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Saturday, 28 March 2015

An evening at the theatre

All sorts is happening here. This an open ward where curtains are drawn round each bed during visits by medics, but every word can still be heard. One guy is having something shoved up his nose down into his stomach to induce vomiting I think. They've had several attempts accompanied by awful tear jerking- splutter-wretching-choking and I think on one occasion he threatened to bale out and go home.

There is another guy who I think may be homeless who has hurt his elbow. He is quite articulate and intelligent but with some kind of mental problem. He has had a long mobile conversation with somebody from the Mafia who seems to be chasing him for money and he is cursing and shouting expletives in a loud and vicious tirade. Homeless tries to challenge everything with a strange false logic, even trying to re-negotiate the composition of the sandwich offered at great length, and the exact specification for his tea.

Just overheard elsewhere:

"Do you want us to give you an enema"

Reply, "no I'm alright"

Another 80 odd year old is a professional Yorkshireman addressing the ward staff in a series of commands with a loud rude irritable military style, "...get this emptied ", do this this do that and then occasionally breaking into a little song - all questions are challenged, "do you want to get up?" In a loud and narky reply, "in what way?"

This kind of thing is going on non-stop at the moment from the two odd-balls. One often hears the cliché "like a pantomime" and I elect to use it here because it is such an accurate description - the more rational of us are commenting on the unbelievable entertainment, and the ward staff seem to be seeing the humorous side of things whilst skilfully retaining their professionalism.

Homeless has now decided to discharge himself against the very strong advice from the senior ward nurse. I had decided to make my first walk to the lavatory, but to my consternation I saw Homeless advancing in that direction, so had a longer walk to the one at the other end of the ward. There was no way I was going in there straight after him.

The ward staff have been exemplary with their tact and patience in dealing with these difficult people. The job is hard enough without all this, full marks to them.

A strange aspect is that during the long afternoon visiting period everybody behaved themselves.

Just heard, "your glasses have lost a lens, did you know that?"


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

11 comments:

Gayle said...

Fabulous post. I take it as a sign that you're feeling less grotty this evening.

Hope the 'entertainment' calms down before sleep-time.

The Crow said...

Yes, it is a good post, very reassuring that you haven't lost your wonderful sense of humor. You're more alert than I would have expected for someone hardly one day post-op.

Must be all those walks you take, kept you strong.

John J said...

Splendid stuff, you seem to be recovering well!
JJ

afootinthehills said...

A terrific post.You have a gift Conrad.

Best wishes for a very speedy recovery.

Gibson and Lynne







gimmer said...

'that's show business'

that is both amazing - and sobering:
you couldn't make it up!
hats off to the staff - what a job to have to put up with that for a career.

Roderick Robinson said...

Wow, your life is an ever-changing tapestry. Except that tapestries don't change, do they; the sort of remark that is the equivalent of someone clearing their throat prior to saying something predictable. I'm sorry about about the appendix which I have to confess sounds anachronistic; only young people have one, surely. Could it be due to an excess of toast?

Be careful of assuming you belong to the more rational part of the ward population; long walks are not necessarily proof of sanity. Perhaps your disinclination to a share a toilet seat previously used by someone with odd modes of expression (and therefore, by definition, a Daily Express reader - aged circulation dying off and not being replaced) may go some way towards your rehabilitation.

Did you know Brian Sharp had his appendix out? Do you remember Brian Sharp? Lived in a house just behind the flat roof of the garage at the bottom of Sherborne Road. Pale and wan he was condemned to several weeks convalescence with all forms of movement forbidden. None of that namby-pamby treatment nowadays. Forty-eight hours of "pobs" and you'll be fit enough to invade the Falklands, thereby rescuting the Cameron administration from oblivion.

I apologise for not learning of your problems earlier. I've had some of my own, all conveniently described in The Problem Of Pain by C. S Lewis, also author of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. So that's all three of us embattled, as if we were trying to escape PE with Mr Eagleton.

Not a good time to read Thomas Mann.

Cheers. Here's to your better health.

bowlandclimber said...

Amazing. 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' comes to mind. Don't stay there any longer than you have to.

mike M said...

Hope you continue on the mend...and hope you don't need an "NG" tube run to your stomach. They are uncomfortable in place, but having one inserted while conscious can be excruciating.

welshpaddler said...

Just catching up with blogs. Sorry to hear about your health problems and hope you'll soon be back on the hills.

Wonder what the other patients have been saying about you!

AlanR said...

Nothing like a hospital ward to see life at its most surreal. Sorry to read of your op. hope you are home soon.

Sir Hugh said...

All -thanks for your comments and good wishes. It was almost worth it to get the material for that post.