Two Weeks and One Day in Hospital

(Not that I was counting!)

Waking up the next morning after my eventful night with the leaking stoma bag, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I wasn’t keen on looking at my stomach and so kept the blanket firmly over my tummy.

A visit from Dr West, the surgeon, during the morning rounds confirmed that the operation had gone well was welcome news and I laid back in bed contemplating what had happened in the last 24 hours.

It was a female ward and the lady opposite quickly made herself known to me and introduced herself as Christine and I thanked her for her help during the night in getting the nurse’s attention.

My course of treatment was basically antibiotics to heal the tumour which were administered through a cannula. Well, so began my love/hate relationship with cannulas, so much so that I ended up with bruises all over my hands and arms in the many attempts to get a needle in.

I was allowed a beef broth and ice cream for lunch and tea, which the beef froth I became a little addicted to, which was just as well as that was all I was allowed to drink for another few days.

There were still Covid regulations being followed so I was only allowed one visitor for an hour a day, which was obviously Phil on most days, but during my stay I did have a couple of visits from my daughter, Amy, and two friends came for a visit which definitely broke up the monotony.

A stay in hospital if you’re not in particular pain can be very boring, but you do get used to the routine of hospital life. You learn what time they wake you up to take your blood pressure: 6:00 AM, breakfast is served at 7:00 AM and the doctors do their rounds at 8:00 AM. Drug run is after that and then not too much goes on unless you have a particular professional coming to speak to you. Lunch is at 12:00 AM and then visitors can come after 2:00 PM. Dinner at 5:00 PM and then the night drug run starts at around 8:00 PM.

I had to have antibiotics three times a day and it was a time I became to dread because it wasn’t given by a drip but by a pump and because the cannula I had used a small valve it blew it out and I would then be in unbelievable pain. I must have had a new cannula every day with the same result until I begged that they give me the antibiotics orally, which I was told was not feasible.

I got myself into a state, crying and saying that I couldn’t do it any longer, when the matron turned up. She gave me a hug and asked if she could try, I shrugged and said, “You can have a go if you want to.” Well, she found a vein straight away and this cannula stayed in until I left hospital, I was a very happy patient!

Halfway through my hospital stay I moved to a lower dependency ward, although at first I wasn’t happy as I liked where I was, it ended up being much nicer.

There is a standing joke between our friends that Phil knows somebody wherever we are. It even happened a year ago, we were walking along a dock in Barbados to board a cruise ship when we hear someone call out his name – it was an ex-police officer who was now working on security on board!

Well, you can guess where this is going – there was a new lady who joined our ward and as soon as Phil walked into the ward, he said hello to her. She works in one of the units which Phil is in charge of! It was nice to have somebody to talk to, we shared our stories and gave words of encouragement when feeling a bit down. It was quite sad for me when she was discharged, but I was very pleased for her!

There were also some characters on the ward, one who decided to discharge herself the day after she had had her operation, got dressed and simply left the ward. Another one who had nightmares and hallucinations during the night and every morning asked me if I had heard the ghosts in the corridor… I didn’t.

Ghostly picture…

All the time I was painfully aware that Christmas was approaching and I definitely didn’t want to be in hospital during that time. So it was a huge relief when I was eventually discharged on 22nd December, 2022, I was going to see my family at Christmas!!

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