Posted by sean on January 20, 2019 at 8:37 pm in Health with No Comments


I thought the title of this blog was rather fitting. I’ve had a busy 24 hours or so, and it feels like it’s going to take another 24 hours to write about it!

Ignoring this morning’s very early breakfast blog, the last time I wrote anything here was on Friday, while in Bath.

I have therefore decided to cover the last two days; over the course of two or three posts – I haven’t quite decided how many, but this is Part 1.

An Ambulance Ride, Crap Comedians and My Drugs Problem

I was on the phone to mum, having a massive rant, about the delay in getting my leg fixed, and the impact on my finances, sanity and quality of life.

Mid-rant, and while I was probably using the words “I’m going to be stuck on this ward forever”, a nurse interrupted, to tell me that a bed in Southmead, Bristol had been found and that an ambulance would be taking me in just a couple of hours. Finally!

My last 6 days in hospital were filled with many tardy experiences. I was therefore amazed when quite the opposite happened with Great Western Ambulance. Within minutes of ending the call to my Mum (in a much happier, less ranty mood), I was told that an ambulance was ready to collect me.

It reminded me of the days when I would go into town on a Saturday night and drink in pubs. If I was cold, tired and in need of my bed, any taxi I ever ordered, would always be running horrendously late. If, however, I had pre-booked a taxi for something like 11pm; I would find myself having a great time and with more than half a pint of cider left, only for the driver to turn up 20 minutes early.

With the assistance of a helpful nurse, all my belongings were quickly packed up into bags, before a pair of burley paramedics packed me onto a stretcher.

There was a long delay, where I was forced to wait in a corridor, on the stretcher, while nurses tried to print my drugs chart, in order for the receiving hospital to know what pills were making me rattle and prevent me from climbing onto the metaphorical pain ceiling.

The younger of the two paramedics was joking with the nurses, his older colleague and me. In truth, he was just telling us jokes, as opposed to joking with us. They weren’t even jokes, they were crap statements and anecdotes. Despite this, he was cracking out the gags, as if he was on Live at the Apollo.

The worst thing about the situation was that I felt obliged to laugh. My attempts at faking a laugh were not that convincing and ranged from a grimace to a weird grin, as if I was having a stroke, along with a chuckling noise. It appeared that the nurses and the other paramedic, found his attempts at humour, as funny as I did.

I think he should definitely stick to driving poorly people around in those vans, with the flashing blue lights and sirens. Either that, or ask if he can be a supporting act for the equally unfunny Miranda Hart.

The reason for the drugs chart not printing – the latest delay in my departure from the ward – was, funnily enough, down to the nurses struggling to use the hospital’s computer system – a system I work with, throughout the day, as my job! I was tempted to offer to help, but decided that this was one of those times where it would be best to just keep my mouth shut. I would probably end up getting something wrong and making the situation a hell of a lot worse!

We eventually escaped the hospital, complete with drugs chart, my bags and, unfortunately, the Kevin Bridges wannabe. While Kev and his mate said sorry for how cold the weather was, I told them their apology was totally unnecessary, and as I had been on a hospital ward for a week, where the temperature gage on the radiators  was permanently turned up to the highest setting, the cool winter’s air felt so refreshing.

When you travel by ambulance, there are normally two paramedics. One drives the vehicle, the other sits in the back, with the patient – remember that scene from Silence of the Lambs, where Hannibal escapes?

Luckily the one who loved to tell rubbish jokes, drove the ambulance. The journey was about 45 minutes, so listening to an awful comedy routine for almost an hour would be positively hellish. Plus there was no means of escape. Even if I had managed to kick the ambulance door open, before fleeing down the bypass, with a broken leg, there was the added problem of the fact that I was strapped to the stretcher.

I drank coke, while checking the football scores on my phone. I started to feel rather nauseous. I haven’t been travel sick since I was a young child, but if anyone fancies reliving that famous childhood ailment, spend a couple of hours in the back of an ambulance. Fortunately, I believe they are all equipped with spew bowls.

We arrived at Southmead Hospital just in time, to avoid me seeing my lunch again. Had I decorated the inside of the ambulance with fifty shades of vom, at least I would have been able to see the smile disappear from the would-be comedian’s face.

On leaving the ambulance, dinner still inside stomach, I was given a tour of the North Bristol Trust hospital. As I was lying flat on my back, staring at the ceiling, I didn’t get to see any of the corridors, or other such fascinating features usually seen in hospitals.

We arrived at the ward. Like in Bath, there was a lot of waiting around, for somebody to help. When we were dealt with, it transpired that we had gone to the incorrect ward. Each ward is split in two – A and B. We were in A. I bet you can guess where we should have been!

We eventually found the correct ward and even my bed – in a side room all to myself. How wonderful. Now I could rest and relax, before surgery – or so I thought.

To be continued…

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