A day in the life - hospital life

I've seen people come and go - people who've had major lung operations are being sent home before me.  Meanwhile I'm stuck here in bay 5 on Dorcas Ward, hoping and praying my blood cultures come back clear of infection so I can get a PICC line and get myself outta here!  The best I can equate hospital life to is being in a time warp.

My first night, Tuesday night, I arrived on the ward at around 2000, not a great time as that's when the day staff hand over to the night staff.  I was feverish so I had my obs (heart rate, blood pressure and temperature) taken every hour throughout the night.

Wednesday 12 September:  Not expecting to be admitted, I'd packed nothing practical, just a few snacks, scarf and iPad.  Thankfully visiting hours on Dorcas ward are from 0900 - 1300 and 1530 - 2000 (there's quiet time between 1300 - 1530 when the lights are out and we all have an afternoon nap!).  Mum and Rachel arrived shortly after 0900 with a change of clothes and some pj's.  I decided to brave the shower, a wet room at the end of the ward, and decided a short swift shower was best!  I was then bumped up the list to have my port-a-cath removed as they had had a cancellation.  I was wheeled down to Interventional Radiology around noon and was back on Dorcas Ward again around 1430.

Wednesday night on Dorcas Ward was interesting.  As visitors left for the evening the ward filled with the sounds of snorers, groaners and then the sounds of nurses running to assist someone who'd fallen out of bed.

Thursday 13 September:  It was a strange feeling waking in hospital and knowing that mum and Rachel were gone.  It wasn't long before my wonderful network kicked in and I had visitors bearing the best gifts ever - coffee and food packages.  I'm a huge advocate of the NHS, I'm so grateful for the treatment provided and the care from all the nurses however the food really is inedible.  They've gone to great efforts, created a weekly menu with multiple options, however when you're sick, you really don't feel like goulash or herby, creamy sauces.  I quickly learnt to opt for the sandwich for lunch and then find a friend to bring dinner in!  Thank god Leon opened up just around the corner.

Thursday night also brought a pleasant surprise of a trip to the cinema.  Medicinema is a charity that has set up cinema's in hospitals to try and bring a bit of normality to patients and their families.  It's such a great idea - the cinema is just like being in a proper cinema and they show movies that are out at the cinema.  I had the privilege of watching Blackkklansman, a great movie, however it really leaves you cold at the end.

Friday 14 September:  Resigned to being in hospital over the weekend, I sent out the SOS and had lots of wonderful people come and visit, bringing care packages and, best of all, clean pants and my laptop!  Unfortunately I also had to listen to a lady in the cubicle opposite rant and rave, complaining about everything, especially at not being given any food - a bit difficult when she refuses everything they offer her, and there's a lot of choice.  Makes me so angry just listening to her ridiculous complaints, I don't know how the nursing staff remain so professional.

I thought Thursday night was interesting, well Friday night was just like a night out, with it all kicking off around hand over time again.  One of the lovely ladies on the ward developed a temperature and so the nurses all rallied round making sure she was looked after.  Meanwhile, two of the ladies who had had major lung operations that day were waking up and needing assistance as their pain medication had run out.  It was also the evening that my cannula packed up and I could no longer receive antibiotics through it.  The nurses called the doctor to put a new cannula in but it wasn't until 0330 in the morning that the anaesthetist came by.  He tried 3 veins on my hands before giving up and getting the ultra sound.  It took two further attempts with the ultra sound before he was able to cannulate me again.  It was also the night that I discovered the joys of falling asleep while listening to podcasts.  They don't quite block out all the commotion but they certainly help you fall asleep.

Saturday 15 September:  Early morning mercy visit from a friend with spanking new pants and deodorant - the ward will be forever grateful.  I finish a book, catch up with a friend over lunch, nap gratefully during quite time and enjoy friend's company in the evening.  Thankfully the ward is calm tonight and everyone's pulling their curtains and tucking themselves in early.

Sunday 16 September:  It's a gorgeous sunny day and I had a good sleep however wake feeling exhausted.  I think the broken sleep is finally catching up with me.  I spend most of the morning and early afternoon dozing before visitors arrive with treats and good company.  No doctor's ward rounds over the weekend so no update on my blood cultures.  Hopefully I'll get some good news tomorrow and my PICC can go in and I can high tail it outta here!

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