Tuesday 30 October 2018

The end of the tunnel

A friend in Spain asked me to describe my life in hospital. You might find it interesting. You might not!
I can see the end of this tunnel now and hope to be home in ten days / two weeks. I have now been in hospital for 6 weeks and such a long stay has an interesting effect on you. You become ‘institutionalised’. By that I mean you construct ways of getting through the days and weeks. In my case I walk 30 ward rounds each day, a corridor that encircles all the rooms on my ward. 150 paces, so I divide it into three blocks of ten. 10 early in the morning, 10 in the afternoon and 10 in the evening. I plan the first at soon after 7am which means I walk past the breakfast caterer as she is preparing her trolley. This means I get given an extra early morning cup of tea! It also means I get known for this activity with the result that the doctors have stopped insisting I have the anti-coagulant injection at 5 pm. A sharp stab in the stomach which I hated. Of course the hospital have their routines. Drip-feed drugs fed to my arm feed every four hours, night and day. Blood pressure and temperature every 4 hours, Echocardiogram at 6 am every morning - and so on. Then there are the unexpected. The orderly turning up to take me to X-ray, cardiac tests I hadn’t been told about and so on. Of course I get to know all the staff well and we laugh and joke quite a bit. Visits from medical students etc. Then my visitors. Most days I have friends / relatives visit me and Anne Aylor most days. She and they bring me real food as the stuff they give you here would put you in hospital if you weren’t here already! When left alone I read - at the moment a great book on the Spanish civil war, listen to music and chat with my neighbour - right now an Angolan geologist. But since I am long-term, they come and go and I am like the older relative, inducting them into useful secrets, e.g. how to get an early morning cup of tea. Of course my ‘bed-blogs’ - my stories on life in hospital which are all on my website - one or two now published on internet sites. Finally regular physio exercises. My stroke weaknesses are getting better, but my left hand is still numb and weak and I cannot play guitar. I have one here. This is the one late-in-life talent I am most proud of so my objective is that I WILL play it again, just not yet.

song. Dire Straits Tunnel of Love 

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