First, I’d like to explain that as bad as I thought my Stroke was at the time, after being taken to the Queens Medical Centre, diagnosed with having had an Embolic stroke, I thought I’d been lucky. Then I was transferred to the Newell Stroke Ward at the Nottingham City Hospital; I soon realised it was not bad at all!
The event took place while I was in the land of nod. I woke to find myself all disoriented, dizzy, and confused. I was sprawled half-in, half-out of the £300, second-hand, c1968, eyesorely-horrendously grungy coloured, haemorrhoid-testing, unfit-for-use, recliner. Unable to sit up at all, I was lolling to my right. Actually, I thought I might be dreaming at the time and sort of waiting for the fog to clear – of course, it didn’t. The most embarrassing thing in my life (Bar one, but I’ll not mention that!)…
Mass Bodily Fluids Flood – The deluge!
Miss this first section if you are queasy!
(A lifesaver, thanks to Nottingham City Homes!) And the deluge came! Trying to work out what was happening and pondered on whether to press the Medical Alarm Wristlet button…
Every part of my body that could leak leaked! This was without any warning and so rapid, even the tears that eructed out and I think missed the face cheeks it was so violent. The nose ran, sweat poured from all over, I dribbled from the mouth – but the worst two of all – the bowel evacuation almost shot out, and the wee-weeing too! (at The QMC later, the Doctor said that my ear wax turned to liquid?)
Even pressing the alert button was hard work; I was swaying about and fell out of the chair onto the floor as I got to the control and pushed it. Then found out I could not talk to the controller who answered the alarm!
QMC – Then City Hospital Stroke Ward
Yet I was aware of the mess I was in and ashamed! But I was talking again, but so aware of how I must have looked and smelt! A blank spell from then on until I was being pushed into the scan room at the Queens Medical Centre.
Memory went until I was in an ambulance on the way to the City Hospital stroke ward, The Newell Ward. They kept taking me for e-rays and scans for the day, but I can now recall little of the processes.
Sister Jane and Pete turned up later. Having been to the flat and cleaned up the mess I had made – Bless Them! So many of the patients were in a much worse condition than I was, which made me realise how lucky I had been. Walking again needed some therapy, and since then, I have started stuttering. With Peripheral Neuropathy diagnoses two weeks earlier, walking ever since is a challenge nowadays. But it could have been so much worse!
One morning, a new patient arrived. He looked like the spitting image of Tyson Fury. They had to move some beds to make room for him, which he was wheeled in on.
Then The Wailing Nights Began!
For about ten hours every single night – for fifteen of them, the poor chap would start calling out for his Mummy! No one else got any sleep! But it was not his fault, naturally. The insults being thrown out to him from other patients desperately needing sleep obviously made no difference.
After the first two or three nights, Tyson (I never knew his name, I can’t remember it if I did), who had been placed near the door, opposite the rota board, realised he could see the names of the other patients, and he would go through everyone… ‘Bill, Bill, help me!’ ‘Malcolm, I need help, fetch my Mum, please!’ ‘Dennis, call for my Mum, I beg you!’ And so forth… then start again repeatedly for hours longer!
The insults and lousy language slowly got worse as the frustrations grew in the other occupants. “F’ing shut your F’ing Gob!” and “Oi… shitting nob-rot, shut the F’s up” are two that come to mind, of the many. Although I had sympathy and empathy with Tyson’s plight and had resisted joining in the angry banter… on the last the 15th night, I very nearly did, but I didn’t.
Unfortunately, they gave me Clopidogrel to help prevent any more blood clots. Then found out I had an allergy to them. Hence the ankle ulcer and extra bloated feet and legs.
Move Me To A Nursing Home
I was so relieved when a doctor told me that they were desperate for beds for new stroke victims. Relieved? Ha! Had I known what was to come, I would have refused to go! They would be moving me later in the day into a Nottingham City Homes care home for a couple of months.
The single room, with adjoining WC with a shower, was nice and snug. There were no shortages of residents to come in and have a look around and help themselves to anything they fancied. Amongst the things that went missing were one hearing aid, pens, biscuits and a pair of socks. I later saw a bloke wearing the easily identifiable diabetic bamboo socks. My Get Better Teddy Bear from TFZer Pattie in Canada disappeared, but I found it in the TV room?
The routine went like this:
- A carer would come in to help me get the ankle strap on each morning. They all got it wrong, nearly crippled me! Hehe! The door would open (no locks), and a mystery voice would yell out, ‘Breakfast in ten!’ Then give me the medications. I missed many breakfasts.
- Occasionally a cleaner would come in to ‘do’ the toilet and moan if I’d left any shaving foam in the sink or floor.
- The midday food summoning would be something like “Tea!”, “Food!” or “Nosh” followed by the estimated time I have to be down for. I missed a few meals.
- Evenings, medications and taking the ankle strap off.
I was told not to leave the site at any time. During the nine weeks, I was there, my laundry was only returned to me three times. Sister Jane and Pete kept me supplied with socks and shirts from the flat. They asked me to make a statement for the police when a bloke attacked a woman with a knife.
If nothing else, this experience has made me all the more determined to avoid going into a care home.
For several weeks after leaving the Car Home, and Jane and Pete returning me to the flats, I had a repeating dream… I would be leaving the hospital… with the Grim Reaper calling me back to the Stroke Ward. I don’t think it got to me badly, but I was glad when they stooped! (Watch it now, the bloody thing will start again!) Haha!
Part of the Inchcock True Tales of Woe & Make E’m Laugh Series!