Updated: Oct 21, 2021
A few days in the life of a patient on an NHS ward
Well, there were some dishy doctors I can tell you. Firstly, the anaesthetist, a brilliant man who had climbed Everest, fit as a butcher's dog. Next came the discharge nurse sitting there at the end of the bed, who appeared out of nowhere, told me what I needed to know and then vanished in the mist.
But I will start from the beginning, and it doesn’t get much scarier….
Goes from a routine smear, to a scan, to a biopsy which is done in a most undignified manner but at the end of the day the result was obtained. Maybe it's just part of me, or maybe it's a polyp, or maybe it's dreaded and it was!!! Saw a lovely surgeon who told me I could have a full hysterectomy on Friday so I opted for that slot. Sent for pre-med assessment day before the op, blood pressure through the roof. Day of operation saw the registrar, a really nice young woman, beautiful shiny long dark black hair with a full make-up job, taking notes as we spoke, so full of energy and enthusiasm.
In the area set aside for operations, names written on a board, my slot number 3. Everyone is nervous, some are crying, but procedures are procedures and everyone has to go through the door at some point. Got to the waiting area, and the only thing I could think about was that I had left my knickers on! Not a big deal I was told, got bags for everything down here love, which put me at ease. Came round from the operation and was taken to the ward. Can’t remember much about the day and maybe that’s a good thing.
Picked up on all the gossip and characters on the ward the following day. Annie on the far side of the ward nearest the door had come in from a nursing home with her face black and blue clutching a teddy bear. Fallen out of a nursing home bed because someone had forgotten to put the side up. Next to her was Nellie, a lady in her eighties who slept most of the day. On the same side as me, nearest the door, was a couple who were swearing and arguing most of the time, as well as other shenanigans. Suddenly the curtains would be closed by her partner, quietness reigned, but the staff nurse was having none of it and whipped them back with some ferocity.
Everyone seemed to have a temperature the following day which apparently is called “trauma fever” or were sick, me included. Must be the MRSA virus I thought, that’s it the ward will be shut, but nothing of the sort occurred.
Middle of the night, just catnapped, someone, walking around and then stood at the bottom of the bed. Oh no! Can they see up my nightdress I thought, then consoled myself by thinking don’t worry you have got your knickers on girl! The mind boggled. Photocopier going, staff nurse walking around surreptitiously, probably with results, putting them secretly in the folders at the end of each bed. Annie is now shouting, “Help, help, leave me alone, I am telling my daughter you are taking my money and give me my teddy bear back”. These outbursts kept me going in the middle of the night. Looked in the gallery on my phone at my lovely dog and bedroom I would be going home to.
Bonded with the lady across the ward from me, we helped one another in times of needs. A new patient in the bed at the side of me, came in with her own stash of morphine, diazepam and temazepam which the staff nurse told her they needed to be put under lock and key.
I thought poor woman she must be addicted to prescription drugs or her husband is a drugs baron.
Came home to my lovely family who I couldn’t have done without. Fantastic husband and daughter who are stars in every sense. My grandsons saying, “Well when can I see them, I am desperate”. He’s as good looking as you have ever seen with a personality to match. Just seen the other grandchildren, my granddaughter who is beautiful inside and out and my other grandson who is a fantastic footballer with a window sill full of trophies. Scoobie, my Lhasa Apso, is laid next to the fan to keep himself cool, who has been sleeping on the landing and has one eye on either side of the upright on the bannister rail as he looks for us. I have now taken to wearing Bridget Jones large knickers (but don’t tell anyone), not a pretty sight as the itsy bitsy ones dig in where they are not supposed to. My daughter suggested I might need a larger size, not on your nelly it would mean that me and the best husband in the world could get in them together. Asked if he would be a cross dresser for the day to make me laugh wearing Bridget's Blummers but he categorically drew the line at that!!
Well, it has been quite a journey, but I am being looked after better than royalty. How lucky am I? We are all so fortunate to have a wonderful Health Service. SO GLAD TO BE HOME!
A true account of my stay in hospital and my home which I hope you find interesting and amusing ... if only a little.
Thanks to Linda for sending in her account of what must have been a testing journey. It's a lovely way in which to thank our NHS staff at Callow for the fantastic job they do.
Thank you NHS.
Text: Linda Image: Adobe Stock