Friday, January 11, 2019

"We’ve put a tube in your penis."

Ok, I think to myself. All considered, I'm pretty relaxed about things.

"I'm going to pull it out now." The gentleman speaking to me is wearing a white tunic with blue epaulettes. I gaze at him with curiosity.

“It might feel a bit odd.” He says. And he is quite right.

“It’s probably best you try and pass some water straight away – do you think you can make it to the toilet on your own?”

I tell him that of course I can, get out of bed and immediately stagger sideways and would have crashed into the wall if he hadn’t caught me. Unbeknownst to me I hadn’t walked in several days. He applauds my attempt and physically guides me to the en-suite bathroom.

“How did that feel?” He asks afterward.

“A bit weird.” I admit.

“Sorry I took your patient for his jar whilst you came to do his bloods.” He says to the nurse who’s waiting by my bed to plug a new bag into my cannula and to take my blood. When they’ve stopped grinning bashfully at each other the nurse looks at me.

“Wow, good job on your face.” She says. It’s not a bad face to be fair, I think to myself.  A few hours later I see my reflection and understand what she means. And it takes something before a nurse is taken-aback.

Over the next few days I learn to walk again. My front teeth hurt like hell, as does my throat. And it’s all a bit vague if I’m honest. I sleep a lot, eat some genuinely dreadful food and see members of my family who all have that “hey everything’s cool” look on their faces that you employ when you visit a family member in hospital and you’re worried sick.

I look at the puncture-wounds on my arms. There’s over a dozen in total. They must have tried everything before they intubated me, put me in a coma and connected me to a ventilator. It was that or “lose me” I’m later told.

My face is horrific; my right eyeball is entirely black from the trauma. I was only under for a couple of days, but it takes a while to get used to not being unconscious. It’s some time before I’m allowed home. The trio of central-casting stereotypical doctors – Absurdly-Handsome Doug Ross, Ill-Tempered Quick-Talking Brown Man and Charming John Malkovich The Seen-It-All-Before Consultant – are not in a big hurry to let me go anywhere.

I’d been at work when it happened - my head had hit the edge of a desk on the way down and bled as only head wounds do. It had frightened the life out of my colleagues, all of whom had been lucky enough not to see someone suffering an epileptic seizure before. With all the blood and everything they all thought I’d died.

But had I not been there, no-one would have called the ambulance. Had I not been in the newly-created Critical Care Hospital I was taken to there would have been no medical team to deal with the fact that I suffered a second seizure that lasted over thirty minutes (too long).

And I’d be dead.


Otherwise things have been cool.
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