Friday, July 03, 2009

British Hospital in Hot Weather

My synapses are perhaps still too frazzled by a week of freakish, oppressive weather (during which I realise I am in no way going to enjoy global warming) and of heavy prescription painkillers to write a coherent post, but here goes. My latest sojourn to my PFI hospital in exurbia took me to the daycare ward, although I had been told I would be in overnight. The waiting room had built-in plastic seating uncannily akin to that of Star Express (which might be a more appropriate concession than the obligatory branch of Upper Crust), and after a shorter than usual period of milling around on nil by mouth I was ushered into the ward. I was to be in the corner, in a bed which seemed bizarrely thin, even for one as streak-of-piss-like as myself, where I would be overlooked by a poster for The Rugrats Movie and several cuddly toys of sundry animals. I assumed this was the children's ward, although with the general infantilisation that accompanies hospitalisation I couldn't be certain. The radio in the corner played Michael Jackson hits interspersed with the usual fare (Spandau Ballet's 'True' - and this before the painkillers). Despite the overwhelming brightness outside, the artificial strip-lighting of the ward cancelled out the dangerous notion of 'natural light'.

After a few hours of the obligatory stay of operation enlivened by being brought magazines by the inestimable IT, I was taken in to the anaesthetic room - which, even in this blistering heat, was icily cold. The last time this happened I spent a while afterwards in a half-conscious haze that was a bit terrifying, so this was nice and clean - woke up in the bed, in the ward, rather than in some vague surgical place or in a lift - and with the consoling visages of the Rugrats looking over me. Before I could contemplate further the dubious promise of a night on strong analgesics and tranquilisers looked over by cartoon children teetering atop the Eiffel Tower I was hustled out of the bed by hospital staff, without even a fresh batch of happy pills to take home with me. Since then I've been in far more pain than after the previous two operations, but whether the two are connected I can't say. I can only assume the hospital was being readied for the spectacular crisis that would befall a north Kent trying to cope with a heatwave...


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Owen, many years hence, when you die, your last words will be: "...this geriatric word is aesthetically offensive!"

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