Bladder clearly been replaced with thimble during operation
A small thimble at that
Consider making myself comfortable in toilet. Sadly nothing left to read so spend most of the hour making my way there and back.
Finally bladder is empty and edge into a decent sleep.
Wake Up Call. God I’m still here.
For breakfast there’s a non optional hurty bastard antibiotic cocktail which – with a cocked eyebrow to the God of Irony – leaves me in no position to select any of the culinary delicacies from the proffered menu. How things have changed, my last hospital visit (some 25 years previously) was during the reign of terror where the chance of adding serious intestinal diseases to anything you brought in with you were about fifty-fifty. The food’s way better now but you’ll get MSRA so progress of a sort.
The word on the street is my release is dependant on a knee articulation of 25 degrees or more. Can currently manage about 3 degrees and this includes a homage to the Gibb brothers reprising “Staying Alive” lyrics adjusted to “ow, ow, ow flaying around”.
In trundles the happy trolley. Couple of their finest and I’m perkily rotating the knee to an angle that half an hour before was just an escapist fantasy.
Cheerfulness obviously an anathema to this morning’s nurses so they retaliate by increasing the flow on the pain drip. It works, my entire arm goes numb and it’s my drinking arm. Hopefully it’s not a permanent affliction.
I ask the quack what they used to clean out my knee. He refuses to tell me on the grounds that I asked and he’s far too important to answer. However, my inclination to lamp him for being such an arse is put on hold as he breezily dismisses me from taking up useful bed space. My knee’s played a blinder under the cover of strong drugs and he’s convinced I should darken their towels no more.
Ring Carol, ask if she can come and get me whenever it’s convenient.
Ring again and enquire if she’s left yet. Receive shrift that is on the wrong side of short.
‘Discover that bloke who turned up last night has a kidney complaint that means he can never drink again. Heï¿½s also due in again in September to have his tendons sliced to declaw his arthritic hands.
He’s just turned 21. Poor bugger.
The only thing that separating me from freedom are an additional raft of poxy antibiotics that are buried somewhere in the hospital pharmacy. Stump up and down the ward waiting for them to arrive. They donï¿½t. Carol dispatches herself to hunt them down if only to shut me up. Twenty minute later she’s back clutching her prize having chased them round the hospital.
Thank Nurses. Make a fast hobble for the door before they change their mind.
Am reacquainted with Outside. Lovely experience, few sick and dying people make it this way. Car parked miles away but the slow hobble under the summer sun is really quite lovely. Just managed not to get run over while reintroducing myself to traffic.
Open first beer. And relax.
That’s an experience I’m keen not to repeat. Three weeks later and after one ride on the road bike, it seems the healing is almost complete. But it’ll take a little longer for the mental scars to fade. I’m wondering just nervous, slow and uncommitted the first proper off road trail will make me. Still the way I ride, nobody’ll probably notice. Except me and I can kid myself.
The NHS is an interesting organisation. A great idea, badly executed. Some super people but just not enough of them. I can’t comment on whether private health care is that much better but they are paying me Â£150 for the non sullying of their rather posher hospitals.