Thursday, 22 November 2012


Google image - would that I were this young

I felt a little less confident about hospitals during my second admission this week. I developed a sudden fierce allergy to the 'quick & easy' plaster, "Op-site"  (take careful note) and had to be admitted for an antibiotic drip and anti-allergy treatment just before the changeover to the night staff circa 5.30 p.m.  Not a good time. I was pleased to be in the same ward as before, although alone this time.  As the doctor had admitted me straight away, I had not eaten since lunchtime and was impressed when someone came almost immediately to take my order for dinner.  An admin person arrived, consulted her notes and asked me to confirm that I was in for a "Finger and a toe".  No, nothing wrong with my finger.  A bit puzzled, I was a little more rattled when another nurse arrived and asked if I had taken my blood pressure pill?  I don't have a blood pressure problem.  A while later a sister popped by and explained that they would be attending to my needs after they had finished with the meds in the wards. OK....  I should have asked for a time on that. Ditto the dinner...... 8.45pm - I had received no meds, no food and no drink.  I finally complained. A very nice auxillary nurse (different color uniform) tut-tutted about the laziness of the day-shift and got me a pot of tea and a jug of iced water.  She also went to the kitchen and I finally got an apology for a dinner, very dried out, at 9.00 p.m.  Unbelievably, my toe was dressed at 11.15 and my drip finally set up at midnight ! The only good thing was, I reasoned that I clearly wasn't on any kind or priority list and therefore probably wouldn't die before I was treated. I don't know how your costs compare but just the hospital bill for one night was about $1250 - (current exchange rate).  Home again today, my toe now dressed in old-fashioned cotton gauze and a safety pin, I decided to check out our First Aid kits: we have two in the house and one in each car. I checked on a few expiry dates.  Oops.  It seems likely that we set up our kits (so far unused) in 1997 - as that was the expiry date on most of the items.  I found a couple of the iniquitous 'Opsite' plasters - they went out straight away, as did almost everything else, because of the dates.  Some things I couldn't immediately identify as they didn't have their descriptions in English.  e.g.  What could "Plaque Biseautee/Ulcus Wondverband/Flexibler Wundverband" be?  No matter: expired Feb. 2001.  I think that anything suspected of containing a chemical must go.  The cotton gauze bandages are surely still OK? I reluctantly jettisoned a pack of Valoid (prevents nausea and vomiting) because it expired in May '97, because I have this, no doubt misguided, conviction, that 'pills' shouldn't expire when in blister packs.  Do they?  And there is one large bandage which I shall keep "Driekante Doek - Mitella, 90 x 90 x 127"  because my Afrikaans is good enough to work out that this is a triangular sling for a broken arm. It is an expensive exercise to keep a First Aid Kit up to date.  It only rivals the cost of my husband's bi-annual boat safety equipment that needs to be replaced, although unused.  I guess it's like any insurance - as long as you have it, you can almost guarantee you'll never need it.


  1. Hospitals are scary places because you have no real control over what happens and there are so many things that can go wrong. I'm having a simple surgery next week and am so glad it is now out-patient even though I would love to be cared for. The thing is you're not really cared for too well in hospitals. I'm glad you're okay after all that.

  2. The nurses, on the whole, are lovely caring people. Just the systems seems to be a little defective. And - of course, the hospitals are all short-staffed. Good luck with your surgery! I also had my eyelids done last week - those stitches come out tomorrow. Very excited about that!

  3. Was this problem for the toe that you had operated on before?

    Good grief, hubby is away and you are getting yourself hacked up or am I getting my schedules confused?

    Well I hope all is well now. I am a firm believer in keeping your hospital visits as few and as short as possible. Too many damned bugs floating around those places, get the hell home, and sleep in your own bed. Hope the eye lids turn out something less flamboyant than this:

  4. Yep - hubby was away for five days - but my daughter willingly schlepped me around. Yes, the allergy to the plaster affected the toe. Apparently, the most important thing after surgery is not to get the area wet - and the surgeons can't trust the patients not to ignore this instruction - hence the chemical-filled, waterproof plaster. The eyelids have been a breeze so far: looking forward to posting pics of the finished product.... still a bit swollen.