So where were we?
I had my operation in the afternoon and up to this point I had not had a drink over 24 hours. Once I came to, I was gasping and had both a cup of tea and coffee. The sheer delight in drinking those two simple drinks was up there with any drink I had ever had.
It is funny how in certain circumstances, things that you take for granted become such a pleasure. You know, like summer, Buddy Holly, the working folly
good golly Miss Molly and boats.
I am still not sure how serious my condition was, but I reckon it was more serious than I thought on Tuesday. I found out that it would have been more serious if I had had the Chemo the week before (as originally planned) as the infection would not have been traced at that time and what with the old immune system having a break from my body by the time it would have been noticed, I would have been seriously ill.
My blood sugar levels were really high and were being monitored. I assume it was down to the fact that I had hardly eaten for days. I was starting to feel really down now, dear reader and for the first time since this ‘adventure’ had begun, this was the first time that I had felt like an ill man. As I have mentioned before, I think you are defined by not only who you are, but also by what you are and I was ill. I am Doug, the bloke with cancer. Still, it cannot be helped and it gives me something else to moan about?
As I have said before, the nurses, consultants, doctors, everyone down to the people who make your tea have been brilliant to me. I could not expect any more from these people. They are kind, know what they are doing and have a laugh. But being in hospital, I witnessed a couple of what I can only call arseholes.
Let me explain. Your designated doctor will visit you and explain what is going on and ask you how you feel etc. My doctor was great. But some of them walk around like they are the most important people there. These people stroll into the ward with others following them with clip boards heads bowed and walking two paces behind. While Dr Wonderful barks instructions (very loudly. HEY this is a hospital.There are ill people here maaan. Keep it down) at them as they nod obediently. They have a bigger entourage than Mariah Carey.
Two such incidents spring to mind. It was midnight and the lights were off everyone on the ward was asleep. Then in marches Dr Wonderful ,goes to the end bed pulls back the curtains and starts talking really bloody loudly at poor Mustafa (76) who was still asleep at this point. The whole ward wakes up to hear what the doc has to say. The thing is, what he was saying was actually not that important and could have waited a few hours (as Mustafa confirmed to me) when we were all awake.
The second incident involved Len (78). Let me tell you about Len. He was one of the moaniest gits I have ever met. He talked and sang constantly just to make a noise, day or night He was also one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life. He made me laugh constantly, sometimes to tears. Basically, he is an older version of me. After the first night, we got on like a house on fire, we became a double act.
Len was due to leave on the Friday. As he was preparing to go, a doctor came up to him and with no warning said, that ‘its not great news, you have lung cancer’ Now, I know there is no easy way to tell people this news, but Len did not even know that cancer was an option. The dreaded C word had never been mentioned during the four weeks he had been there, so it could have been done in a better way and certainly not with the rest of the ward listening. This was not the worse of it. The Dr then continued his negative stance and said Len could have a lung removed but that it could be dangerous and that the other option was radiotherapy. The bloke then walked out leaving Len in a state of shock. I climbed out of bed and sat with Len. All of his joy of leaving that day had gone. I think that the doctors’ biggest crime was the way that he gave Len the impression that there was no hope for him, when this was clearly not true. I had to explain to him that the fact that there were two options open to him meant that there was a chance of a cure. The doctor did not at anytime say that there was no hope for him, but he could and should have put a positive spin on things He would not have been lying. Asking my opinion I told Len to go for Radiotherapy whilst explaining to him that he could be cured.
Why did the doctor behave in this way? Was it because Len is old and he thought that it does not matter telling him such bad news at that age?
I do regret not having a word with doctor and I know that a lot of the nurses were upset by this doctors actions. I did tell Lens son and daughter and I can only hope that they have done something about it.
It is funny how you quickly become conditioned to the life in a ward. The screaming, the smell of poo, bags of urine being emptied next to you while you are eating and that was just the visitors (I am here all week folks).
I was finally allowed to leave the following Monday, six days after I originally went to QE for 3 hours of Chemo. This was due to having loads of strong antibiotics and then having a vacuum inserted into my wound.
Not sure how long I have to wait for chemo, but I am sure it will be worth the wait!!!!!
Love and Peace