Wednesday, 20 April 2016


As I carried the tea upstairs this morning, I had a sudden yen for a couple of rashers and a fried egg.

"You must be feeling better," commented the Old Bat when I told her.

"Not sure about better," I replied, "but certainly hungrier."

It has been an interesting couple of weeks.  A very pleasant break in France was marred only by me coughing for about 50% of the six hour drive from the Loire to Calais.  I had been coughing sporadically for about three weeks when I went to the doctor before our trip.  He was fairly certain that I was suffering from the bug that was going around, although I tried to convince him otherwise.  Reluctant to prescribe antibiotics, he suggested that I leave matters a week or two and return if things didn't improve.

But to cut to the chase, a further visit to the doc brought antibiotics, but two days later I was so much worse that a home visit by the doc brought an ambulance to take me to hospital.  There they pumped me so full of oxygen and Ventolin that I should have been bumping against the ceiling!  Yesterday was my first full day at home but I am amazed how weak I still am.

This was my first spell in hospital for almost 70 years so it has really been a novel experience for me.  I was not merely impressed but completely humbled by the care and devotion demonstrated by nurses working 12 or 13 hour shifts.  I was in a ward divided into bays of six beds.  At first I was in a bay where the six patients were tended to by two nurses and a health care assistant (which is, I think, the current title).  After a while I was moved into a different bay where the patients needed a lower level of care - one nurse and an HCA to the six beds.

But I was puzzled by the fact that any moves from one ward to another or one bay in the ward to another had to be conducted in the dead of night.  Fairly soon after arriving at A&E, I was put in a bay the resuscitation unit.  At 3.00am, I was moved from there to Bay C of the acute medical unit.  And there I stayed until 3.00am the next morning, when I was woken up to be told that I was being moved to Bay E!  The next move - to Bay F, a one-bed goping-home-soon bay, was at a slightly better time, although again I was woken to be told I was being moved.

"But you don't have to get out of bed - and you can have a cup of tea first," I was told.

All slightly bizarre, but made almost enjoyable but the nurses and HCAs from Swaziland, Ireland, eastern Europe, the Philippines and elsewhere.  Charming boys and girls, every one.


Sarah said...

So sorry to hear you have been so unwell BP (I had wondered where you were). I hope you soon regain your strength, hopefully we will have a little sun to help you recover.

Our health care system is amazing isn't it? My Mum is in hospital at the moment having broken her ankle and knee in a fall and I am SO impressed with the care she is being given. They really can't do enough for her and the staff are endlessly cheerful despite long hours and always make time to chat and reassure us.

Sharon said...

I too have been worried about you and the OB because you have not been updating the blog. Good wishes and prayers for your recovery from across the pond.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

All I can do is echo the comments above.
Glad you're on the mend.
Please continue.
There's a certain irony that the quote of the day is:
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
from the American baseball star, Mickey Mantle.