A Hospital Tale
a little oversharing
Potential trigger - mention of prescription drugs in hospital.
Over the years through many hospital stays I have found that in amongst the grim, the disbelief, the pain and the stress, little packets of humour lurk. I have received wonderful care and also some not so good.
Here is one of my hospital tale’s.
When I wrote this it contained swears. I sometimes silently say profanities - occasionally out loud. It has happened a lot recently but rather than be a potty mouth Sweary Mary I shall write 'stop it'. Much sweeter and makes me seem less of a strop.
I have 3 lists in my mind - they are the ‘eh’ and the ‘seen it all’ and the ‘you couldn’t make it up.’ I created a Venn diagram to show that when something crosses over onto all the lists it becomes the centre at the point of, ‘wtf?!’
This story shares an experience that fills the centre. You are welcome to use my Venn diagram in your own life. Let me know how it goes.
I have had years of ongoing debilitating back issues, diagnosed with sacroiliac dysfunction, left side fused, screw into L5 nerve root (not fun), screw removed, donor bone squirted in, right SI fused, heal a bit, hurt a bit, heal a bit, hurt a lot, incorrectly given the diagnosis ‘CRPS’, had injections, pulsed RT, more injections, diagnosis changed to bone issue, then changed to severe nerve damage causing drop foot, spinal cord stimulator in and then out (another time) and permanent disabilities. How long should a list be?
I have had occasional episodes of urinary incontinence relating to pain and this started up again a couple of weeks ago coupled by the ghastliness of faecal soiling and ridiculous pain. This is yuck and scary. I saw my GP and she said to pop along to the hospital.
The orthopaedic doc at the hospital examined me, put his finger in my bum (nothing dodgy. It is to check for numbness and if the muscles are working).
This the conversation that followed:
Doc - do you want to come into hospital for a few days?
Me - no.
Doc - are you managing at home?
Me - yes.
Doc- why not come in?
Me - no thank you.
Doc - if you have a slow developing cauda equina you’ll have to come back. Or, just stay.
Me - thank you for the kind offer but NO.
Doc - you definitely want to go home then?
Me - yes. Please. Can I go now?
Doc - or…
Me - are you saying you think it better if I stay?
Doc - I am responsible so if you go and then have to come back questions will be asked.
Me - of you not me.
Doc - we will look after. You can rest and have nice pills.
Me - I can do that at home.
Doc - yes, but…
Me - are you saying I should come in?
Doc - yes.
Me - okay I will come in but I’m not staying long.
Doc - brilliant I’ll sort it.
This is a shortened version and although it sounds leary in reality it was funny and we were laughing a lot in between me trying to breathe through pain and spasms.
Lovely Nurse appeared, bundled me into a wheelchair, because I didn't want to be moved on the gurney, and took me to the ward. I was given my own room and popped onto a chair. Orthopaedic wards tend to be busy and this one was no exception. I had nothing with me so was supplied with everything up to and including net panties. You probably know of the bags that resemble a bit of net and then stretch in all directions when you put shopping in them… Think same.
Nurse Feelingfine brought me Paracetamol. Stop it! I could take them at home. Two minutes later Morphine arrived. Now we’re talking, fairies here I come.
It all got fuggy after that.
I had cups of tea whenever and enough Morphine to shut me up. They know what patients are like.
In the morning I got told off for sitting on a chair because I was on ‘bed rest’ - didn’t know that was still a thing. I told the doctor I’d like to go home, he smiled sweetly and said, “you can in a few days.”
My actual personal nurse was amazing. Loud, funny, caring and married to a Reverend. What's not to love?
Nurse Iaminchargeofpain visited. She looked at my foot and said, “you know that’s permanent and will get worse!” Stop it! When asked, “what brings you here?” I told her quite colourfully.
She then did the red flag to a bull movement. You know the one. Head slightly to the side, Thatcher voice gearing up and said, “have you spoken to anyone about your psychological state?”
She straightened her head then down it went again, “because you don’t hurt so much if you are happy.”
Stopit. Stopit. Stopit!
Lovely Nurse heard me telepathically and appeared like magic and Nurse Iaminchargeofpain scuttled away.
Then they gave me Diazepam (Valium) and I got fuggy again. They also gave me laxatives because they knew what was coming. Or, rather what wasn’t.
Later in the day I began my mission to escape. I fibbed and said I felt better after the Diazepam and then I got moved into another room with 5 other patients. Definitely on a mission to get home. Been there done that planned the escape.
Anyway, the woman opposite returned from surgery looking very grey, asked for Morphine and then said she needed a cigarette. The ward sister told her she could when the IV had run through. The cannula was in the top of her foot.
A different consultant visited me. Between him and the admitting doctor they confirmed that I have spinal arthritis caused by the natural fusing of 2 vertebrae above the old surgery, permanent nerve damage from the screw incident resulting in drop foot and possibly a slow developing cauda equina.
“Thanks,” I said “but can I go home now?”
“Well...” he started. I tilted my head to the side and breathed in, he blanched and said, “If your nurse is happy and they can do the paperwork today, can sort your meds then yes you can. Or, you can stay.”
I told Lovely Nurse and she said she'd ask Sister who said okay to go but much to do to let someone out and I was welcome to stay. Plus my supper had been ordered.
While they were sorting paperwork and meds the ‘needing a fag’ woman opposite got up, unhooked her nearly empty IV bag and handed it to her bewildered husband, she then put on her trainers. Yes, trainers. She squashed her foot including the cannula with bits attached into it and did up the laces. And, just like that, we find ourselves at the centre of the Venn diagram.
By now I was prodding Mick, “what the hell” I asked, followed by, “I know, not my monkeys”. Sister arrived and took control in a fairly scary way. That’s what Sisters do.
Sister then turned and headed my way. My tummy sank but she smiled sweetly and said, “We are just sorting your meds but we are having a hard time sourcing a doctor to prescribe, a pharmacist to deliver and enough available Diazepam.”
Oh no. I felt caught in a headlight and should have said something but my mouth would not comply. The moment passed.
Half an hour later Sister returned, “Matron is on the mission to sort your meds.”
Matron has better things to do than buzz around the hospital like a fruit fly for a fibber.
I suggested a prescription would suffice. That worked.
They let me go with instructions to rest, do limited physio, take plenty meds and return instantly if all hell let loose in my nether regions. It did, it does.
Round and round and round it goes. Where it stops nobody knows ~ Steve Miller