Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day 16 - The day after

Thursday 24th September 2009

I never got much sleep during the night. My left knee was still hurting and so too now was my hip. In the bed opposite was a man who was having trouble breathing. He kept coughing, moaning and swearing all night.

I didn’t fancy any breakfast but was persuaded to have some toast and jam. I ate a couple of slices of toast but I wasn’t really that hungry.

The man in the bed opposite me was now swearing like a trouper. Whilst the nightshift nurses took no notice, the dayshift staff didn’t as he was now swearing at them. He was told in no uncertain terms to watch his mouth – “I don’t care how ill you are, you will not speak to me like that” snapped one of the staff nurses. In her position I would have done the same.

Now that he couldn’t swear he was getting more and more agitated. Just before lunch they had to sedate him as he would not calm down.

There was quite a commotion going on as they tried to sedate him. I missed it as one of the anaesthetists was performing a minor operation on my central line. He was going to remove four of the lines as they were deemed unnecessary. I felt like swearing myself as even though the area was numbed with a local anaesthetic, it was still quite painful.

By the time the anaesthetist had finished working on my central line it was past lunchtime. It didn’t bother me as I wasn’t hungry but it did the staff so I was forced to have a ham sandwich. You would think it was impossible to spoil something as simple as a ham sandwich, but the catering department had found a way. It was horrible !!!

I was told that I would be going back onto the normal ward as soon as they could find a porter to take me there.

Instead of going back to ward 43, they were sending me to ward 44. I was a bit disappointed as I had got to know the day staff quite well and it was a nice ward.

Shortly after my mam had been allowed onto the ward to see me, the porter came to take me to ward 44. It took four people and a pathslide (a shiny white board used to slide patients from one bed to another) to move me as I was in too much pain to move across myself.

My side room in ward 44 wasn’t as nice as the one I had in ward 43. It was much smaller, didn’t have it’s own loo and wasn’t as clean as ward 43 (behind my locker was a large collection of dust and debris which looked like it had been there for quite some time…). On the plus side though it was right opposite the nurses station, with a window overlooking it and the ward corridor, so I didn’t feel as isolated as I was in ward 43.

The nurses seemed friendly enough, though they came across as being a bit more stricter than ward 43. Christa, a staff nurse from Germany, wasn’t happy with the way the nurses from ICU had tried to make my left knee comfortable.
“You cannot make someone comfortable by using a blanket”, she said as she removed the blanket which had been supporting my knee, “I will show you a better way”.
She took four pillows and arranged two of them in a ‘v’ shape behind my back then laid the other two over the top of the ‘v’.
“There”, she said, “better”.
“Yes”’ I replied, “it was”.

One of the registrar doctors came to see me. Her name was Zara. She came across as quite abrupt and didn’t seem to have much of a bedside manner. I hoped I didn’t have much to do with her.

Christa came back again and had with her a small bottle.
“The dietician is concerned that you are not eating enough so you have been prescribed these high calorie, multivitamin drinks. You are to have them twice a day”.
“If they gave me some decent food”, I said looking at the ‘orange’ flavoured drink, “I’ll eat it”.
I took a sip of the drink. It was just like a milk shake. I hate milk shakes !!!!

“There are other flavours you can have”, said Christa, “we’ve got strawberry, vanilla, lemon or fruit of the forest”.
“Can I try lemon the next time”, I said.

It was just as bad…

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