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Journal entries from a hospital ward Pt1 - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
Journal entries from a hospital ward Pt1
After the Doc saw me - he decided I should go have some tests. I haven't really got any worse, but then I haven't got any better either. He called for an ambulance (no blues n twos, just a hospital bus really) and told me I had 15 minutes to get ready.

After two hours, and arrival of my sister back home, we decided to make our own way to the hospital! This may or may not have been a good idea, the idea that the sooner I was there, the sooner I'd get seen made it tempting to get there by car, but I'm still not sure if I might have been see sooner had I still been in my PJ's and arrived by ambulance.

I had a note from the doctor saying what he thought, plus some details about who I was, how old, and all that jazz. When I arrived at the A&E I went to the arrivals window to be told to go and see the triage nurse. Now I thought they determined what was wrong with you, and whether you needed to see a doctor, something my doctor had already done, so I said so at the arrivals window. No - I had to go and see the triage nurse. I handed the nurse the letter from my Doc. She then proceeded to ask me questions that where already answered in the letter. I pointed this out once or twice in a round about way, but it fell on deaf ears.

I then had to go back to the arrivals window, where they asked me my name and address, things also in the letter, and things I had already told the nurse. I guess it keeps the people there employed!
I was told to wait.

After 4 hours I returned to the window to ask how much longer I had to wait, and if this was just for some tests, could that sort of thing not be booked in advance. The woman behind the window saw this as an insult or something, because after telling me at least a dozen times that we shouldn't be harassing her (I didn't think we was) she told us there was no booking system - this is an emergency ward! I thought that was my point exactly, I wasn't an emergency, so why couldn't I be an appointment, but she just kept repeating we shouldn't hassle her.

By this time, my legs were cold and aching quite badly, so dad decided to harass the triage nurse! We were told that there was only two people in the queue in front of use, and that there had been a lot of emergency cases, and it was a particularly busy day, and a lot of other stuff too, but she did give me a couple of pain killers for my legs.

We waited another 2 hours. Finally a nice looking doctor came out calling my name, and I was led to the children's ward, because there were no beds/cubicles available anywhere else. She gave me a bit of a check up, and took some blood, and told me they expected a "bed" to become available in the A&E ward soon, as things had quietened down now. It was about 11 o'clock! I was also sent for some X-rays, for which I'd have to wear one of those flattering gowns that let your bum hang out at the back.

After I had my X-rays there was just the wait for a bed. My dad and sister finally left me at about 1 o'clock in the morning, and I tried to fall asleep on the chair. Other people have been coming in and out of the A&E ward, but the group that sticks in my mind were the loud and rather obnoxious one who, thinking I was asleep on my chair, commented on the people that shouldn't really be in A&E if they were not in enough pain to keep them awake. If I could have been at home right then I would have been there. Just a moment later a nurse called for me, they'd finally found me somewhere to sleep.

Although that's not quite the good news it pretended to be. It was about 3:30 now, and I was about as tired as I'd ever been. The "bed" was a trolley, about as thin as I am, and not very comfortable at all. This being an A&E ward, A nurse arrived every 2 hours and took my blood pressure, and my temperature, and they took scans of my heart. Sleep was almost impossible.

The other patients in there hardly helped. There was the "poor" woman who had coughed so hard she had popped a rib. She was in some pain, and being very vocal about it. "Give me some more fucking drugs you fucking wankers" - that sort of thing. I overheard a nurse telling her that she couldn't have any more drugs because she was 33 weeks pregnant, and if they give her any more drugs, or stronger drugs, they might damage the baby. "I don't fucking care you bitch - just give me some more drugs" came the reply. I only hope the child is taken from this woman at birth.

Then there was the young child throwing up, and screaming alternately. Turns out he'd drunk a bottle of conditioner (for clothes). His mum had sent him into the kitchen for a drink, and the light was "gone". The kid had mistaken the comfort for a soft drink. The mum was slightly surprised when the nurses asked her at length how else she had tried to kill her child. The night seemed to last forever, and I was more than tired now.

The good part was the tea and toast that came around at 8:00. Well, it was almost good. The tea was disgusting, and the toast was worse, but it was tea and toast!! My sister managed to find me, and brought me some goodies! … I had a book, and some PJ's (I was still wearing the arse showing gown) and some other goodies too.

I had my blood pressure taken again, and my temperature, and then the nice doctor and the specialist came around. The specialist was brisk to the point of rudeness. He prodded me and talked about me like I wasn't there. He asked me how I felt, and when I replied tired, he threw a little fit. At that point I didn't "feel" anything - cos I was too tired to feel anything but tired, but he wasn't happy about that.

About half way through the day I got moved to the observation ward. At least there was real beds there! My bosses wife managed to find me, she passed on my work's concern.

My dad had a little more trouble finding me, as did my sister later that evening. Seems I wasn't where I was supposed to be on the computer. I read for most of the day, and things where beginning to get a tad on the dull side. About 5ish I realised I wasn't going to a proper ward and I desperately wanted to get showered and changed into my proper PJ's. I asked the nurse (a rather camp guy from god alone knows where) who said there was a shower at the end of the room, but it was a bit dodgy. That it was! - The damn thing only just about dribbled enough water to be called a shower, and it wasn't exactly hot! But it was a shower, and finally I was in nice PJ's.

Finally I thought I could have a good nights sleep though! Yeah right. About midnight I was awoken and told I had a bed. At the time I was quite happy with the bed I was in! It was about half twelve/quarter to 1 by the time I got to the ward where my bed was. The trip through the cold corridors had woken me up proper and I had difficulties getting back to sleep again. The guy in the bed next to me was an insomniac, and wanted to chat, the guy next to him farted loudly all night, and the guy opposite him had the loudest snore I've ever heard! I finally got to sleep about 3:30 ish, and was woken up at 7 by a nurse who needed to take my temperature.

Doreen (my bosses wife) managed to find me again, which was more than my doctor could. The computer was behind again, and was showing I was in observation still. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon my doctor caught up with me. Seems I was a bit of a mystery! After some more questions, and the suggestion of more tests, she left me.

I read a bit more of my book. It was a good one, "The Bear and The Dragon", a Clancy. Just as well because I was getting very bored very quickly! Flirting with a couple of the nurses managed to pass a little of the time.

The other "guests" in the ward were dropping like flies. The ones that go in the night are subtle, but during the day, you'll be told to go to your bed, and they'll draw all the curtains, then when they draw them back, there'll be an empty bed. It doesn't take much to work out what has gone on! The insomniac guy in the bed next to me was getting out the preferred way. His doctor had given him the OK to go home. He'd known since the previous evening that this might be the case. All he had to do was wait for the pharmacy to make up his pills. He was still waiting at 7 o'clock that evening, but he did finally get to go home.

My new neighbour wasn't going to be much in the way of fun. He was on oxygen and looked terrible, almost grey. He only survived until the following morning, when we had the "all curtains drawn" drill again. My new neighbour is a young kid. He had just had his appendix removed, and was feeling a bit sore for the experience. His folks where very strange, every time they came to see him (which was most of the day!) they'd draw the curtains around him. This effectively cut me off from the rest of the ward, with the exception of the old guy directly in front of me. It was a tad annoying, and it's just as well I'm not claustrophobic! At least he should survive to leave the place. A couple of real characters also seem to be filling the ward.

Lights out was at about 11:00 and I slept through till about 5:00 when I woke up in a pool of sweat. It was a tad cold! I called a nurse, who gave me a couple paracetamol, but did nothing about my bed! I sat in the chair beside it, wrapped a blanket around me, and fell asleep till about 7:00. Sleeping in a chair doesn't really work, and I felt all the worse for it.

My sister arrived in the early afternoon with clean PJ's, and I felt brave enough to tackle the showers! In the "gents" one of the cubicles had been converted into a shower unit. It wasn't exactly warm in there, so I was shivering by the time I'd stripped off and was in the shower unit. I turned it on, and was covered in freezing water! Using my face towel to protect me from the spray, I turned the dial to the hottest it would go.

About 5 minutes passed, and I thought there was no hot water when the shower finally did start to warm up. It didn't stop warming up either, and before long it was very hot. I had turned dial to the coldest it would go and that didn't seem to be making the slightest bit of difference. Eventually, before the water began to remove the skin off my back, the water started to cool again. I have worked out there must be a pipe ¼ of a mile long between the dial and the shower head. After the shower and a change of night clothes I felt a little better!

Just after my shower, and I mean just, a guy turns up to ultra sound my heart. So he proceeds to squirt nasty goo all over my chest. Makes you glad to have a shower! OK - seems I have a heart after all! By now I'm coming real close to the end of my book. The third world war has broken out, and the Chinese have launched nuclear missiles at Washington, and I haven't got anything else to read! I had pointed this out to dad at lunchtime, so he was off buying me books for the following day!

The next morning I wake in a smaller pool of sweat - so things are getting better I guess. The Consultant comes to see me. He was quite pleasant and informs me he hasn't a clue what's wrong with me. They seem to know a lot of things I haven't got - but not what I have. There will be more tests and I will be here till at least Sunday. So I text my sister and get her to bring my PC in. There is no way I'll be able to survive without going stir crazy without a PC.

Dad arrives with two Harry Potter books, I have been promising myself for ages to read them, just as I finish the Clancy. Excellent timing! My doctor has decided that I need to be bled at least once a day, I could clearly over hear him tell a nurse I need to be "stuck" as soon as my temperature changes! My sis turns up at the end of the day with my PC. This is just as well as I've already finished one of the harry potter books! It was good, but very much a child's book, and very easy to read. It had taken me little more that 3-4 hours to read. At least my PC will keep occupied, I have about a dozen games on it.

The guy on the opposite side at the end (diagonally opposite me) is a real cracker. He disappears every hour or so for a walk and a smoke. He orders "steak and chips" on the menu every day (but gets the same stuff as the rest of us) and asks for Guinness or spirits from the tea lady. He seems to have a horror story for every occasion! I decide to play Age of empires all evening.

The following morning is still a damp and cold experience, and I really didn't want to wake up. I get bled early and the "character" at the end is describing the worse blood tests he's every given. Even the nurse was disturbed! I read some more of the second harry potter book. The morning was slow, but dad turned up just before lunch. He has some extra bits for my PC, better head phones, and a proper mouse so I should be able to whip the computers arse at age of empires even better now!! He asks how I'm doing with the new book, and I tell him I've finished the first one, and nearly half read the second! He's a bit worried, but I tell him I should be fine playing on my PC from now.

When he leaves I write a little program in basic to calculate prime numbers (I needed such a program a while back) and that seems to work well. It takes my little laptop about a minute to work out the first 6500 odd primes. It then runs out of memory. Basic is not the best programming language for memory management. I read the rest the Harry Potter book just before my sister turned up with Bianca. Dinner arrived, and my sister and niece left.

After my meal I played a The Age of Kings. As usual I managed to trounce it again. New computer games are needed. About 9:30ish I felt tired. The young kid next to me has been sent home and his replacement is an old deaf guy. Everyone shouts at him, and it's beginning to annoy! The worst was during the night. I woke up 3 times to the sound of him rattling his bed to attract a nurses attention. When they whisper "what's up" he replies "what?" until the nurses are shouting too. I think earplugs are a good idea!

I'm woken up at 7:30 on Sunday. Seems there's no lie-in day. After breakfast, I go take a shower. I think I have the temperature gauge worked out now! After my shower I feel totally drained. And I'm sweating like a pig again. The morning passes very slowly, so I install a Pool game onto my laptop. This passes the time better and before I know it's lunchtime.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Timebandits!

11 comments or Leave a comment
From: kissingserpents Date: November 21st, 2001 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

feel better, james!
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: November 23rd, 2001 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
~{*~{*~{*~{* huggles *}~*}~*}~*}~

thanks dear ...
I feel better and better every day ...


tweezlebum From: tweezlebum Date: November 21st, 2001 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
<giggles> Sounds like you had a lovely time. Don't do it again, yeah? ;) <skotl>
dissolved_girl From: dissolved_girl Date: November 21st, 2001 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
visions of that *ass showing gown* have me in tears dear lolol hilarious account but aww am glad it's over for you get well soon huh :D >hugsya
brightspot From: brightspot Date: November 21st, 2001 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

*deep sigh*

Dear God...if I was ever thankful for anything in my life, it is now that we do not have a government subsidized health care system. I don't care if they charge me 3,000.00 to have a baby...at least I have my own room and a proper shower. Jeezus.

*hugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggs James tight* I hope it's getting better, darlin'. I'm worried about ya...we all are. Love ya, sweetheart.
From: lildevlit Date: November 21st, 2001 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Jesus Christ!


what kind of backward medical facility are they running there??? to say I am not pleased would be a gross understatement *tblth*

Thankfully your home now where at least you can finally get some much needed rest, take it easy m'dear. Your in m'prayers

*moves you to the states* Ha!
cham From: cham Date: November 23rd, 2001 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
my god old church are a nightmare... i went there cos i was having chest pains and i could hardly breathe about this time last year... anyways we got there at like 8pm and i didn't get an ECG until about 4am... then it took them another two hours to get back to me to tell me that they couldn't find anything wrong and told me to wait... another doc came an hour later gave me pain killers and told me that i had to go home and see how it went... it's a complete joke there... if i'm ever in need of emergency care i'm gonna tell them to take me to london and i don't care if i might die cos it takes longer to get there...

anyways as you're out now i guess me and matt can't come and visit u?
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: November 23rd, 2001 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
It would have been fun if you'd visited - the pair of you would have shocked the shit out of all the old ladies at the other end of my ward ! :-D

Their A&E is hopelessly outdated and underfunded. It's criminal its been left like it has.

blaisey From: blaisey Date: November 23rd, 2001 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I must say, that was the funniest live journal entry i have ever read. I can imagine it wasnt too funny for you though.

Shame you cant come to the meet this saturday =(

Glad to hear your out now =)

paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: November 23rd, 2001 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I might be there yet ....
toyota27 From: toyota27 Date: November 25th, 2001 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)


I had just bought a Harry Potter book, but after reading that lot, my reading for the year is complete. I will save my book for next year! :)

Glad you are home matey :)
11 comments or Leave a comment