Friday, 2 November 2012

Brief Encounters - in hospital

Not me - but I did enjoy my stay (Google image)

It's been a long time since I've had an operation so I've been struck by the many changes that have occurred in the interim. Now, various digital machines are pointed at parts of one's body and the results then 'shot' into a bar code on the front page of one's file. I was slightly disturbed the first time such a 'gun' was pointed at my forehead to take my temperature, but I soon got used to it as these procedures were carried out every couple of hours during my 24-hour stay in our local private hospital. There is still the ubiquitous drip that always makes me nervous as it seems to empty itself when no-one is around and I worry about air bubbles giving me an embolism, but at least some-one arrives fairly quickly in response to the red call button. The hospital's brochure blurb says that it has overcome its nursing shortage by becoming a 'training facility'.  (Hmm... not sure about that...)  There are now TVs above every bed too, which would be nice - if the remote control worked. Apparently, many patients are heavy-handed when putting the complicated-looking plug into the wall so many if them are broken. The hospital is busy changing over to USB-type fittings. They managed to swop mine for a working one. I always choose a general ward (4-bed), not only because of cost, but I like interacting with the other patients during a brief stay. Typically, we were four women in the surgical ward and within the 24-hours, we had swopped life stories and ailment details, discussed the merits/demerits of the various doctors and the hospital food and made insincere promises to contact each other on Facebook.  One lady managed to hand out about 15 business cards to the various patients and staff - which I thought demonstrated remarkable presence of mind, considering she had been in quite some pain when she came in. We kept each other company during the long night (we were all over 50) and some-one shared a large chocolate bar to pass the time. One very efficient nurse was a young black guy, who had to give an injection at one point to a woman who was also black. "Ah, black on black violence," she joked, as she bared her behind.  There was good-natured banter concerning language as to who could speak what, the young black nurse complaining that he could speak English and Xhosa, but he struggled with Afrikaans. The black patient said that English was her first language and she was fluent in German but couldn't get the hang of Xhosa at all. We are a rainbow nation. Back home, I am hobbling about no problem with my hammer-toe now hopefully fixed.  Stitches out next Friday.  Then it's on to the eyelids on 16th.  By the time we retire, I should be in fairly good nick.  Unfortunately, most of my teeth are a ticking time-bomb that I try to push to the back of my mind, as they cost far more than anything else to fix.  I shall have to gird up my loins and face that problem next year. Get Christmas over first.

7 comments:

  1. Hope your recovery is rapid and pain free. You have more courage than me, I have to be on deaths door before I would submit to any surgery.

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  2. It's because you've never given birth.

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    1. And I suspect had I been the proper gender for such activities, that I would have died a virgin.

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  3. Glad you're on the mend! And it was so interesting to read about the rainbow nature of your ward!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy - hope to get back on my scooter soon!

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  4. It's great that you made what might have been a very depressing time into a moment to make new friends and then work it all into a very interesting and funny post!

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