Friday, August 05, 2005

Day 76 - Keeping up appearances, Thursday 4th.

Nigel has written this and I shall endeavour to read it! ( at least we know the spelling will be better - hee hee );

One of the first things that go when you are in hospital is keeping up one's personal appearance. This is mainly because you feel that you do not wish to compete with the nursing staff who hold the key to the enema cupboard but after a leg amputation it is always difficult to focus your mind on putting on your best lippie and setting your hair in rollers. However, keeping up appearances is so important in this modern world, after all what's a leg between friends, well depending where you live in the world it could be a roast dinner.
One thing about hospital that is much like prison is that you cannot chose your cell mates.If we are all honest we would rather be stuck in a cell with clingy "Craig" from Big Brother rather than a rampant Mike Tyson lookalike who likes to be called Daddy. I have three bedroom sharing colleagues all with various types of cancer and all at different stages. None have symptons that would scare children but certainly 2 of them warrant the attentions of this column. I have not changed the names to protect the guilty so will deal with these 2 characters in turn. Opposite me is Mr. Smith, mid to late 70's - spotless slippers(?) , silk dressing gown and the looks of Roger Moore. The one thing that did strike me was he had this amazing head of perfectly coiffured jet black hair and shiny white teeth. In my observations of him over the past few days he is the sort of bloke my mother warned me about. Rather than Roger Moore he reminds me of the childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He has no ? belongings except his soap bag. This morning I managed to get a tablet stuck in my throat. The effect of this being that my mouth foamed and I looked like a rabid dog. The giveaway was the cages (?) and the nursing staff dressed up like 5th century Chinese warriors and prodding me with an electric cattle prod. ( Okay Nigel, just what drugs are you on? lol ) Whilst I was frothing at the mouth I saw the childcatcher fetch from his only possesssion, his soapbag, a huge aerosol can which because of its size I can only imagine he obtained from an Australian crop spraying Uncle. It was huge, in fact I am sure it was telescopic, the aerosol just kept on coming! It was industrial, huge and at one stage I was convinced it was inflatable! For the next 2 minutes terror reigned on the ward - Childcatcher was spraying his hair.I could see leaves being ripped off the bush outside, I could hear the gas attack sirens going off at Devonport Dockyard and his fellow room mates were flattened to the boards by this toxic hairspray. "Roger" continued to spray his raven mane whilst the rest of us were looking for the escape hatch and calls were made to Scotland Yard about chemical weapons attack. I am convinced that George Bush would have invaded! Then, with the speed of a minicab running late, he managed to return it to the small soap bag!!! I maintained a watch on him for other self grooming products (?) from the soap bag but alas, my entertainment for the day was focused on cricket.
Thursday was a good day in terms of health. I must admit Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday this week were energy sapping, emotionally draining days. I was at my weakest and was finally glad I said "Please help me".
Swallowing is now virtually impossible as everything including liquid food, medicine and water now goes through the nasal tube. The nasal tube will be replaced next week by a PTB (?) tube. It is a tube which is inserted directly into your stomach. Whilst the nasal tube is not painful whilst it is in ( inserting it was a real screamer!) it is very cumbersome and unwieldy to use but it is effective and has for the past 3 days kept me alive. The PTB is unobtrusive and non-visual and it will be in for the one week remaing of treatment plus the few weeks after whilst my throat and mouth recover. When I had my nasal tube fitted at the second go I was scoped to check on the state of my throat. The exact words used were " You poor thing, I can see why you are in so much pain". My throat is in shreds, ripped apart because of the radiotherapy and ripped further apart by the repeated sickness.
I have none of the anxiousness(?) I had before about Yeo Ward. They had made me better this week and for that I am grateful however much the inconvenience of staying in hospital.

P.S. - Lizzie has passed her MOT and for £200 - what a bargain!


L said...

Nice to see you're perking up Nigel!


mazzagee said...


Good to know your up and taking a little nourishment. The light entertainment sounds as thought it could do with a little less grooming and a few more laughs. tee hee, watching that space.
Hope your mouth and throat recover quickly, then you will feel even better.
and Well done Lizzie.