Saturday, 12 June 2010

Ramblings From a Misspent Week.

I am starting to swear less and last week's trauma is beginning to fade away. So I decided to record my thoughts, not necessarily in chronological order regarding a somewhat unusual experience, at least for me. (See previous post.)
Aren't ambulances a surprisingly bumpy ride. I swear my old Mosvich had better springing. And aren't A and E (Accident and Emergency) places high tech. I couldn't believe all those individuals sitting in front of computer screens. What a contrast from the old style places you went into to be put back together when you (me) were unceremoniously dumped off your motor bike all those years ago. I was slow on the uptake regarding what was going off in general; nothing new there then. The hospital is massive (five floors) and I had become part of the system. I progressed from A and E to was it Triage and thence M and something or other. I had no idea as to what floor I was occupying at any one time. Being seemingly labelled 'Nil by Mouth' for ever more was not amusing; neither was being hooked up to machines that were repetitiously noisier than the Indesit washing machine my wife was given as a wedding present in 1970. Plus it bleeped incessantly, presumably no one else could hear it. (I gave it a good push once to distance it from myself. I forgot I was attached to it!)
Make no mistake, the NHS could not operate without its workers from overseas, Queens English or no Queen's English. But should I really have smiled when an enquiry as to whether a patient had slippers was misinterpreted as to whether a patient has syphilis. But the thing that struck me most was the sheer surreal nature of the whole experience.
You are no longer in control of yourself. You are seemingly in control of nothing. Everything is done for you, by others. I couldn't get over the feeling of lack of personal control. ( At one stage I was within minutes of being 'released' until a doctor decided otherwise.) The programme 'The Prisoner' constantly visited my consciousness yet I am not really conversant with the programme at all. I was never in any physical pain, just a constant overwhelming feeling of no longer being here, being 'me'. Talk about 'a journey round one's head'. I have never 'thought thoughts' so much for many a year. For the first time since leaving college in 1974 I recalled Descartes 'I think, therefore I am.' How bizarre is that. I didn't 'get religion' during my brief stay. but I did get a much better idea of my sheer unimportance in the big wide world. Long overdue some may say.
Met some remarkable people; took away some interesting memories. Where else but a NHS hospital would you meet a Buddist, (named Bewan if I remember right) who visits patients in A and E every Tuesday and Thursday. What a lovely, lovely smile you had. And where else would you be led via the hand by security when you were hopelessly lost having wandered from the ward in a moment of supreme boredom on night three or was it four. (I'm not senile chaps, just a silly old septuagenarian with no sense of direction.) And not learning too fast either. Did exactly the same in the local Westfields Shopping Centre. Come to think of it, perhaps senility beckons after all.
A strange week, and do you know something, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. We must do it again. How about in another thirty years time.

18 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Glad to read you are on the upwards side of your escapade, hospitals are another world unto themselves.
Hope you continue to get better, and back to your old self quickly !

VioletSky said...

Lordy. I missed all the excitement!
I am so glad you are better.
And that you came out of all this with some good stories to tell.

liZZie said...

Hello GOK! I'm pleased to find you're out of hospital and on the mend. I am confused - were you transported from Somerset to Derby? I laughed a lot over the vision of slippers/a STD. Take cafre.

Shammickite said...

I've just spent the best part of a week visiting my little grandson in hospital, and I have to agree, hospitals are a very strange place to be. But the people who run them are wonderful people... all except that GP who diagnosed your ear infection.

slommler said...

Yes! A hospital stay is very surreal! You become one with the system. Very strange indeed.
Glad you are feeling better and are home!!
Be well and hugs
SueAnn

A Heron's View said...

Hello Ken,
Very sorry to read that you haven't been well and hope that you are now on the mend.
I concur with what you say about hospitals, the loss of having no say about what They
want to do - annoys the hell out of me.
So I make an escape when possible ! Very hard to do when wired to a gadget and difficult when getting on buses too :)
Take care.

Kath said...

So glad you are back Uncle Ken and on the mend.

Helsie said...

Sorry you've not been well and glad you are now OK. Occasions like that give a bit of a jolt don't they?
Hope they found the cuase of that low blood count so it can be remedied and not happen again.
Cheers
Helen

Frogdancer said...

Glad to see that you're feeling better.

Frogdancer said...

Glad to see that you're feeling better.

Jennyta said...

A surreal experience indeed, Ken. Glad to see you are back on the way up. Take care.

Dumdad said...

I haven't been round to your blog for a while and this is what you get up to behind my back! Sorry to hear you've been in the wars but it certainly gave you some good copy, as we journos say.

Keep on blogging!

Freda said...

Glad you are on the mend now. The whole hospital experience is one I would rather miss out on for a while. It has taken long enough for me to get settled on current meds. Hope you continue to improve and thanks for sharing the story about the slippers. Made my day.

Troy said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend. Can't have you slurring your speech when shouting at football games - they'll throw you out for being intoxicated!
Being in hospital is a surreal experience - as you say, totally beyond one's control and so much jargon spoken between the health professionals.
And having slippers is better than that alternative but its also confusing when they shout out "we've got a goner 'ere".

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Missed why you were in hospital but glad to see you are well enough to be home again. Hope you keep well. Good to know you kept your sense of humour! A

BeckyG said...

It's good to see you back, Ken, and yes, hospitals are very surreal places, aren't they? A weird world where you have to give yourself up at the door. I'm glad you seem to have managed to 're-find' yourself on release though. Let's hope you don't have to repeat the experience too soon though. Becky.

Nota Bene said...

Glad you are back...it must be a strange experience not being on control....

Lakeland Jo said...

Your description of hospital rings many bells with me Ken. Sorry to hear you have been in the wars so to speak. Hugs X