Monday, 10 May 2010

Day 55 – The plastic man

Monday 2nd November 2009

Around 3am I buzzed for a bed pan. The bank auxiliary nurse came into my room.
“What do you want”, she asked.
“Can I have a pan please”, I replied.
“Why do you need one”, she said, “you can walk, can’t you”.
I was not a happy bunny, “Yes I can walk, a little”, I replied, “however it’s much easier on a night time if I have a pan. You gave all the men a bottle last night, even though they can walk better than me. Why can’t I have one”.
She huffed, then went to get the bed pan – no doubt one from the freezer !!!

When the senior nightshift nurse handed over to the dayshift staff, she mentioned that Kermit had prescribed some cortisone cream for my allergy to the drainage bag. Susamma said she couldn’t understand why this was needed as the drainage bag she used was fine. Tracey agreed, and said there didn’t appear to be anything wrong with the dressing when she last looked at it. The last time they both looked at my dressing was last Monday. It had been changed several times since then…

Both myself and Mary made a complaint about the relief weekend domestic cleaner. I called her ‘speedy’ or ‘smiler’ as she wasn’t either of those things !!! Our rooms are supposed to be cleaned every day, yet all ‘speedy’ did was bring us cups of tea. Both of our rooms were filthy. The ward loos, which had to be cleaned three times a day, hadn’t been cleaned since Friday evening so they too were disgusting. The domestic services manager had a look at both our rooms, and the loos, and was appalled at the state of them. She assured us that ‘speedy’ would never work on the ward again.

Kermit called into see me and was impressed that my wound had kept dry. I asked him when the plastic man would be coming to see me.
“Has he not been”, he asked.
“No”, I said.
He was not amused.

Had a good chat with Michael, who was in side room one. He was originally in the men’s ward but they moved him into side room one that morning. He had called into see me yesterday evening, but was only there for a couple of minutes as he was called away for his IV antibiotics. Michael explained that having had severe problems with his left leg, he had just had it amputated. His wound wasn’t healing properly so he was to have a washout tomorrow.

One of the nurses had just brought me my lunch – jacket potatoes, beef burger, without a bun, and tin spaghetti (yes, it was revolting….) – when there was a knock at my door.
“Mrs Harper”, said the man.
“Yes”, I replied.
He held out his hand, “I’m the registrar plastic surgeon. Pleased to meet you”.
He noticed I was having lunch, “I can see I’m disturbing your lunch so I’ll come back a little later”.
“No”, I said, “please stay”.
“Ok, but on one condition”, he replied, “that you continue eating your lunch”.
I looked down at my place, “that might be easier said than done…”, I said.

He apologised for no one coming to see me on Friday. The referral which Kermit had sent had got lost. It would seem that Kermit had words with them as soon as he had seen me that morning.

We had a long chat. He wasn’t convinced that the redness on my hip was caused by an allergy. He thought it was due to a build up of fluid in the hip cavity.

“That’s not what I wanted to hear”, I said, “how come though, as soon as the bag was removed, the redness went down. Plus when the skin is pressed it’s not solid”.
He couldn’t explain why but he was sticking to his fluid theory.
I asked him about Kermit’s plan to have some muscle put into the hip cavity.
“You’ve been through such a lot these past seven weeks”, he said, “you don’t need any more surgery at the moment. Let Mother Nature do what she does best and heal your wound”.
“Happy with that”, I smiled.

When I was in Mary’s room, Sister Clarke came looking for me.
“What did plastics say”, she asked, “as he hasn’t written anything in your notes – which he’s supposed to – and Mr Green wants to know”.
I told her what he had said.

Had a long chat with Michael after evening visitors had left as he was really worried about his washout.
“You’ll only be in the woodshed for about half an hour”, I said, trying to set his mind at rest.
He looked puzzled, “what’s the woodshed”.
“It’s what I call theatre”, I said, “as it makes it sound less clinical. I’ve even got Mr Green saying it now”.
“I like the sound of that”, replied Michael, “I think I’ll use it. Where did you get the name woodshed from”.
“I heard it mentioned once on Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, I said, “the mayor said if he caught any vampires feeding against his wishes, he would take them down to the woodshed. It sort of fitted theatre perfectly”.

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