After two nights in the Specialist Receiving Unit, and not being transferred to any other ward, neither oncology nor haematology, I was discharged.
My whole stay in hospital was happily short-lived and uneventful. When I arrived on Sunday, I expected to be put in a private side room, due to my compromised immune system because that’s where they put me when I was here last year. However, there were no side rooms available; I was given a bed in a bay of six beds… and no one seemed too perturbed about it. This in itself, while initially disconcerting, was ultimately reassuring – I couldn’t be that ill, or that vulnerable. In fact, most of my fellow patients were a lot more ill than I was. This became more obvious as one by one, they were moved to other wards. I was clearly not an urgent case at all.
My temperature came down after a Paracetamol drip, spiked again on Sunday night, but after another dose of Paracetamol, by 1pm on Monday, it had reduced to a very acceptable 37˚ and below. My normal temperature is around 36.7˚, so even slightly over 37˚ is a bit high for me. Fortunately, it stayed down for the rest of that day and night.
I even felt well enough to go into the visiting area, where there was a large TV. Early in the evening, there were a couple of women watching Coronation Street, so I snuck away. But later on, I had the place to myself and was able to watch the film, “Julie and Julia“, with only an interruption for obs and an injection of antibiotics. Sadly, no one brought me a mince pie and a glass of sherry, which might have been nice. On New Year’s Eve, I often like to watch Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, but once the film was over, so was my energy, so I took myself off to bed. Check out Petula Clark at 38:05: “I couldn’t live without your love”. Thank goodness for BBC iPlayer!
Here it is on YouTube, in case the iPlayer is no longer available.
During that day and evening, my fellow Yellow bay bedmates had changed frequently – wheelchairs and gurneys going to and fro. By that night, I was surrounded by mostly elderly and quite deaf patients, who required loud interactions with doctors and nurses. One of them who was 96, moaned, groaned and farted loudly off and on. Someone else was sick. Around midnight, I could hear the bangs of fireworks going off. An older woman needed help to use the commode and hadn’t been shown how to use the call button, so I had several minutes of “nurse, nurse, nurse” until someone appeared to help her. Then a younger woman arrived late at night, clearly in a lot of pain and cried pitifully until they gave her some morphine. Somewhere out there, far away, people were celebrating the New Year! For me though, it was a rather disturbed night. Somehow, fortunately, I managed some decent bouts of sleep between all the disruptions.
On Tuesday morning, I was happy to hear Dr Truelove (yes, that really is his name) announce that I could go home. I only had to wait for Pharmacy to bring down the antibiotics I would need to continue taking, to complete the whole course. I called my friend to collect me around 12:30, expecting the “wait for Pharmacy” to take some time; it usually does. But quelle surprise! Within about twenty minutes, I had my drugs and was all ready to break out. Fortunately, I was able to ask my friend to come straight away and busied myself with dressing and packing. What a relief to walk out of there, like an ordinary person – no temperature, no wheelchair, no drip!
When I got home, I felt tired enough to lie on the couch and actually fell asleep for most of the afternoon. Later on, after two days without a proper wash, I took a very rare hot bubble bath, which made me feel sleepy again, so after getting cosied up in my pyjamas and eating a hugely appreciated home-cooked meal, I put myself to bed… in my own bed – divine!