It Was All Going So Well…
The time is a little after 2am on 10/10/13 - I am currently sat in the corridor of my renal ward, and I’m not sure if I’ll be going back to bed tonight.
Let’s rewind a few hours, a day even, and let’s tease out where everything went wrong.
At 6am, the early morning blood collections take place. I actually woke up at 5.30 today, so I figured I’d wait up, do my bloods, and then have a nap before breakfast. Except I was the only person in our room of four whose blood they didn’t want… Strange…
Remember the guy who kept on throwing himself out of bed in the HDU? He’s been moved to my ward - and he’s crazy as a shithouse rat. There’s an old incontinent man in the same room, and the amateur stuntman is convinced that the NHS food people are trying to poison us. They offer him a cheese sandwich for lunch, which he says would interfere with his dialysis, as cheese is high in phosphates, which is fair enough. Though I’m pretty sure you’re also not supposed to be downing cans of Relentless on the sly either.
On the doctor walkaround, I’m told unless something exceptional happens with my pending blood test, I’ll be going home, and I dutifully pack my belongings and await the word. The quack, keen to get me out, even walks the samples up to the laboratory, so as not to keep me waiting unduly.
And then I wait for about 5 hours, and am told I’m not going home after all. This surprised the nursing team too, who had prepared all the requisite paperwork and very many medications that I’ll need to take.for the remainder of my days.
Apparently my blood showed a tiny falter in my kidney function, it had gone from 650 to 658. To contextualise, when I was at the height of my illness, I was regularly rocking 1200+. They say it’s better to be safe than sorry, and one extra night won’t hurt. I’d disagree. Also looking likely that I’ll face a biopsy tomorrow. This involves a long, hollow tube being pushed into my new kidney, to see if it’s working properly.
Our mate has decided to launch an official complaint to management, claiming the food has given him the trots. He fails to provide a sample, but as a precaution, in case he’s infectious, he’s moved to his own room with ensuite bathroom facilities, and our room’s bathroom is now out of bounds pending a deep clean in the morning. So, I’ll have to pee in a bottle next to my bed.
Not the end of the world, but the first time I attempt to do this, three young Asian women wander into my closed off cubicle and explain they are student nurses and would like to examine me. Then some saxophone music had started to be piped in, and they started examining each other’s mouths. It really was the makings of a low-rent blue movie.
Having tasted the dinner, I realised matey boy might have a point, but all the decent rooms had already been allocated, and in theory I’ll be on my own for the night, so I won’t have to go through too much rigmarole to piddle and go back to sleep.
Except around 11pm, holy hell is unleashed. All the empty beds are rapidly filled with proper ‘end of the world’ groaners. One chap complains of stomach ailments, loudly begging anyone that’ll listen the he “needs” morphine. Hot on his heels is a lad with learning difficulties whose blood sugar levels are through the roof. He’s been making a sound akin to someone having vigorous sex with an Alsatian dog. He’s doing both sets of noises, which is helpful. And finally there’s some meek looking chap that doesn’t make as much noise as the other two, but he loves a good tut and “oh dear” every few seconds.
The dayroom is closed as there is nowhere for the nursing staff to have a break, so they’ve taken it over.
So the only place left for me to go to try and get a bit of peace is a chair in the corridor, My ice-cool demeanour is finally starting to be tested. ARGH!