I should be used to it by now that familiar pain in my arm, but the truth is you never forget it and its akin to dear god is this it? Am I going to die? The day started like most days Fox goes to work, obi and me go for long walks over the field.
His last walk, my arms feel a little funny not the familiar painful pins and needles, more of a dull, thudding pain my middle back between the shoulders feels a little tight, it gets worse, and I don’t have my GTN, but I carry on and get home, Obi is messy his hair is long and he has poo on it and needs cleaning I take him to the conservatory a bowl of warm soapy water a towel and scissors.
I start to clean him then the pain gets worse, I feel sick, but its that type of feeling if you were sick you feel ok, but I just get the feeling I want to be sick it doe’s not leave I walk into the front room Fox is watching the telly asks you ok, she sees that I am frightened I tell her no, I need my GTN she dashes for it, the pain is getting worse and I am sitting on the edge of the settee, I look at fox and tell her she best call the ambulance, as the ambulance departs, I look at fox I silently tell her I love her, as the doors close and I am rushed to the Harlow A&E, I spend the next two days in some room, the hospital is full to breaking point, no space or room on the cardiac ward, I remain in the A&E side room with 4 other men, waiting for a place in the main wards to become available.
Princess Alexandra Hospital is a big place I used to work there many years ago, and know the lay out of the place, it even has its own mental health unit, it’s purported to be ultra modern but it hides a terrible secret its in dire need of cash, and some of the wards are a lot to be desired as well as being under staffed and so many nurses from other countries, a vast majority of them could only talk a small amount of English at best lucky I know hospital talk and can get along on my own even in a vulnerable state that I was in.
It took them 2 and a half days to move me to the cardiac ward, it was full up and I was put in a side room all by myself which was nice I hate crowds, and cause they know I was an old employee of the hospital I got the better of the rooms on offer, I was moved at 3am to be truthful I could not sleep in A&E it was far too cold and the amount of people coming and going to different wards was a constant noise as well as the main A&E just around the corner you hear people scream in pain as the ambulance drops them off.
I also had another reason not to sleep a guy across from me was so dodgy looking he was eyeing up my Iphone almost constantly at one point I went to the toilet and forgot my phone but I was only gone for 10seconds and came back to find him trying to pinch the bloody thing, what you doing mate, Oh! He says I was going to bring it to you, like fuck you were, I thought to myself. I clocked this guy the second he came thru the door of the A&E, the Police came to the little side ward to interview him over some commotion he got himself into, he started to talk in Polish and acted like he did not speak a word of English, the police frustrated leave the ward the guy sits back down on his bed the other men in the room feel the same as me, we want to see the back of the fucker.
I get a visit from fox and I’m so tired my family come up and I look like death warmed up but its not the heart that’s the problem its lack of sleep because of the thieving git opposite me on the ward, in the end I get Fox to take my Iphone home with her till I am moved out of the place.
That same night I am moved to the cardiac ward, the next day my sister arrives and brings me my PSP and my much-loved Iphone back, I quickly settle in the cardiac ward, and my little side room, I play a Pirate game for the next 8 days that I am a patient of the ward, the daily routine of getting up at 7:30am my first set of Injections of Insulin, and some other injection in my belly which is not sore but gets a bit painful after 2 mins its given, I take my tablets and I have Breakfast, sometimes I sneak out of the ward and head to the Restaurant down stairs from the ward, and grab a mug of tea and some toast which is warm.
For all the time I was there, I had a lot of time to reflect on my life, not that I have a death wish in fact I do want to live its only when your facing that uncertainty where the veil of life and death you realize how close you come to the end of every thing, music, laughter, tears, love, knowledge, friends, warm, cold and the thought I might never see my Oberon again.
I would just draw the curtain in front of my bed so no one could see me and quietly sob, at how close I had come again and again this has happened, each time I thank myself for surviving but now I am thinking one of these days I will not be so lucky, I don’t fear death what I fear is leaving the people I love, the dog I adore the friends I love so much, the family that means the world to me, for really the first time in my life I want to fight and hold on, and never ever let go.
Over the past 3 year’s I had Five Angioplasties performed two on both sides of my groin well not on the groin but at the side each time it was a very painful experience the last time it was so sore, I wanted the doctor/surgeon to just kill me, to this day I think they wanted me to feel the pain maybe in a way to make me change my ways and lead a more healthy life style which is great in my books, but you see bad hearts is not only by a bad life style you can be pre programmed for it as well it run’s in the family my granddad died of it my mum died of it and well, I making my way there, only difference I have asked of help in dealing with my heart problems.
I soon settle into the little side room, and just potter around my room, glad of not being on a ward full of people well there are lots of people but I can’t see them when I close my door or pull the curtain.
I follow a daily routine to keep me going I walk around the hospital in my Superman PJs, it always raises a smile, I talk to some of the other people in the Cardiac ward, some old guy come in for his first angioplasty, so I spend sometime talking to him about the preparation for the operation, and what happens during the op its self, I find most people who have never had one done get quite scared of it, after all the surgeon pushes a tube into your heart and pumps out a quality of dye to make the arteries show on the telly screens, and of course put the stints in if they are needed.
As of date I have 5 of them keeping my heart ticking over, some times you can feel them scrap against your back its never a nice feeling at times really painful simply because it has a blockage.
The hardest part of the operation is staying still even when its painful, and for the last two times it was so bloody painful, the last time I just wanted to die so the pain would just go away.
I can put a face on that shows calm but in fact I did not want them going via my legs ever again I talked to the doctor explained I was not happy about the way they go in, this time he says he go in via my right arm…
It did not hurt that much but was a little painful and I could hear the tube scrap as it went over or under my shoulder blade but compared to when I had it in the leg it was so easy, I made sure I got tonnes of relaxing medication, and the injection into the belly for 5 days was to thin the blood so the procedure would be more easy for the doctor to perform.
There is one sound you never like to hear on a ward, it panic’s you for a few seconds is the Crash call, a high pitched sound beeping away an automated voice calls CRASH-CRASH-CRASH BAY E BED 3 CRASH-CRASH-CRASH. This repeats till it is turned off, the hurried footsteps of nurses and doctors the crashing along the corridor as the crash box is dragged to the bed, the whine of the De-Fib as its charged, muffled voices directing members of staff, relatives crying in the corridor, you might be dieing for a pee but you don’t leave your room not out of respect but out of fear, that death might stair you face to face or the face of a relatives eye might catch you un-aware, and what do you do?
So what you do is sit in your room and wait, draw your curtain and pee in the sink if you have too, just so as you don’t intrude well in fact the nurses are quite fast at getting relatives out of the way of the main corridor so the patients can go about there business, as soon as the all clear comes, there is a mad dash for the loo, my room is next to the loo so I get there mostly first, you can wait Mr 90yO.
One night I am laying propped up in bed I got one of those fancy beds that mould to your body and I was playing Pirates on the PSP, for a change I took the earphones off, I was getting sick of putting stuff in my ears, after an hour of play one of the nurses came in and asked me to put the ear phones back on, I apparently I was driving the staff up the wall with the battle sounds of cannon fire, and the dancing music when I took the Governors Daughter to the local dance, to score brownie points in the game.
It felt a bit reminiscent of my time in Brighton General hospital after my first heart attack, when my sister and her man John got me a mini dvd telly for the ward, and gave me a lone of his Red Dwarf DVDs, I was laying propped up again watching the program with ear phones on but I was laughing so much, some old bint complained to the nurses I was being too cheerful… Can’t win… it caused a commotion on the little four bed ward I was on, some guy stood up for me and said least he not depressed, wish I had one of those players myself, so we watched more Red Dwarf only with the sound down low except for our Laughter which pissed the old bint off, who was more than happy being depressed, stuck in the corner of the ward.
See laugher makes healing so much easy to handle, nothing worse than being in a room by yourself with nothing to do except reflect and moan about your lot in life.
Hi I am your friendly UFO watcher here in Sunny Brighton East Sussex yeah by the seaside, I have just took up Argentinian Tango dancing lessons and I am loving ever bit of it, my best friend is my sister and my best dance partner is a Lesbian and I fancy a TS...