Sean's Stories

Posted by sean on December 5, 2018 at 12:48 am in Health with No Comments


I had my second hospital appointment of my annual leave today. While last week, I only had to go round the corner, this morning required a trip all the way to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Bloody hell…

Upon arrival, I checked myself in with a helpful receptionist, who I managed to confuse by trying to convince that my name was, in fact, Sean and not Jean, as was printed on the appointment letter.

I was shown, along with Jean, to a very busy waiting room. A large whiteboard, with the names of various clinical staff, hung from the wall.

Coloured dots were stuck to the board, presumably to indicate any delays. Green for “Everything is okay”; yellow meaning “You’re going to be waiting a while. Best pick up a That’s Life magazine from the hospital shop”; with red representing “F**k! We’re on fire! An escaped lion is on the loose! Clinic is cancelled”.

I was reassured to see that, despite the vast amount of fellow outpatients occupying the waiting room, all the dots on the whiteboard were green. My confidence that I would be seen and home in time for lunch was shattered, when I realised that yesterday’s date was still written on the board. Surely all these poor patients hadn’t been waiting overnight?

50 minutes later, I was the only patient left. I was just about to switch all the green dots for red, when I was finally summoned into the doctor’s office.

All was going well, until I was asked to list all the medication I have been prescribed. I take so many pills, on a daily basis, that if you were to pick me up and shake me, I would rattle.

Therefore, given the fact I pop rather a lot of pills, I had a tough job in remembering everything I took. Claire was a great help, as we both kept shouting out the names of various drugs, as if we were on a strange edition of The Generation Game.

I escaped the consulting room and the clinic, but not before providing a blood sample. This time, instead of using a needle, my blood was taken by cutting the rear of my earlobe with a scaple. It’s amazing how much you bleed from that area, and gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “wet behind the ears”.

On the way back to the car park, I couldn’t help but enjoy some naughtyness in the hospital elevator. The child (as well as Leeds and Bath City fan) in me, had great fun, as the video below will testify…

Posted by sean on November 27, 2018 at 12:05 am in Health with No Comments


Claire and I are currently on annual leave for two weeks. Yes, I know I’ve only been back at work for little over a month, following a lengthy sickness absence, but I can now enjoy my time off, as I no longer feel poorly.

My initial plans of playing Red Dead Redemption 2, constantly over a 17 day period*, were scuppered when I remembered that I had to attend a couple of hospital appointments.

* In case Claire happens to be reading this, firstly, I love you. Secondly, that was a joke. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of playing Red Dead for all 17 days of my time off – that would be mad. I would, of course, take a day off from the virtual Wild West, for your birthday.

I therefore put down my Colt Revolver – AKA, the PS4 control pad – and headed back to my place of work, ON MY ANNUAL LEAVE! Claire also works at the hospital, so was no doubt equally cheesed off with spending her first day off, in such familiar surroundings.

Prior to meeting the doctor, I had to have some x rays taken. I felt grateful to be led down on a bed during the process, as it seemed to drag on for ages. I’m not good at counting, but I’d guess that they must have taken 15 million images of my bones. With all those photos being shot, I felt like one of Prince William’s kids – except, I was being photographed willingly, by a professional, respectful radiographer; whereas Prince George has his photos taken by a sleezy photographer, hiding in the bushes and working for The Daily Mail.

I then went to give blood. Before you start congratulating me for such a selfless act and saving a life, I was giving blood so that it could be tested. A small vial of the red stuff is taken – nothing close to a pint. Not the superhero you all thought I was now, am I? If it makes you feel any better, I am never given a biscuit afterwards. I hear you get one if you donate blood (so do it right now!**).

** OK, not literally right now. I don’t want to be accused of encouraging anyone to run down to their kitchen and grab the nearest carving knife.

Upon entering the blood test clinic, I was given a card with a number on it. I was number 1. Fantastic, I thought – I know how the delicatessen at Asda works – I’m next in. I would be back home, playing Red Dead Redemption, in no time. To my annoyance, the system didn’t work like a supermarket deli.

The clinic only has 40 cards, so once Patient #40 has been seen, the department starts again with Patient #1. I was that patient. I soon discovered Patients #35, #36, #37, #38, #39 and #40 were all in front of me!

Waiting to have blood taken is like waiting in line, for a ride at Alton Towers. The only difference is what you get once you reach the end of the queue. One involves being pierced with a needle and lots of blood. The other involves being pierced by a metal pylon, losing a limb and lots of blood.

As I waited, I read the front covers of the leaflets on the wall… PARKINSON’S. MS. EPILEPSY. I told Claire that given all my other ailments in recent years, I would end up getting one of those three nasty conditions and maybe I should take the leaflets home in preparation. I didn’t take any.

I was eventually called into a room, so my blood could be taken. I had a long wait, while the two ladies, gifted with the task of taking my blood, played on a computer. Somehow I don’t think they were on Minecraft. It appeared that they were unable to find a single record of my blood appointment.

Given the fact my job primarily involves working on the hospital’s computer system, I could have waded in to help. I didn’t. The reasons… I don’t believe that I should see or have anything to do with my hospital records. Secondly, I insist on keeping my time as an employee and a patient totally seperate. Finally, the women probably knew full well what they were doing – probably more than me – so offering help could come across as rude, and you don’t want to annoy somebody who is about to stick a needle into your vein!

My blood test request could not be found anywhere. I therefore left the hospital with my original quota of blood and slightly more radioactive than two hours earlier.

Posted by sean on July 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm in Health with No Comments


Today, I returned to hospital. Luckily not as an inpatient this time. Following my 3 week holiday, lying in a bed at my local medical institution, I was recalled to make sure I am still functioning and ticking over.
Given my ongoing leg pain, taking my mobility scooter to the hospital was not an option – primarily due to the poor state of the road and pavement at the top of my street, which would no doubt cause enough tremors to dislodge any leg fractures, should I ride over the treacherous surface (cheers, BANES).

I therefore had to order hospital transport. Apart from having to be on stanby two hours before my appointment time, getting collected by an ambulance worked well.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was told that I was not expected. Great. Luckily, they did manage to fit me in for an appointment, but not before I visited radiology to have lots and lots of X Rays taken.

I was asked if I wanted a hoist to transfer from the hospital-provided wheelchair to the X Ray table. Did I really look that infirm? Given the fact my left leg was screaming at me, after moving from chair to chair, I said “yes”. This was a mistake. I could have made it onto the table, even if it would involve some cursing. I have never used a hoist before, and after today, don’t think that I will again. After being tied up in what I can only describe as a florescent straight jacket, I was lifted into the air. Now THAT was scary. If Alton Towers want to introduce a new frightening experience to their theme park, just buy a hoist.

I met a very helpful doctor, who explained the cause of my broken bones. However, I had to laugh at the consulting room – a cubicle, only separated from other rooms and the corridor by a curtain. As this curtain was not made of lead, it wasn’t that great at blocking sound and therefore patients’ privacy. As it was only my dodgy leg thst was being discussed and not some embarrassing STD, I didn’t mind.

The hospital visit was round off terribly, when awaiting an ambulance home. My earlier praise for transport, Arriva, was all forgotten when I was made to wait well in excess of an hour for a prebooked ride. Apparently an ambulance was on its way to collect me, but ended up going to Bristol instead. Bravo, Arriva.

Posted by sean on July 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm in Health with No Comments


This is now my second full day home from hospital. While the staff were fantastic, I am thrilled to be home and don’t miss the place one bit!

I have a long road to recovery – something I need to keep reminding myself, when I struggle to undertake basic household duties, like repairing the roof or digging a pond in the back garden. Seriously, while my breathing is finally under control, my leg is bloody agony at times! However, being at home is far better for me than in hospital, where I was bedbound. Back home, I get out of bed and spend the day down stairs, primarily watching TV and going on the internet… no different to before I was admitted to hospital!

The food is much better than in hospital too. I won’t criticise the quality of the cuisine too much, except to say that it won’t have a touch on my meal tonight… Nandos! Well, I’m back home – it would be rude not to.

Posted by sean on July 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm in England, Health with No Comments


Well, I would have never guessed I’d be in a hospital bed, watching England winning a World Cup match on an iPad…

My money was on Columbia to win.

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