Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Hospital Snippets


Actual conversations I had with hospital staff...


‘How’s the pain, Tom?’

‘First Class, best I’ve had’

‘Good.  Now you will ask me if there is anything you need?’

‘Well I could do with the gentle application of a soothing cream…’

‘You’d like cream for your leg?’

‘Well, you can use trifle if you like, I was just hoping you’d give me a massage.’

 

During a discussion on oral pain killer doses

‘You’re not very big, Thomas’

‘Not even my wife would be inconsiderate enough to make such a deeply personal observation.’

 

Very attractive female anaesthetist just before I go into theatre:

‘I am going to give you a powerful pain killer,’ Mr. Gowans.

‘Will it take me to a nice place and make me feel all warm and fuzzy?’

(laughing) ‘Yes, Mr Gowans, I’m sure it will.  In a minute I will give you another injection to make you sleep.’

‘How long before I am asleep?’

‘Only five or ten seconds’

‘If in that time I made a remark to you laced with sexual innuendo would the judge at my sexual harassment trial consider the drugs a mitigating factor in my defence?’

 

‘I know it must seem a little silly but you do understand why we put a name band on each wrist, Mr. Gowans?’

‘In case I misplace one of my arms?’

‘No, silly!’

‘I was just joking, of course I know, it is for administrative reasons.’

‘That’s right.’

‘Yes, one tag stays with the body and the other goes back to the NHS war graves commission marked as killed in action.’

 

While inserting a cannula

‘Now don’t go asking me to hook you up to a bottle of whisky or anything like that, Mr, Gowans, I have heard them all before.’

‘Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of certain well known hallucinogens fashionable among the sixties celebrity chic…’

 

While checking my wrist band before administering intravenous drugs

‘Can I just check your name, please?’

‘Thomas Gowans’

‘Why does it say Thomas Andrew?’ 

(My name is Thomas Andrew Gowans)

‘Andrew is my maiden name, if you look on the next line down, it says Gowans, that’s my surname now that I am married.’

 

The surgeon in A&E having performed an initial debridement of the wound and having marked the extent of the infection and having informed me that if in two hours the infection had spread beyond the marked boundary he would operate immediately and remove a lot more flesh than that and, should he feel it warranted, would not bother to halt the procedure just to wake me up and tell me he was going to amputate my leg

‘I’m sorry that’s a bit blunt but that’s just the way I am.’

‘That’s alright Doctor, I am sure the hospital has a department well versed in providing emotional counselling to your patients’

 

While having a vacuum dressing removed without anaesthetic

‘Oh my God, I can’t watch!’ (This is the nurse speaking), ‘Does it hurt?’

‘It is a little uncomfortable’

‘Is that all?  Gosh, I thought you’d be in agony!’

 

Questions before going down to theatre (bearing in mind I have been three days nil by mouth waiting for a slot)

‘Have you any loose teeth, dentures, caps or crowns?’

‘I have a loose tooth at the back here and a false one screwed in here.’

‘Oh,’

‘Why, is that a problem?’

‘It is.  You see we have to put in a breathing tube and we cannot afford the risk of any loose object causing an obstruction.’

‘Hang on a sec, I have completely misunderstood this question.  Can we go back?  Ask me the question again.’

‘Have you any loose teeth, dentures, caps or crowns?’

‘No.’


OK,OK, I can see everyone is less interested in my wit and more in the gory details so an update.  All looks good, I feel great.  They still do not know exactly what caused it but they now have me on the right antibiotics and signs of infection are receding.  I am waiting for the plastics people to decide what happens to me next but it will likely mean me being discharged from this hospital and being transferred to the Royal Free Hospital where they will do skin grafts or whatever reconstructive surgery they feel appropriate and then, once they are sure the graft has taken and remains free of infection, I will be discharged and treated as an outpatient until I am fit enough to travel back to Angola.

To keep you ghouls happy, a short video of the last stages of me removing my own vacuum dressing yesterday:

video
 

84 comments:

  1. That last one had me laughing out loud. You would do well in my family (very large, and so with much hospital experience).

    My uncle Gerald used to joke to his son Brian, after his second surgery and second round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a recurring brain tumor, that they'd apparently taken out the wrong mass of tissue...

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    1. I have very little experience of hospitals. Even though the wound was obvious with me, they still drew an X on my left foot to show the injury was on my left leg, and then a bloody great arrow above the knee pointing to the wound!

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    2. No laughing matter. A friend of mine had to have one of his kidneys removed. The surgeon didn't know his left from his right. Brilliant, don't you think?

      U

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  2. Question is, are things improving? Has the infection been halted? Have they figured out what it is? or are they still just throwing darts a a board? I do hope things are on the mend.

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  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    And, also, what M. Silvius asks above, ditto.

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  4. quite the experience! is there any improvement at all?

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  5. You are much on my mind Tom.....can you answer M Silvius? I too hope things are progressing in a good way.....

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    1. I think I answered you four above with the update and video, happy?

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  6. Flippin eck Tom…that is one big hole in your leg! Will they be taking skin from elsewhere…not sure where they could get that amount to cover the gap? I am impressed with your bravery…not one scream! PS Did you get my card? Interesting post though! XX

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    1. They are going to take the skin from the fleshy part of my skull.

      I have not received your card yet but I get mail every day!

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    2. Bottom, Frances. Bottom. Where the sun does not shine.

      U

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  7. More Hospital Snippets complete with Frankie Howerd innuendo:-
    "Two inches that's all."
    "You have to pretend you're really hard now!"

    I admire your bravery more than your Everly Brothers quiff!

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    1. I missed the last one and I'll be the nurses did too, if I see them today, I shall bring the innuendo to their intention. The girls are talking over me so you may have missed what I muttered after the 'only two inches' bit. I then said, 'four when hard'.

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  8. Man that was funny. If nothing else, you must be lucid to write this. As an aside, have you ever read the Spike Milligan set of war memoir books? Very funny. Good to hear you in apparent high spirits.

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    1. Spike Miliigan, yes I've read them, he was good with the snappy ripostes. I suspect it got him into as much trouble in the army as it did me!

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  9. I won't be watching your newest gem, thank-you-very-much. I'm too squeamish. I've been scrolling quickly past the pictures you've been sharing.
    I can't bear to look!

    Glad to hear you're getting the "good stuff" in the pain management department. I'll bet a hippo on morphine is a laugh a minute! I'm sure the nurses are enjoying caring for you.

    Jennifer, waving to you from across the pond :)

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    1. You're a wuss! Have a full breakfast in front of you and watch the video!

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  10. The hole is bigger but the tissue looks healthier. Thank goodness! Keep healing!

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    1. It does look good, Might ask plastics to make me a pocket, it'll be good for getting Italian Grape Tomato tobacco through customs...

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  11. Yea, what everyone else said. Take care, and keep those dressings dry.

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    1. Water proof dressings, I shower in them.

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  12. I have to be impolite and ask....do you have insurance to cover this?

    It does look better. On the last photos I noticed how close it getting to the marker line drawn around this.

    Infectious diseases loves a challenge...the doctors must be thrilled. Good news that you are getting better.

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    1. This was in England Raz..... FREE.

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    2. Sigh...if only healthcare was free here in the states.

      Even with good health insurance, my husband and I owe many, many thousands of dollars in medical bills (husband went through cancer treatment and surgery two years ago). The fear of losing good employer-based coverage has kept me in jobs I've hated. Without insurance, we would be financially RUINED after cancer treatment.

      It's a damn shame.

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    3. Healthcare could be free in the United States. Stop maintaining ridiculously massive military expenditure, stay at home and out of other country's affairs and I am sure enough savings could be made to afford a decent healthcare system.

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    4. Dearest Tom, if I hadn't fallen out of love with you I'd fall straight back in on the strength of your comment to Jennifer.

      U

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    5. But you haven't, have you? Fallen back in love with me, I mean? At this stage of my recuperation I'd like to avoid mental anguish.

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    6. Your solution to our American Ways sounds so reasonable and simple. I just hope our legislators are reading your blog...

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    7. Your problem is that you only have two political parties, we have a few more and sometimes these smaller parties can punch well above their weight and influence the big boys. Look at the UK Independence Party forcing a big rethink on attitudes to Europe and Immigration...

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    8. We have LOTS of problems with our healthcare system, but our biggest problem, in a nutshell, is out of control capitalist greed.

      That, and the fact that we keep electing people who don't give a rat's ass about human needs and dignity....not when there's money to be made. I'm very often ashamed to be an American. :(

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    9. I feel sorry for you but we are not all lucky enough to be born in a peace loving democracy. Sadly, all your American leaders are is just Soviets in suits.

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    10. Free healthcare? like Janice Joplin used to sing, "nothing is ever for free and you just have to pay for it some time".... well some do, unless of course you live in Angola. ;-)
      In the US we do have something called Medicaid and Medicare we all must, under the confiscatory hand of government pay for. Though more recently the benevolent suits in DC foisted this thing called Obamacare on us. You might have heard of it, been on the news a bit lately. Only that congress (well not all of it only one party) after voting for it, "to find out what what was in it", tells us it is not so free after all. And fancy that, you must under penalty of law buy in to it whether you want it or not. Mind you this new "health care program" adds not one single new doctor yet adds 40 thousand new IRS agents to ensure you comply. I am learning to goose step as we speak.

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  13. It sounds like you are on the mend.?

    I watched it without sound. its a lot better in colour and texture.

    Keep us updated.

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  14. I suspect you continue to be a breath of fresh air to the nursing staff
    .

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    1. They do seem to spend a lot of time in the room chatting!

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  15. Damn, I'd rather give birth again than do that!

    It does look much better. It also looks like you've lost weight.

    When will Marcia be able to come and visit?

    Helen

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    1. Marcia will visit when I am out of hospital, pointless her coming before that. Thank you for noticing how much weight I have lost, I am very pleased and as soon as I am out shall be going for long walks to tone the muscles up.

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  16. Maybe you ought to fucking grow up a bit! We've all had bits of sponge ripped from our inner thighs. By the by, the Royal Free is where I was taken after my RD400 Truck Interface and the only thing they missed was my Lumbar L2 L3 and L4 damage, and the prolapsed disks, and the damage tonthe spimal cord, but

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  17. Bloody hell Tom that's brutal. Would not blame you one bit if you took up drinking again. Next time try soaking it in hydrogen peroxide before you pull it off. But it looks nice and pink which is a good sign of it being healthy. Not nearly as deep as I thought it was from previous images which is also a good thing. They'll shave a bit of hide off you gluteus maximus and graft that in that hole and have you on your way in no time flat.

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    1. Hydrogen Peroxide!!! You're mad! I used saline solution.

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    2. seeing as it is a large wound, will they take it from your bottom? They could put an inflatable in your back, under the skin inflate it and then take the graft from there. and not really miss it as it would be like a tummy tuck...

      is it sick that I am interested in all of this.

      Did you show them your blog so they could see the pictures of your toe when the snake got you?

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    3. Sick? No, more like a bizarre fascination I would say. I certainly hope they do not take it from my chubby cheeks. I can put up with most things but not being able to sit down for my morning constitutional would be, well, a right pain in the arse!

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  18. But ... at least they left me on the pavement with a broken back and a ... no, not even a stick. People go to the Royal Free for death ... but they do do good platics, and there's some history in the area. Archway was my drugs-years haunt!

    So, get yourself over there; at leastt if I visit i can revist some pubs I walked away from dcades ago.


    Did you get a medical repoonse to the request for the penis extension?

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    1. Idiot.....are you toms old friend with whom he shared a wheelchair with?

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    2. No, I've never had a right hand injury!

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    3. I'm just like you John, dreaming of a day when all people - regardless of their race, gender, ,colour, creed, sexual orientation or beliefs will stay the fuck out of my way! I'm busy cooking.
      Tom sneaks under the radar.

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  19. I didn't watch the Video; vomit and laptop keyboards don't mix.

    Good to hear you're almost mended. Best wishes.

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    1. Courage, mon Ami! Prepare yourself a steak tartare surmounted with a raw egg and go for it!

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    2. I am with Cro. Didn't watch it either. Not that I mind a bit of exhibitionism. As to Steak Tartare ... don't have it in the South of Spain unless you want to bond with your hotel's pristine toilet.

      U

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  20. Replies
    1. Bugger all to do with being a hero and everything to do with my stomach. I was not going to go Nil By Mouth again!

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    2. I agree. Nil By Mouth must have been another near death experience... it would be for me... Let us know when they move you to the the next hospitable. I'll send you a goodybag from Holland.

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    3. Dried Italian Grape Tomato leaves would be nice!

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    4. Dried italian grape tomato - i can get. But what do you mean by the 'leaves'??

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    5. To understand what I mean by 'Italian Grape Tomatoes', please see;

      http://hippo-on-the-lawn.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/something-strange-happened-last-night.html

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    6. Ah! Say no more... I'm afraid I can't send that to you, the postal sniffer dogs would get a certain whiff of it, I'm sure.
      Seriously, think of something you´d like to eat. Dutch cheese? Or have you got a sweet tooth? Anything. Just for the fun of sending and receiving a packet.

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    7. Not sure if they do this in Holland, I heard the Dutch really hate fish but I would be partial to a small jar of opgerolde haring...

      (Convinced as I am that you will never have heard of herring in Holland, you lot not really being a nation of fishermen, I went to the trouble of translating it above).

      Failing that, any daube by Avercamp or van de Velde. I heard there is something called a Kunsthal in Rotterdam where you can just walk in and help yourself.

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    8. do you mean the pickled ones? Will send!

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    9. That really is very kind of you!

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  21. Replies
    1. That's just the PG rated trailer, wait 'til you see the full R18 3D version...

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  22. Boy, you're made of strong stuff. I was wincing with every tug. The wound does look a lot healthier though, so something is working.

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    1. The plastics people came over from the Royal Free this afternoon so I had to take the vac dressing off again!

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  23. Looks good and I am so happy for you that you are on the mend, leg intact. God speed!

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  24. Can't watch..won't watch......but so glad you are moving in the right direction.

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    1. Limping in the right direction, dear, limping...

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  25. So good to see that you are recovering.! Keep us updated , please.

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  26. Didn't look at the video but am having a drink for you.

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    1. Oh, you're having a drink for me? That's nice. Why don't you smoke a cigar for me as well?

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  27. I watched it. Ugh. I won't be watching it again. But I have to agree.... the piece of you that is missing is larger than I expected but it no longer looks like the fist-sized crater that IG posted. Holy moly. If there is anything I can do to help Marcia let me know. If you need any additional fruit trees I can bring them back in late June. Another fig tree perhaps? More seeds? Another pair of Levis? Just let me know.

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    1. Hey, Nancy, that is very kind if you, I'll give it some thought. Just off the top of my head, I could do with a couple of pairs of Levi 501's 34 waist, 33 inside leg, one leg regular fit, the other leg slim fit...

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  28. Don't know if it is because I can only read this on my iPad or if you have removed the video but I feel a bit cheated to miss out on the gory video ! Glad you are in high spirits and doing well.

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    1. Video is still there, perhaps it's too gory for the Italian web censors, after all, the worst they deal with are Mafia hits...

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  29. Jesus Tom, I was just having a catch up on your blog and that leg has put me off breakfast! Sturn stuff to rip that dressing off your leg yourself but that or no food I like to think I'd do the same. The hospital staff sound nice. Any idea how long you're going to be there?

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    1. Another couple of weeks, I reckon. They are going to do the skin grafts next week apparently.

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  30. just a flesh wound.
    Still, glad that's behind you.
    (Your American friend has been drinking the right wing cool aid)

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.