Sunday, 12 February 2012

Yes nurse, that is a potato peeler on my bedside table and yes, I do need it.

All the nurses are laughing at me 'cos I am in hospital with a potato peeler on my bedside table.
Of course I've got potato peeler by my bed.
Why? I would have thought it was bleedin' obvious?
Hospital sandwiches are lean, mean machines. No trimmings.
A ham sandwich is a ham sandwich.
I need cucumber in my sandwich, so Paul brings me cucumber (and a bonus of some nice cherry tomatoes).
You need my cucumber to go in the fridge (Health &Safety regulations).
Your fridge is too cold (H&S regs), so my cucumber freezes.
I need to peel frozen skin off my cucumber to put in my ham sandwich.
Your knives are all blunt (H&S so I don't injure or kill myself?).
Paul brings me in sharp knife from home.
You promptly confiscate said sharp knife (H&S regs). Paul brings me in potato peeler.
Simples? No? Let me say it again in one sentence:
Peeler on my bedside table, to peel frozen cucumber, in your too cold fridge, 'cos your knives are all blunt and you confiscated my sharp knife.
Not funny now, is it?

Just got to figure out how to slice the damn peeled cucumber.
Wonder if they allow razor blades.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Moi? TV junkie? Whatever gave you that idea?

WARNING - terribly boring story ahead - not really worthy of a blog, but too damn long for Facebook

I'm turning into a right TV junkie, planning my evening's viewing every afternoon. Watching far too much crap and every quiz show under the sun (in the misguided hope that I'll learn something; gloating when I get more questions right than the contestant).
I'm still reserving my afternoons for listening to the radio, so maybe I'm a radio addict as well. Mornings? They're just too action packed to watch or listen to anything. You know the sort of thing - medications, obs (I know the medical lingo, I learnt it watching Casualty), doctor's rounds, bed bath, change sheets, and much much more. Strangely, the NHS can afford to give us clean sheets every single day, which must cost quite a lot when you add up the laundry costs of the 350 patients in this hospital.

But I'm ashamed to confess to inwardly cursing various poor unsuspecting family members or friends who dare to visit me during one of 'my programmes'! They've taken an hour and a half driving up here to see me (often in rush hour and then on dark unfamiliar country roads), brought me fresh food and the odd sweet treat and what do I do? I'll tell you - I silently sigh. I do, I silently sigh.
How utterley ungrateful is that? I'd go so far as to say reprehensible.

Don't get me wrong, I love them all and treasure their visits to keep me sane (and fed), but really, how very inconsiderate to come right in the middle of Masterchef, One Born Every Minute, Room 101 or whatever I happen to be watching.

Hello lovely people, don't you have a TV guide? Couldn't you come during Match of the Day or Alan Titchmarsh something or other.
Only kidding (ish)- you're all keeping me sane in this hell hole.

So on tonight's menu:
Egypt - Children of the Revolution
Safari Vet School (I'll watch anything with ponies, puppies or panthers)
Room 101 (annoyingly clashing with Mastermind - no recording facilities here). I'm rather fond of this totally pointless programme and loved the one the other week with Danny Baker. Tonight it's Alice Cooper, Chris Tarrant and Chris Packham. Hmmm, could be good. Or not.
Law and Order: UK
Eastenders (sorry Tiff),
Graham Norton
Chris Moyles Quiz Show on 4+1 (clashes with Graham Norton)

That takes me from 7pm to 12.30am when I'll try and get to sleep listening to a nice mellow playlist.

Oops, must go now, I've already missed the start of my first programme.
By the way, if you're thinking of visiting, can I remind you that I'm busy till past midnight!

Told you I've become a TV junkie.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

I will sleep

Nights can be long and lonely in hospital. Sleep comes easy to the other patients; but me - I'm lying here, my mind racing at a hundred miles an hour. I want to sleep. I'm afraid to sleep. Ive been having some medical complications tonight, so I'm wide awake and scared. I crave sleep but I've also been having a recurring nightmare where I turn over in bed and my head rolls off my body, off the bed spinning towards the floor. But it never reaches the floor; it spins and turns in an endless spiral until I wake up gasping for breath and my heart pounding.
So I reach for my iPod and headphones and drown myself in goodness and recognise the immense power of music. So tonight, thank you Mr Springsteen for Thunder Road and Jersey Girl, thank you Steve Miller for Dear Mary, thank you Danny Baker for reminding me about Fleetwood Mac's beautiful and haunting Man of the World. And thank you Simone Felice (Duke and the King) for writing songs like One More American Song, If You Ever Get Famous and Union Street; your talent is immeasurable.

Tonight, you're all on my playlist carrying me to serenity, calm and slumber.
I will sleep. I will dream good dreams.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

'Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma'

"Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma."

I'd consider myself a fairly compassionate person. But right now I want to tell her to shut the fuck up and go to sleep.

The ward I'm in has six beds; two rows of three, opposite each other. I've got a prime position next to the window, which not only means I get the most light, see the sunrise and am closest to fresh air when the windows are open (believe me, that's vital here, I'll explain another time), but I also get extra storage place for all my crap on the window sill.

Next to me is Kima, who is from Hong Kong, doesn't speak a lot of English and is quite poorly, so we don't communicate much. She borrows my super duper remote control fan sometimes and thanks me, but that's about it. The bed next to Kima is occupied, but too far away from me to know who's in it. But she's quiet, whoever she is.

On the other side, furthest away from me, by the door is Annabel and I'll tell you about her another day. The bed opposite me is empty and between that and Annabel, is Sarah.

Now compassionate me has every sympathy for Sarah; she has learning difficulties and doesn't really understand what's happening to her or why she's here. But right now, I just want to give her a huge dose of anything that'll knock her out. And I mean anything.

She just constantly calls for the last nurse who attended her. Constantly means non-stop, I'm not kidding. She remembers every nurse's name. Tonight it's Emma. As soon as Emma has made her comfortable and leaves the ward it goes something like this:
"Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Shut up you. Emma, Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Shut up".

I can't really do it justice, she works up to a crescendo then has about a ten second break and then starts again. Goes on all day and into the night. Whilst the nurses are great with her and sympathetic to us who have to live with it, once they leave the ward, they can't hear her from the nurses station or other parts of the ward. So it may be half an hour, sometimes an hour before they come back in.

Oh and another thing, soon as they turn the ward lights out around 11pm, she wants her little bedside wall spotlight on - all fucking night. But she wants it pointing outwards, so it's not shining in her eyes. Good thinking Sarah, why not turn it around so it's shining straight into my eyes all night. I put a stop to that, quick smart.

Anyway, soon as the nurse comes to her, she stops calling out, so my theory is that if a nurse sat with her for fifteen minutes, she'd fall asleep and we'd all get some peace. But they have about 20 other patients to look after, so I doubt that's going to happen. So on she drones. And on. I've tried earplugs and putting headphones on with loud music, but still I hear her. It's like I'm tuned it to her, just like I was when my kids were babies and I heard the first little whimper they might make in the night.
I'm fucking tuned in to Sarah's ranting. And I'm here for another two weeks.

I need to sleep - it's getting on for 1am and they wake you up between 5.30 and 6am, even on the weekend. I'm torn between my compassionate side and wanting to rip her bloody lungs out. At this precise moment compassionate is going out the window, which I'm convenient close to. Just STFU.

OMG - she's gone quiet at last (ten minutes after writing that last sentence) - Emma's just came and told me they've given her a painkiller (which makes you drowsy) and a sleeping pill.

So I'm off to get my five and a half hours (if I'm lucky). That is, unless Kima's drip machine doesn't go on the blink again and start bleeping constantly.... you know the dripping tap one.