You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been for two weeks.
The short answer is – mostly lying flat on my back with a drip in my arm, staring at a hospital ceiling while blissed out on Pethidine. I got rushed into Nobles early morning 3rd March, was allowed home last Saturday night and rushed back in to Ramsey Cottage this Tuesday after a relapse.
Lacking Jade Goody’s pathological self-belief that the public must know every time she cracks carcinogenic wind I don’t think you need to know about my medical maladies in detail. Suffice to say that anyone who thinks previous opinions on my blog could verge on the bilious need fear no more. Within a couple of months (hopefully) my body’s bile storage facility is due to be removed – surgically. This is the new, gentler, me......
sorry, just watching a pink elephant float past... hello flowers, hello fluffy bunnies.....
I got home again yesterday and am now looking bemused at two weeks worth of e-mails. With luck I may even remember which button is which on my devil’s typewriter long enough to reply to some and/or get this up on the blog.
That’s the trouble with industrial strength painkillers mixed with an enforced stay in hospital. They take you to a place where you can contemplate your role in the grand scheme of things, sans all the distractions of work, family and so on: but by the time you’ve floated back to earth you can’t even remember where you put your pen and notebook, never mind the marvellous insights.
How did Julian of Norwich cope with such practical problems? I think we should know.
Anyways ….what have I learnt worth blogging about?
Well, I learnt that the godbothering stranglehold over local healthcare is a myth – possibly with the exception of the Hospice (but then terminal illness at a place frequented by the privileged means possible legacies, while generally illness is more common amongst folk of slender means). After stating I wasn’t religious on both hospital entry forms I wasn’t pestered.
I saw one chaplain floating about in Nobles and he shot past, eyes averted. Quite funny really. I sit on a committee with all the Nobles chaplains who can be bothered to attend (e.g. evangelicals never attend meetings unless money is involved) so know them well and thought he could at least wave to a colleague in distress. Then again, I think rationally and my world is human-centred: he peddles superstition and to him humanity is just so many sheep to be fleeced to strict deadlines.
RCH's Anglican chaplain was more civilised. He knows me of old, and that I’m a raving atheist, but still found time while visiting a parishioner for a few words in passing about our respective families and ailments (poor bloke's iller than me). Just a decent cleric dispensing goodwill with no agenda and no kickbacks, which is as it should be.
I also got valuable lessons in patience and positivity from a friendly fossil in Nobles with problems which dwarf mine. As fast as he gets out of hospital, his wife goes in, and vice versa. With both, the heart, lungs, eyes and waterworks (just to name a few) are shot. This could make you very bitter or depressed - as could, for example, the jobsworth nurse who point blank refused him a bottle at 1 AM because he wasn’t on her ‘list’. Instead Malcolm cracked jokes non-stop while offering calm advice on practical problems of a painful, personal and physical nature to the bloke in the next bed. This sometimes had mixed results, as it’s hard to laugh with a full catheter.
Non-Manx readers won’t know the Manx Gaelic expression ‘traa dy liooar’ ( ‘time enough’ or ‘wait until tomorrow’), sort of a Manx version of ‘manyana’. It’s usually used as a way to indicate things aren’t urgent, or a stick with which anal tax-exiles, ‘come overs’ (new residents) and ‘when-I’s’ (ex-colonials who start every sentence with ‘When I was in….’) who tend to run the finance sector and better paid public sector monopolies beat laid back natives.
Malcolm had a better take on ’traa dy liooar’. For us hospital virgins it mattered that everything (treatment, healing…) happened within the day, so we could be home the next; if it wasn’t then we got depressed. He’d counsel us to stop worrying, think clearly, sort things yourself and if necessary without waiting for medical advice, but mostly to give it time and let things work themselves out.
So I’m doing that. The result might be less fullblooded assaults on people who (my extended examination of hospital ceilings lead me to think) are really too ridiculous locally to get angry about. It won’t mean (ever!) I stop rooting out their shortcomings and contradictory twaddle, though it might be a while before I’m up to speed on the background research.
I’m back, and laughing until it hurts.
Ouch! Where’s me Pethidine?
3 years ago