d for men and 8s 8d for women and girls. By 1894 this had risen to 20s 1d for men and 9s 3d for women and girls.

Between 1851 and 1901 the population of Reading increased from 22,000 to 72,000. Attracted by the jobs, migration from the countryside was playing an increasing role in the growth of towns across the country. Reading expanded its boundaries in 1887 to include Newtown, the Wokingham Road area beyond Cemetery Junction, and part of Tilehurst. It had the largest population of all the towns in the county and was the only one big enough to achieve county borough status in 1889

Huntley and PalmerIn July 1855 they arranged a boat Thames trips for about 200 employess and families to Park Place near Henley. In 1857 the firms first outing was organised when the employees went by special train to Crystal Palace. From then on every alternate year an excursion took place, until 1868 the sheer number of 3,000 employees made factory excursions impossible. In 1898 the Recreation Club was founded by George Palmer who had bought 49 acres of land (now Palmers Park) to provide sports facilities. The company provided all the equipment for cricket, football, hockey, quoits, bowls, tennis and athletics.

Palmer's park in Newtown - still used for football tournaments and more!By 1873 the company had become the largest biscuit producer in the world

The company enforced a behavioural code for its staff.  Fines for misbehaviour were paid into a Sick Fund box. The Fund was a scheme set up in 1849 to benefit employees or their families who had experienced a death or serious illness. Employees contributed sixpence a week, and received 12 shillings a week benefit during illness. This was before there was any form of national health scheme

Employees who had completed over 50 years service received a non-contributory pension. By the early twentieth century a pension fund had been set up but only men were allowed to join.

The Acacias (London Rd)In 1906 George Palmer’s son, Alfred, presented the college with the site in London Road which included The Acacias, his fathers former home. This became the University Library.

The decline of the companies fortunes can be aligned with many changing environmental and social conditions and coincided with the changing moral values of the family owners from Quaker to Anglican. The link may not be causal… I’d like to know more about the decline.

In 1975 the factory provided the location for the bar scenes in the Hollywood movie ‘Bugsy Malone’ with Jodie Foster and Scott Baio.

Production ceased at Reading in 1976

Good sources on Huntley and Palmers history


4 bits of fabulous banter »

victoriana

Thursday, October 4th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

Sick Note From RBHThe UK provides “Statutory Sick Pay” SSP to provide people who are temporarily unemployed (up to 28 weeks per annum) due to ill health with an income – becuase employers are not required to pay them while they are ill. Small and medium sized businesses cannot afford to give thier employees the benefit of normal pay during illness.

The standard weekly rate for SSP is £85.85 a week. Try living on that!  My weekly living costs, even without work related travel are substantially more than £85.85 per week.

My sick note is for 4 weeks off work from the date of the operation, 5 weeks after the accident. If I took that time I would have to live-off my savings. I started working again before my savings were touched.

I can’t afford to be sick


5 bits of fabulous banter »

it’s just a twist to the right

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Physio Excercises

12noon 7th September

18 days after surgery Jess walked me through my exercise regime – to be repeated once an hour for 15 minutes. That’s intense, almost no room to do anything else!

  1. Lie forearm on a table. Keep the elbow still and roll forearm left then right as far as it will go.
  2. Move thumb across the palm then away from the palm – as far as it will go.
  3. Move each finger back as far as it will go and hold for 20 seconds.
  4. Curl all fingers  into a grip position – squeeze a foam ball
  5. Move hand from wrist – backwards and forwards, side to side, as far as it will go.

Massage the skin around he scar with a good moisturizer to encourage healing and blood flow.

It feels like a ritual, casting a spell…


4 bits of fabulous banter »

No, No, No….Yes

Sunday, September 30th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Repeat 3 times:

me: Hello, my name is Wendy House. On Wednesday 29th August during my appointment at the fracture clinic the Dr told me that I would have my first physiotherapy session next week, which is this week. The receptionist told me that I would recive a letter with the appointment time – I haven’t recived a letter and I’d like to check what time my appointment is.

I’ll forward you to the [name] department.

Reach the Physiotherapy department and eventually get a good result:Physio

They shouldn’t tell you to phone us.

me: They didn’t. They said I’d get a letter, and I haven’t so I decided to phone you.

They shouldn’t have said that – we don’t send out letters.

You’re not on my system. Hang on while I look at these files.

Oh! you’re right on the top with a note to phone you and make a direct appointment – broken arm. It will take some time to enter all this data but I can make the appointment now. Will 11.40 on Thursday suit you?

me: Yes. Do I go to the same place as before? The fracture clinic on Floor 2.

No!  Go to physiotherapy.

me: So I’ll walk in the main entrance and ask reception to point me to physiotherapy?

No! They could send you anywhere. Are you driving?

me: (giggles) No, I’m on foot

Go to accident and emergency, stand at the entrance facing the main car park and we’re on you’re left

me: Thankyou


5 bits of fabulous banter »

that’s neat

Friday, September 28th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Wrist - stitches removed4pm 28th August: 6 inch scar revealed

10 days since the operation, with my arm in a cast, I returned to the Fracture Clinic for my first follow-up appointment. The statuesque painted blonde nurse admires the neatness of my scar and stitches as she removes the cast. The petite naturelle orthopeadic physiotherapist also compliments the neat scar that’s healing well.

Is that all you can move it?

It hurts quite a lot….

The physiotherapist demonstrated a regime of daily exercises.  Our schedule involves weekly physio check-up sessions and an overall progress check in mid October. After explaining this she just stood up and left the room.

I sat there in silence for a while, It was a wierd segue. Was this the end of the session? Was she coming back? Was someone-else coming in? Should I leave now? The statuesque painted blonde nurse wandered in and gave me a ‘sick note’ for my employer – so they can claim my Statutary Sick Pay.

Do I leave now? Will the appointment times be sent to me?

Go to reception, they’ll sort the appointments

The young receptionist was flustered. She couldn’t work out how to book my Physio appointments. I was the 3rd patient this afternoon that had asked them to arrange this type of appointment….

The patient behind me in the line laughed:

I used to work at this hospital, there’s a 2 week waiting list for a physio appointment, you wont get one next week!

The young receptionist looked bewildered, earnestly asking me:

Do YOU work at the hospital?

No. I’m just a patient. The blonde nurse sent me here when I asked if the appointments would be sent to me.

Oh, if you don’t mind waiting I’ll go and ask them

Thankyou, I don’t mind waiting at all

She smiled, her wonderfully humble and respectful way added a little joy to this otherwise dour place.


4 bits of fabulous banter »

out of Theatre

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

6pm (ish)  18th August *

Hospital WalkwayI can’t be sure of the time when I came round. I wasn’t screaming. A nurse noticed me gain consciousness, she was prepared with my request for a pain killer

This is the equivalent of drinking a bottle of Vodka, but it doesn’t taste as nice

A porter wheeled me back to the ward where I greeted my fellow patients and happily climbed back into bed 26. As I started to snuggledown ready for a drug-enhanced dreamy sleep

Stout Agency Nurse walked over with a big smile:

You can go home now

Instant tears. She pulled the curtain around my bed as I spouted all the reasons that I felt that I couldnt go home now:

  • I wasn’t stable –  I could hardly stand up!
  • I would have to use public transport which the patient guide recommended that I should not do (no lift arranged until tomorrow)
  • there is noone at home to look after me for the critical 24hrs after the surgery.

She told me that I had misunderstood. Naughty me misunderstanding while I’m drugged-up. She wasn’t sending me home right now. I asked her to leave me alone, which thankfully she did.

Then I climbed out of bed, opened the curtains to my neighbouring patients who were all real sweeties gently teasing me about this and that.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

finding the Theatre

Monday, September 24th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

3.30pm 18th August

The stout nurse bought over 2 of those ‘operation gowns’ – knee-length, short-sleave baggy jackets with small ties. She asked me to wear one with the ties at the back and one over the top with the ties at the front.

Where are your ID tags?

I ‘ve never been given any

You must have ID tags

She wandered off and returned with 2 plastic strips showing my name and date of birth, attached one around my good wrist and the other on my ankle. Strange dresses and plastic wristbands?  Just like going to a festival!

We’re walking to the operation Theatre? Should I wear my sandals?

Stout nurse grabbed my arm and used this, unnecessary, technique to steer me down the corridor towards the Ward’s reception desk. At the reception desk she confirmed the name and route to the operating Theatre. I didn’t take notes. As we walked the hospital corridors where other people were fully dressed stout nurse explained that she was an agency nurse so she didn’t know her way around this hospital.

We got lost.

Stout agency nurse asked directions and we found the right set of swipe-card operated doubledoors. The nurse told me that she had meant to borrow a swipecard from the ward reception, but forgot.

I started crying.

Are you in pain?

A flood of words burst through my tears about how disconcerting it was when you have to walk in a silly dress amongst fully clothed people, how scarey it is to have surgery, and how getting lost then being locked out of the operating theatre just adds to a general level of distress.

You’re not in pain?

Normal pain for a broken and dislocated tibia

She didn’t understand. I put some effort into quelling the tears, wiping my face on the sleeve of the operating theatre gown. A lady’s face appeared in the round window of the secure doors. She wore green and a little hat. Her body-posture inspired confidence.

The anesthetists assisstant greeted us. She looked me in the eye as she told me her name, her role and started explaining what was going to happen. I gave the agency nurse my sandals as I climbed onto the operating table. I told her about the times before that I’d had a general anasthetic and how I was scared of waking-up screaming in pain like my last operation. The last thing I remember before waking up was her reassurance that I wouldn’t wake-up screaming in pain….


5 bits of fabulous banter »

the sound of sadness

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

9pm 17th August: check-in

Friday night on a Trauma ward was set against a background chorus of quiet crying, distressed mumbling and snoring. A blanket of private sadnesses reverberating through the ward.

Royal Berkshire Hospital

The lady at Ward reception wasn’t expecting a patient to checkin. She went off to find someone who might know about me. A 2 inch thick folder of patient notes lay on the reception table facing me. I read my name on the cover. Mainly empty forms, no X-Rays, no notes, a couple of interesting letters from my GP. The lady returned.

Bed 26, follow me

The silver haired patient in bed 24, opposite, smiled and nodded in a silent welcoming way.


4 bits of fabulous banter »

I’ve got a date, approximately

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

2pm 16th August: Hospital check-in arranged

Patient informationAfter nearly 5hrs witing at the RBH fracture clinic a young lady wearing a white jacket and stethoscope tells me what’s going on. Hooray!

There’s a hand and wrist specialist surgeon on duty covering Accident & Emergency over the weekend. Since the operation will be tricky they want a specialist to do it so they’re going to book me a bed in the Trauma ward for the weekend and the specialist will operate on me inbetween the accidents coming-in.

So, hospital checkin on the 17th August after 7pm.

Meanwhile, I provide Pre-op information to a nurse in another building. The nurse gives me a large glossie brochure about coming into hospital.

Don’t you just want to climb onto that trolley?  So welcoming…


4 bits of fabulous banter »

quite serious

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

12.30pm 16th August

colourful fingersAfter the X-Rays I retrurned to my normal status of main corridor fire hazard. A nurse came out from the back rooms, moved a child off a chair and sat me down in that chair.

The consultant has seen your X-Ray’s, he thinks they are quite serious and you need an operation. He’s called our hand and wrist specialist who agrees. So please wait here.

As she leaves I start crying.  I’m not sure if it’s because:

  • of the relief that RBH have actually considered my injury.
  • a nurse has been nice to me – rather than treat me as an inconvenient object.
  • reaffirmation that my injury is quite serious – I’m scared of surgery.
  • I’m developing a bad habit – cry way too easily.

Luckily this time I’ve been accompanied by two large monogrammed white (mens) Hankeys that can handle the waterfall


5 bits of fabulous banter »

incompatible systems

Friday, September 14th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

12noon 16th August

my broken wrist before surgery Wrist in plaster of parisnurse: you must go to X-Ray

wendy: have they seen the X-Rays from Worthing?

nurse: the consultant wants so see today’s X-Ray

wendy: ok

Waiting outside the X-Ray room I chat with a shy Welsh man on crutches. He’s holding a CD from Pontypridd.

Were you on Holiday in Wales?

No, visiting my daughter who lives there now

He explains that the Reading hospital system can’t view his CD copies of his X-Rays, so he’s having the X-Ray’s done again. I suspect the same is true for me, but my nurse was focussed on what can and should happen rather than what doesn’t work.

The CD contains an executible file for a small program that views the X-Rays and enables them to be exported into standard file formats. It was easy to view on my PC. I suspect RBH’s system prevents users from being able to run exectuibles from CDs – for security reasons.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

standing-on-crutches-room only at the fracture clinic

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

handwritten sign11am 16th August

A nurse announces that the clinics for 2 specific doctors are running 90 minutes late and 2 hours late. I have no idea which Doctor I’m seeing, no paper appointment.

Another nurse moves the people with fractures out of the main corridor to allow hospital traffic to pass. She explains to us that standing in the corridor is a fire risk.

I’m the only person with a fractured arm, everyone ese has an injury to thier legs. Standing on crutches in the main hospital corridor.

I grin at the man who has a mini plaster cast on his toe. He looks suitably embarressed.


what do you think of that »

you’re not on OUR lists

Monday, September 10th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Transferring "PID"4pm 15th August: RBH are not expecting me.

I wandered to the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) to

  • find out where I needed to go.
  • personally doublecheck tomorrows appointment time.
  • hand-over my Worthing Hospital CD of notes and X-rays.

The Royal Berkshire Fracture Clinic weren’t expecting me.  They had no appointment booked and no record of a phonecall about me. They didn’t want my CD to check my notes in advance of the non-existent appointment. I felt betrayed by Worthing hospital not having clearly established the appointment with RBH.

The RBH Fracture clinic reception staff were not happy at my turning-up, unannounced. They tutted and huffed at the inconvenience. I quietly cried. They ignored my tears making it easier to let those tears flow.

They double-booked me into the a clinic on the morning of the 16th.


5 bits of fabulous banter »

leaving Worthing

Saturday, September 8th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

1pm 14th August

Worthing hosppital gave me a CD with my data on it. They told me this includes notes and X-Ray. I was to carry this information to the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) in Reading town. Apparantly, human hand delivery is more secure and reliable than using a cloud based system or encrypted email….

I was impressed that the two hospitals use compatible healthcare software so they can share electronic data. This assumption was wrong. I thought I was being transferred.  This assumption was also wrong. I was told that the RBH fracture clinic was expecting me at 8am on the August 16th. Guess what? Sigh…

view from Worthing PierTime to catch a few busses and a few trains…

When you’ve got a broken arm everything takes longer and people are more able to offer help… an elderly gentleman helped me to carry my small bag onto a bus.

 8pm 14th August: Arriving in Reading

Home with my cuddly kitty, fresh bed linen, and tea on tap. A wonderful sense of relief.

A long journey in less than 2 days and more to come…

 


7 bits of fabulous banter »

missing drugs chart

Thursday, September 6th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

PJs12noon 14th August

ward nurse: I can’t find your drug chart, you don’t seem to have a drug chart!

She looked flustered

wendy: I’ve made a note of what drugs I’ve been given and the times they were given to me, if that helps?

The nurse looked more relieved as I read my notes to her. The Worthing hospital team never found my drugs chart. From what I’ve seen of their documentation it omits many key details and is frequently inaccurate – for example the name of my GP is wrong and I repeatedly pointed this out. They normally replied by telling me it was actually accurate on some other document that I hadn’t seen. As if getting the information right on one document makes it ok to have it wrong on this one. This is frighteningly poor reasoning for people that are looking after my health.

When I was let out from Worthing the junior doctor (F2) said that I didn’t have a drugs chart because when I was admitted (reported to reception of the A&E) I’d said that I wasn’t

  • normally taking any drugs
  • allergic to any drugs

I was impressed by how this explanation actually implicitly blamed me for the fact that while in hospital, where they gave me drugs, no-one bothered to keep a written track record of what drugs I’d been given, in what doses, and at what times. Their blazé (not our fault) attitude to their behaviour that produced a major patient safety risk was quite Flabberghasting!


6 bits of fabulous banter »

Consultant ward rounds

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

8am 14th August

A flock of Doctors swoop into the ward and bounce from bed to bed with the senior Doctor asking the more junior doctors for thier opinions and quizzing the patient.

By listening to thier garbling I managed to find out that:

  • I need surgery.
  • Worthing will not be able to operate on me before Thursday and most likely after that depending on what other emergencies arrive.
  • Worthing want me to go to my local Hospital (Royal Berkshire) because it’s more convenient. I cried, I felt like I was merely being shifted off thier lists…to start again on another list…
  • Doing the paper work to let me physically leave the hospital takes 5 hours.

 


6 bits of fabulous banter »

getting a bed

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

A&E entrancemidnight 13th/14th August

By midnight I’m tired, in pain, lonely, nowhere to go, no book to read and with the prospect of 10 more hours of this.

Barely holding back the tears of temporary, pure, sadness.

I’ll feel better after a good sleep. I’m a talented sleeper. I can sleep almost anywhere. I lay my jacket on the floor against the wall in a quieter part of A&E, then gently lay myself on top of it and started drifting into much needed sleep.

This action removed my invisibility-to-hospital-staff cloak. Staff started waking me up to ask me what was happening.

I don’t know….

mumbled between my tears

Within 10 minutes they’d moved me to a ward and a bed.


4 bits of fabulous banter »

Australian surgeon pulls my arm

Friday, August 31st, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

8pm 13th August

The unnamed Australian is about to go off shift.

He explains that I need an operation to ‘pin’ the arm. It’s a tricky operation and he wants a good night’s sleep before doing it. They’ll be keeping me in over night for “Obs”, but there are no beds available so I’ll have to stay in the A&E waiting room.

Broken arm. Dead cell-phone. I wonder what more the night holds.

The surgeon injected some drug into the fracture before pulling my arm to ‘reduce’ the misalignment of the broken pieces.

It hurt a lot.

I screamed a bit.

He gave me a lovely hug, just like a parent with a hurt child. That moment of thoughtful kindness was wonderful and helped keep my spirits from crashing dramatically across the next 4 hours. Instead they slowly spiralled downwards


7 bits of fabulous banter »

X-Rays

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

6.30pm 13th August

Doctors are easiest to recognise because they mainly wear a stethoscope around their neck. None of the staff  introduced themselves – no name, no role. They’ve done away with these useful basics. They occassionally use my name to call me out of the increasingly amorphous queue in the waiting area.

Staff were all wearing different uniforms, I don’t know what the different colours and styles mean. Maybe I don’t need to know, maybe the uniforms are for the staff to know who they are, not for the patients. I saw:

  • White tops with collars
  • Light-blue tops with collars
  • Royal blue tops with collars
  • Green jump-suits
  • Blue jump-suits
  • Pink Jump-suits

Things changed slightly after my 6.30pm X-Rays. I became the “Smiths Fracture“. I could evesdrop on the staff talking amongst themselves about me- the fracture.


what do you think of that »

Triage: 2 paracetamol and one ibuprofen orally

Monday, August 27th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

4.30pm 13th August

After two and a half hours waiting – Triage was disappointingly short. The nurse asked exactly the same questions as the paramedic. Both people wrote copious notes on everything I said. This felt reassuring, more scribblers!

2 hours after triage a young female in one of the many hospital uniforms asked me to tell her what had happened. She also took notes and aked familiar questions.

I started crying.

Are you in pain?

Just normal broken arm pain, I’m crying because I’m upset and don’t know what’s happening.

Do you want some pain killers?

No, I just had some at 4.30pm, thanks, I’d like to know what’s happening (blub)

Everyones’ notes were on paper, on different clip boards. The notes never seemed to get collated, read, or used. I was beginning to get the impression that different specialists weren’t sharing inormation terribly well.


5 bits of fabulous banter »

Worthing A&E

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

2.00pm 13th August

Do people have to wait hours for ambulances?  I felt a little bit guilty about an ambulance being called because I didn’t need any ambulance-fancy equipment or go-faster Sirens.

I persuaded the young paramedic to take me to Worthing A&E, less that 5 minutes drive away, even without sirens. Standing-room only in the waiting room, good job the curb hadn’t attacked my legs!

Facebook confirmed that my relatives are not shy about liking that I have broken my arm despite the clear social convention to avoid liking such things. The Brit’s normally start thier comments with an empathetic variation on “Ouch!” and the USA people go straight in with the positive get well wishes.

It was so good to feel the waves of empathy and positivism…

facebook photograph of broken arm


8 bits of fabulous banter »

5mg morphine intravenously

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

1.30pm 13th August

That’s a very neat catheter

Morphine didn’t kill the pain, Morphine meant I no longer cared about the pain.

The paramedic talked about his early career as we waited for the ambulace. He looked all of 25 years old. His early career had been in London. The people weren’t polite, he’d started to ‘burn out’ and get ‘cynical’. Here, on the south coast, people are polite and friendly. As if on cue, an old man from a nearby house offered us tea and biscuits.


5 bits of fabulous banter »

accidental tourist

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

1.00pm 13th August

Riding along, following my instructor, I drove too fast into a bend and ended up punching the curb. Not a good move.

A conscientious paramedic was on the scene within 10 minutes followed by 2 police cars because this was a Road Traffic Accident (RTA).

The police apologised for breathalising me. I was being way too sensible to be drunk. Not even a hint of last night’s glass of wine was hanging around.

Instructor: you should call your partner, get ‘em to pick you up from the hospital

wendy: I’m on holiday alone, I don’t have a partner and my family all live on the west coast, so there’s no-one nearby to call. I’ll be able to find a bus to get me out of hospital


8 bits of fabulous banter »

when your life’s in a mess

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Take the National Express

I used to enjoy the long distance bus rides when I was a student. A National treasure, so cheap and comfortable and everything the Divine Comedy says…. I must find an excuse to use them again.

Though cheerful, the setting of this video felt a bit spooky given my recent hospital visits:


what do you think of that »

beep beep machines

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

The Beep Beep MachineThe ACCU (Adult Critical Care Unit) was full of Beeping, flashing, colourful, dynamic machines. Gadget heaven. The nurses were all very modest about their ability to read and use these fancy computers.

This is Tiger’s very own beep-beep machine. The yellow light at the top-right changes colour from green through yellow and finally to red when any of the meters plugged into Tiger measure something out of acceptable ranges. As we watched the beep-beep machine Tiger gradually learned how to make his vital signs move from yellow to green. Awesome!

The nurses could gather an impression of the patients status just by listening to the beeps. They could tell which machine, patient, from the direction of the sound and quickly check the lights and displays visually for confirmation. All very imrpessive

Unfortunately the noise keeps Tiger awake… and the songs of all the machines on the ward are sending Tiger messages. He thinks they are saying more, and more sinister, things than patients vital signs

I found the noise rather hypnotic, strangely calming. It was easy to imagine professional dancers swirling and leaping through the isles, coordinating their movements to the beep-beeps. My imagination is more kind to me than Tiger’s is to him


2 bits of fabulous banter »