Not Necessarily In Oder.
But I did my bestest…
At about 6 years of age, I had my right thumb crushed. They did a good job on it. Even now, I’m 78, and I can still see the scars where they unmangled it and stitched it back on!
Oddly, the thumbnail has grown a good three times the thickness of the other one on the left hand.
The surgery went well enough. Worth mentioning, though, was the at the Barium-Meal before the operation. They did not issue me with any crystals… I got home and spent five hours stuck on the toilet, with a concrete-like coloured torpedo Half-in-half-out… before eventually the ‘clunk’ and splash, as it evacuated, along with a pint or so of blood. I rang 999, back I poddled to the QMC A&E and had to have 24 stitches in my posterior. I remember that well enough! Haha! Thus, poor bled, and still do bleed daily; for the next up to know, for forty years! Hey-Ho!
Nottingham City Hospital, Morris Ward. After a lot of visiting and kerfuffles, changes of dates, and so many tests… the day came for me. I had the angiogram, and they said tomorrow we go in your chest and fit you up with a new mechanical ticker. Great!
Afterwards, I was taken into the ICU. Attached to various tubes, drips and drains, it took a couple of confusing, muddled days until the drugs wore off. Then back to the Morris Ward, for they said, three or four (it turned out to be two) days so as to keep an eye on how things were. The next day, they explained that they needed the bed, and they had phoned Brother-in-Law Pete; he is going to pick me up at 04:00hrs the next day to take me home. I bet is going to be in a good mood when he arrives! Haha! I later discovered that the breast bone had not congealed properly, and the Reflux Valve may sometimes stick open or closed. If it bothers you or causes problems, let your Doctor know about it, who can then refer you back to the Nottingham City Cardiac team. Thank you, I said.
Not an operation as such, just a long test & I was given the result of the aforementioned examination. Little knowing it would take five visits to the Mary Potter Clinic to get to the root of the problem. So, off to the first test, A nerve biopsy; the removal of a small piece of nerve for examination. Through a small incision, a sample of a nerve is removed and examined.
A few weeks later, off for the Nerve-ultrasounding test. Which allows physicians to directly view nerve damage. Different diseases affect nerves in characteristic ways, some of which can be seen with ultrasound. This was getting my attention!
As I recall, I had monitor pads on all my peripheral areas, one on each toe, and three under each foot. The hands and fingers could hardly be seen; there were so many all over them.
The two ladies, nice and plump attractive medics, were just my cup of tea… Sorry, I went a bit off track there.
Half an hour later, I was summoned back into the test room, to get the results of all the examinations. This was the initial explanation I received: “Your nerve ends, called; nobody can do anything to relieve the situation; we cannot yet repair nerve ends. So you must prepare yourself as best you can for when the time comes that you lose all control of your extremities movements, Mr Chambers. They handed me a leaflet about coping and the dangers that can make things worse. “Degenerative nerve deaths affect many of your body’s activities, such as balance, movement, talking, breathing, and heart function. (Dead right!) Many of these diseases are genetic. Sometimes the cause is a medical condition such as alcoholism, a tumour, or a stroke. Other causes may include toxins, chemicals, and viruses. Any questions?
For a second or two, I was speechless. But still appreciated their straight, no namby-pamby nonsense, explanation. I think I thanked them for giving it to me straight.
No direct operation or surgery as such, but a side effect brought about some surgery to remove poison from my quickly acquired ankle ulcers. Now, are yer wondering? I’ll explain…
The hospital gave me Clopidogrel on arrival at the ward. Not knowing until much later, that I had an allergy to it, that somehow had poisoned my blood? As soon as I started to come around a little, days later, they sent me to a theatre to have the blood cleansed. All tubes, lit panels, noisy machines and many surgeons, possibly some students, were amongst them, and the IV sent me almost immediately into oblivion.
Back to the ward, where I was told (this always happens to me), we need the bed urgently, so we are sending you to a Nottingham City Council home for four weeks. You’ll be picked up in about ten minutes. Then it got farcical…
Two ambulance gals came in, started throwing my bits into a bag, and before I knew it, I was pulling up at The Oaks Residential Care Home. What an experience that was. I thought at least I know I’ll end up somewhere like this in a few years, so I’ll see how things go – which was not well for the six weeks I stayed. I hardly had any clothes with me, but as a Carer told me, “You are not allowed out anyway!” By Sister arranged to bring me some clothes from the flat, bless her. When I gave a Carer my first bag of laundry, all it had was a towel, two t-shirts and a pair of trews. It came back without the trews and towel… but ~I did get a bonus of a lady’s bra and knickers! Every time something disappeared, never to be seen again! Mind you, since I could no longer do the laundry at the flat, it’s been happening for the past year or so, here). One male tenant ran at a female with a knife, I was asked to make a statement for the police – but in the end, it was masked over and not needed. For three different days, I did not get fed a meal. In one day, I got two!
I lost count of the times I asked someone to get a newspaper for me from the shop just outside the car park of the place. I never got one. On a few days, the same man and women would be sat near each other in the dining area, and swear, cursing and threatening each other violently. By the time the catering staff were shooing us all away so they could clear up and get home before Coronation Street (or whatever) started; these two argumentative snapping at each other couples were sat in the communal lounge laughing and joking?
I then (and now) fear my coming transference to a home.
After my lifelong dream of owning a shop, had left me broke, in debt, and out of work, with the Customs & Excise chasing me for an imaginary debt; I managed to get a job as an industrial cleaner, at Carters Pop factory in Kegworth. I had a hell of a drive to and from work and a heavy, arduous list of duties. Emptying the bins of bottles and other rubbish on the three production lines. If any of the tunnels, labellers or conveyors needed cleaning, I got the job, because I was the only one who could climb into them, I was them a thin little thing.
The place, although newish, was not connected to the sewers, so we had a constant flow of slurry tankers that had to be connected to the storage silos, to remove the mammoth amount of pop we were throwing away every day. Guess who fell for that job every single time one of the five-a-day tankers rolled in?
We had a massive baler, for the recycling; each bale weighed, on average, one and a half tons!
Another joy of the job. As was the compactor, and emptying the twenty-two industrial bins into it, climbing in to free strapped items… But the money was good!
Anyway, I was lifting one of the domestic size bins to tip into the compactor, when I got the hernia! This would be five years after starting there, my first time off. I went off to the Queens Medical Centre, which kept me in and did the operation the next morning. After the operation, I woke up in Mens Surgical, Ward 19, on floor C. The surgeon came to see me with his entourage of students and had a message and a half to tell me! Truly stunning! The most gob-stopping news was he said they went in with a camera and laser to tackle the tear… through poor Little Inchie, the smallest willie in the UK! How he got things through still amazes me. Then, once in and looking around, he saw the cancer growth, as he said: “It could not have been a more opportune timing; we had all the tools inside you, that could deal with the growth straight away, Mr Chambers!” I think that was my last bit of luck in life! I thanked him in earnest!
He then told me of a Royal visitor who was coming in today.
Later in the day, a young student nurse, on her own, came to take the drainage tube out of Little Inchie. She was nervous, and her hands were trembling. I tried to put her at ease, a pleasant smile in encouragement… then…
All hell let loose in the ward!
After a gut-wrenching scream was let out by a woman, she shouted out. “Look, it’s Lady Di!” Everyone able to do so, rushed to the window to have a look. I found out later that they were letting her in through a fire door with armed guards around, and straight up the ward above mine. Charles had brought his own chefs with him as well, and had several nurses and a Sister with him all the time; the ward was cleared of all other patients, of course, while he had his shoulder looked at after an accident fox hunting… Hehehe!
The young nurse obviously wanted to rush to the window with all the others, and Indicated with the movement of my head, ‘Go on then…’ I regret doing that!
Cause as she shot off, she caught the drainage tube, which shot out of Little Inchie and sprayed blood up high and all over the bed, and me as it fell back down on!
The Sister was livid with me! She thought that I’d been toying with the tube, and she gave me a phlegm-spitting mouthful!
I said nowt, so the nervous trainee nurse didn’t cop for it. The two nurses that came in a rush to sort out the bedclothes and replace them, almost knocked me out of the bed twice, elbowed me in the face, and knocked my glasses off of the cabinet, doing it. It seems my name was mud from then on!
I dare not tell them the pain I was in!
(Nothing serious, but it sounds good, dunnit? Hehe!)
After my being made redundant along with so many others from Carters before the new owners arrived, finding work was so difficult. I did agency work for a year or so, but they would pay us short, and it’d be a devil of a job getting what they owed you.
I took a job as a Static Security Guard.
The first event happened at a precision metalwork plant in Draycott. I was doing an external spot patrol, around 01:30hrs. No workers anywhere that night. So I was a smidgeon put out when I thought I saw a body on the floor on Avenue Three, near the laboratory Zinc door. No lighting on that avenue, but I’d got my maglight torch out, and I bravely approached whatever it was… Dang, dang, dang… Dang!
It soon became obvious from the outline that it was a man, possibly trying to hide in the corner. A gulp from within, and I radioed in to inform control and then the police of the situation, keeping the man in sight. I kept in the shadows and moved closer. The man would not have seen me if the police had not approached with their sirens going! This after I suggested a silent approach to their operator when I called them! Humph!
It was then that I felt the bullet hit my knee, which proved he was a bad shot, cause as I always did in the dark, I held the torch as far away from my body as I could. If anyone is armed, they would aim at the torchlight. Then I had to rush to the gate to admit the officers and tell them the scenario. When we got back to Avenue Three, the man seemed like he was in the same area, more or less, that he’d fired from?
I got to him before the officers, and became obvious by the smell and carrier bag on the floor, that he had been glue sniffing! He was arrested as the ambulance arrived. I knew it wasn’t a high calibre weapon, cause phutted more than banged. The .22 bullet had not even gone all the way into my knee, and I pulled it out myself. Anyway, the old chap was not charged in the end. I was okay with that, cause he had to go on the course to help him kick the habit. Hope it worked for him.
‘C’s’ Haulage on Rose Street the next time a year or so later.
A two-guard assignment on nights, cause they had suffered so many break-ins. Barry and me. Baz as he was known to us. Well, ‘Boozed-Up Baz’, but not in his earshot. A big lad. Har-har!
We’d both had our RTs. As I started the patrol, leaving Baz in the gatehouse, he radioed, “Golf Charlie, receiving?”
“Golf Charlie, clear, Bravo Echo, send”. He informed me that the hangar two alarm was activating, and he’d called the police, our control and the client. “He’d locked the gates; call me if anything is found untoward!” I got the door code from my notebook and approached with severe caution. The alarm was silent and rang only at the client’s home and site gatehouse.
It was obvious that someone had been inside, from another entry point. I called Baz. “India Oscar Sierra”. A group of youngsters; five or six of them, broke cover and made a dash to the window they’d got in through. As the last one was climbing out, I heard a noise behind me and felt something on my right arm, another intruder I’d not seen, I thought he’s thrown one of the bolts laying about at me, and the chase around the lorries and shelving commenced. He was too quick for me.
Meanwhile, the police and client had arrived (thankfully), and the search commenced in an orderly fashion, Baz still at the gate to bar any exit. None of the youths was seen again, but we did see where they had stacked some large oil or petrol cans up to climb over the fencing. I think the police caught one of them later when the police dog handler arrived.
I was feeling a little smug at how we’d handled that, and I made a brew of tea for Baz and me. Then some blood he did see… it was coming from me! That was when we realised the bolt thrown at me was a gunshot. It had gone right through the uniform, my arm and out again! No pain until I saw it! The excitement of the pursuit, I suppose.
I’ve still got the scar, and have told varying stories of my bravery and heroism over the years. Hehe!
In fact, I only needed four stitches, and was let go home, back at work the next shift.
Sorry folks, there was no heroism at all!
I waited two years after the optician told me that I had cataracts and Saccades in my right eye, and cataracts (less severe), and in the left one.
Then got a series of tests done over the next year to see if I can go on the waiting list. The last one was a Refraction Test, and I’d got on the list at last! A further year on, and they notified me on a Friday, that the cataract operation was to be done on the following Thursday, but I had to take a Carer with me. That hurt the wallet more than the operation did me!
I had to sign a declaration that knew there was a 30% less chance of success but wish to continue. Which I did, naturally.
It failed. Hard to believe, I know!
Going in for two appointments next week. Not aware of which eye, yet. But they did tell the Doctor and sent me a copy. The eye underneath the new lens has a crack in it. So they have to laser it off again, put one stitch in the eye, let it heal, and then remove it, and then put another lens on. Could take a while, methinks.
Unless they are going to sort out the Glaucoma or Cataracts in the left eye? Confusing, innit?
No doubt I’ve missed one or so off.
The memory isn’t so good, you know…
The older the event the better the chance of recalling it.
Does my metal ticker run on Nicad?
Why am I a proletariat, not a chad?
Why are my ailments myriad?
Why my body stops me from going skyclad?
Why have I got a swollen gonad?
Yet failure I’m good at, begad!
I could script a jeremiad…
If I could afford a pen and pad!