"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Signing in

First day back toward normality. Normal food, normal sleep, normal functioning body parts!

The nurses were hepato-biliary trained. Two on duty with up to 20 patients, supported by 1 unqualified auxilliary. No general nurses. Really really busy. Excellent care for those being monitored by machinery the nurses knew to speedily respond to. Not so good if you just needed Florence Nightingale to mop your brow and take your pulse. The younger amongst us (yes that's still me!) tended to be more pro-active about asking for checks when things didn't feel right. I felt sorry for the elderley ladies who didn't want to 'make a fuss' and lay passively waiting to be attended to; because the machines weren't going to bleep until things had gone pear shaped.

Very noisy. The Victorian infirmary floors bounced as trolleys and running feet sped up and down, shaking the beds. Emergency care and activity went on 24/7. Declining to be doped into a stupour at night I plugged myself into the bedside TV headphones and slept with re-runs of Friends blotting most of it out.

The on-call doctors were rushed off their feet, bleepers going simultaneously with 2 or 3 nurses' station phones. The calmer morning round of consultant/entourage of registrars and house officers with clip boards more familiar to tv hospital dramas.

Onwards to discharge, after I'd convinced the physio i could walk without a granny zimmer and could manage some stairs. And after I'd been packed up with bags of pills, dressings and alarming looking giant staple removers to give to the district nurse in a week!

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