Monday, June 28th 2010


I didn’t manage to get much sleep last night and was woken up at a very uncivilised hour (at least for me) by the rattle of breakfast trolleys. A very pleasant young nurse called Amy fed me my breakfast of porridge. I’m actually doing them a kindness here because to me it tasted more like wallpaper paste. Welcome to hospital food!

I had quite a few visitors from the healthcare side today. First up was a visit from Lara (my palliative care doctor) and Rachel (my social care manager) to find out how I was doing and tell me what was going to happen. We talked about getting some ceiling tracks fitted upstairs and increasing my care package. I’m finding out that there is a certain advantage to being in hospital as a consequence of a failure to look after me in my own home. At least this way requests which previously might not have happened now carry extra weight. Chris (my OT from Primary Care) dropped by a little later to discuss additional equipment I was going to need, such as a significantly improved glide about commodes chair that would offer greater support and comfort. And in the early evening I was visited by my neurologist, who I had not seen since last year. We talked about my general health condition and he got me to perform some simple breathing exercises from which he remarked that my diaphragm was still pretty good but my chest muscles were weakening.

Apart from all the meetings today there wasn’t anything I could actually do apart from people watch. Glancing around I noticed that most of them were wearing similar peach coloured pyjamas. I wondered if this was in case they tried to make a break for it and got as far as the town centre. At least then they would stick out in the crowd and could be rounded up, placed in the back of an unmarked van and returned. The guy next to me (the same one who last night kept me awake with his impersonation of a wild boar) who clearly had some cognitive issues, had a penchant for walking around half naked in string Y-fronts and trying to leave the hospital via the main entrance (trust me when I say that’s not what you want greeting you at the front door). I lost track of the number of times that the nurses had to intercept him before he made it as far as the lifts. Over in the far corner was a man with hair as white as snow. He had a big smile on his face, but then he would have; he was getting out today whilst I was still stuck here… with Y fronts man.

They put me on a nebuliser today. Three times in fact! Basically you wear a face mask (much like an F-16 fighter pilot) which is attached to a small canister of saline solution. A (rather noisy) pump then atomises the solution which you inhale for about 10 minutes. Apparently it’s used to prevent the buildup of secretions on the lungs. As well as this I was also subjected to having an injection in my stomach which I believe was to prevent blood clots forming. Both of these procedures were precautionary measures to combat the effects of lack of mobility although I wonder what will happen when I am back home and still cannot move around much, if at all.

I did get one piece of good news today from Rachel who returned later to say that she had provisionally booked me a bed that had just become available at the hospice and would I like to be transferred there instead? Let me see now, stay and watch another parade of Zimmer frames and almost naked old men, or be well looked after in an environment more suited to my needs. And (bonus) I’ll be allowed to have my own team of carers with me. Tough choice!

Before I sign off today and would like to express my gratitude to all the staff who looked after me. Everyone was very kind, considerate and polite and did their best to make me comfortable.


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