Here I am..still more or less breathing ...a bit battered and bruised, but getting better, albeit slowly.
Actually the hospital is brilliant...English hospitals...those in Norfolk anyway, were perfectly foul. Full of uncaring staff who spent more time gossiping round the nurse's station than attending to their patients, but the Sligo General is altogether different.
It isn't a place to rest of course...up at six in the morning...or at least woken up at six for the first round of meds and then we were lucky to have the lights off in the ward before eleven at night...one night it was one o'clock. Not that the other ladies either knew or cared actually...they were mostly very old indeed and slightly dotty.
They can be awful funny though...the eighty-five year old in the bed next to mine swore she couldn't possibly walk without a nurse on either side of her until she suddenly decided she was going to visit her grandson and began to pack her stuff. She had no difficulty whatsoever then in hopping out of bed and scooting off to the loo unattended...
She was a bit of a sweetheart but was carted off to an old peoples rest home and her place was taken by a poor German woman who was wired into bleeping machines day and night which doesn't help a restful night's sleep...
The two old ladies opposite me were asleep for about twenty-three and a half hours at a time...with their mouths open and they both snored...loudly. When they eventually managed to wake up they were ringing the nurses bell demanding commodes and cups of tea and complaining about their medication being late and the television not being loud enough and they'd stay awake long enough to watch Fair City...an Irish soap...then fall asleep again.
The minute a nurse appeared I'd be asking for the television to be switched off again...
So I had posses of earnest students listening to my lungs and practicing taking blood gas...not nice and slightly scary when their hands were shaky with nerves 'cos blood gas is taken through the artery in your wrist...and I was visited by the madly eccentric Consultant, all jangly bracelets and long beaded necklaces, who told me a gory tale about her daughter's birth while laughing like a drain and then she grovelled an apology because she'd made me laugh and I had a coughing fit as a result...
There were Pulmonary Nurses...horrid people they were. And the girl with a strange hair style who argues the toss with the other staff but was awful nice to me when she sent me off down the corridors dragging my oxygen tank behind me...I reached Coronary Care before giving up and going back and she said she didn't mean for me to walk as far as that for crying out loud and will I take a lie down to recover...so I did.
Francis, the cook, struggled with my not eating meat...he did when I was in last May...so I had vegetarian lasagne every evening for supper...it was totally foul actually. Just as well Himself brought me yoghurts and fruit and biscuits in.
Off to Roscommon town tomorrow to collect a nebuliser for home...they deliver a strong dose of the reliever inhalant which might mean I can stave off another hospital stay for a while at least. And I've asked about having a shower installed...not too happy about clambering in and out of the bath anymore. The Occupational Therapist organises that...
And I've lost oodles of weight so have gone back on the five small meals a day diet...it's much easier to stick to than you'd think actually.
The goal posts have shifted again as to the causes of COPD...all the Doctors and Consultants are now saying that environmental factors play a huge part...not purely and simply smoking. More and more people are presenting with COPD who have never smoked in their lives, nor have they lived with smokers...I still avoided telling any of them that I still smoke about ten a day though...some things are best kept to oneself !
Thank you all for your messages and cards...it's lovely to know that you were thinking about me while I was being stuck with needles...I really do appreciate it.