Posted by sean on January 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm in Health with No Comments


The first part of this post felt like the longest story ever told, so rather than binning the boring bits, I took Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy approach. Instead of making one gigantic steaming turd, why not split it into three pretty big steaming turds? I think I’ll only to need to cut this poo into two – so, you’re lucky – no trilogy!

Part 1 ended with me entering my own private room, on a ward at Southmead Hospital. The room is, without a shadow of a doubt, exceptional, considering this is an NHS hospital. It reminded me of the photos of Kate Middleton, when she was in hospital, after having one of her vast number of sprogs.

Things I love about my own room…

  • It’s my OWN room
  • I get a relaxed, decent night’s sleep
  • The temperature isn’t stupidly hot
  • A massive window to look out of
  • Free WiFi, that allows me to stream Sky Sports videos on my mobile
  • A very comfortable bed
  • Privacy!
  • Not hearing old men moaning and farting, throughout the day and night

There is a widescreen TV (which I am yet to use), an en-suite bathroom (which I currently cannot use) and lots of latex gloves (for the nurses to use).

Despite all the plus points, there is one massive problem. The hospital is in Bristol and not in Bath. This causes a lot of problems for my visitors – especially Claire.

Whereas my wife and I live 10 minutes away from the Bath-based hospital, it can take over 45 minutes to drive to Southmead. It was so nice being able to see Claire over the last week. She was able to come and go, as we both desired. Plus, she could stay for over half a day. Due to the vastly increased distance, our time spent together will now be slashed on a massive scale. The sooner that I return home to her, our home and Roman, the better.

It was all a little crazy being admitted on a Saturday evening – especially during feeding time at the zoo. Basically, the ward staff were in the process of dishing out the evening meal to patients.

My Dad had told me that he would be eating crab for his tea. I joked about how anything fishy, especially crab, would be one of my worst meals ever. I therefore just had no choice, but to laugh, when I was offered crab cakes, by the ward, for my own meal.

As I had not ordered any food, the considerate nurses managed to put together a makeshift tea, from pasta, peas and rice pudding – without a crab, or any other marine life, in sight.

By this point, I was looking forward to falling asleep, in my new comfy bed, in my own private room. The thought of sleep never felt so appealing – especially after spending a week on a ward, with constant noise and bright lights, throughout the night.

Before I could set sail to the Land of Nod, I was required to take a trip to radiology for some x-rays. A pointless exercise. My leg was not strapped together properly. Apparently it must have a ‘traction’, before I could be moved.

Back to my room, I went. I slept… very, very well.

I was awoken in the middle of the night, to find a man playing with my leg. I mumbled something, probably incomprehensible. Looking back, in the brighter light of day, it seems that my leg was being strapped together, with the illustrious ‘traction’.

Sunday morning arrived, by which point I was Nil By Mouth, with only a 5am snack of coffee and toast, to keep me going.

I was taken on another journey, back to radiology, for a second attempt at taking a photo of my leg. This was where things became a tad farcical…

  • The radiographers moved me from my bed to the x-ray table
  • This was very painful and I probably made a lot of noise
  • Upon being placed on said-table, it was discovered that they were unable to take an x-ray as the traction was missing from my leg
  • Having endured the bed to table transfer, and not wishing a repeat, I pleaded that a photo be taken anyway
  • My pleas fell on deaf ears, and I was moved (painfully) back onto my own bed
  • I waited in a corridor, deep in the bowels of the hospital, while an understandably irate radiographer tried to find out which doctor said I had traction, when I didnt
  • No doctor would admit to the mistake. Probably wise
  • This lead me to believe, whichever doctor did say that I had the much sought-after orthopaedic tool, on my leg, must have either lied, guessed, or doesn’t know what a traction was
  • I started to fantasise about the doctor, responsible for my earlier pain, being locked in a caravan, with an angry rhino. I hoped that his back and leg would experience the same level of discomfort, that I was unnecessarily put through
  • My bed was then wheeled back into the x-ray room, for what seemed like attempt number 1,000, at getting an image of my fracture. It was, in fact, only the radiologist’s third effort – including the previous night
  • I felt aggrieved – had the radiographer just left me on the x-ray table – like I originally begged – more pain and suffering, on my part, would have been avoided. I chuck the radiographer into my fantasy caravan, joining the doctor and crazed rhinoceros
  • Somehow the staff got the x-ray taken, while I remained in my own bed. Very uncomfortable, but not agony.
  • You could relate my experience to Brexit – remaining is painful, but the alternative is a lot worse
  • I was wheeled out of the x-ray room, before eventually being returned to my own room.
  • By this point, the fantasy rhino has escaped. The caravan is just a pile of twisted metal. The poor doctor and radiographer are nowhere to be seen

I later meet the consultant. Presumably not the one responsible for the whole traction debacle, as there was no rhino-horn-shaped-hole in his chest. Am told what most doctors have been telling me for the past week. They are working on a plan. Things won’t be long. Blah blah blah.

A nurse later tells me that the doctors now have a plan. The problem is, that the plan does not involve any surgery taking place until Thursday

Very frustrating. I can’t really blame Bristol. It may be a weak excuse, but I was informed that I was just dumped upon them at the weekend. It does, however, make me wonder what was going on, during my week in Bath. The words “waste of time” come to mind…

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