They wheel me into the room after the surgery though I tell them it is unnecessary, I can walk. But there’s been a considerable blood loss and they’re concerned I might faint again. A stupid accident really. Avocado hand. Yes that’s right, I’m hospitalised for a pretty trendy affliction. I wish I could say 13-year-old me that I’m finally trendy. I wonder what that loser would think.
Anyway. After the knife blade lodged itself deep inside the fleshiest part of my palm, tearing through the skin before cutting through a small artery and quite a bit of ligament, I managed to call 999 between two bouts of wrenching and a mild fainting episode. I opened the front door wide, mucking it with blood before crouching against it, trying not to look at the little bids of fat oozing out of my skin and this is where the paramedics had plucked me from.
The pain wakes me early. The monitor attached to the lady next to me and going off everytime she gasps for oxygen doesn’t conduce me to fall back to sleep. Neither does the Christmas tree blinking just outside the ward. I re-live the previous day. The blade going in and the cracking sound of the skin as it tears. You should have kept the knife in, they told me in the ambulance. It would have helped reducing the blood loss and damage to my ligaments. No need to mourn those, the damage is done now. At least I can breathe unmonitored.
Janet from the office has popped over to say hi. She’s brought me a card signed by the team and an adult colouring book. I look at my heavily bandaged hand and thank her. She doesn’t stay too long. The day stretches. I wish I’d brought a book and my toothbrush. The doctor comes and says I should be able to get out tomorrow. The nurse changes my dressing.
I take an approximate shower and have an average dinner. The old lady bips and there’s a new arrival, a teenager with a broken leg.
The teenager has loads of friends, they bring him coke and Haribos and some magazines. His girlfriend gives him noisy snogs and access to her chest that he fumbles clumsily before they leave, the stench of sweat and Lynx and chocolate bars remaining until the leek-potato soup is served. The doctor comes and says I can go out tomorrow. The nurse changes my dressing. The old lady bips and the teenager types furiously on his phone. I miss my home and my bed and my tub and Socks purring on my lap.
The Xmas tree blinks to the rhythm of Staying Alive. That same rhythm you use when you do CPR. Blink, blink, blink, blink, blink blink blink, blink blink blink. And again. And again.
The teenager has left and has been replaced by a 3rd degree burn.
The doctor comes and says I can go out tomorrow. The nurse changes my dressing. The old lady bips and the burn victim weeps. I read a battered copy of Gone with the wind wondering if touching it might give me an acute case of e.coli. This is unbearable.
I don’t think I can take this anymore. I just spent the last 3 days plotting my escape as I’m desperate to go home.
Janet has come back saying that she feels for me, and also implying they might want to replace me if I don’t come back though, and reminding me I owe her £3.99 for the cat food.
I tell her I’ve just seen the doctor and that he’s said I should be able to leave tomorrow. The nurse changes my dressing. The old lady isn’t there anymore and the burn victim has just left, being replace by a pretty nasty case of anaphylaxis.
I didn’t sleep well. A young couple came with a baby around 2 am. I was hoping to see their baby this morning, I love babies, but when I woke up, they were gone.
Janet pops over with some paperwork for me to sign, I’ve been dismissed. She asks if she can return the colouring book since I haven’t used it yet and she could repurpose the £4.99. She doesn’t stay long but that’s fine by me.
I was meant to leave today but I told the doctor I didn’t feel too good and tomorrow might be better. It’s quiet as the old lady’s bed is still vacant and the anaphylaxis guy is pretty out of it.
I told the nurse it might better if I stayed overnight as it it’s icy and I’m worried driving with my injured hand in such conditions. Also it’s potato leek soup night.
I had a panic attack after watching the news and not being able to remember the prime minister’s name. There was that lady looking like a praying mantis addressing the nation, she was familiar but her name had disappeared from my memory.
They gave me Xanax and I had a good night’s sleep. I’m still a bit woozy so it’s safer for me to spend the night and leave tomorrow.
Terry, my favourite nurse, has written the name of the prime minister on a post-it note for me. I use as a bookmark for the copy of Catcher In The Rye she’s brought me. Apparently I’ve read 14 books since my arrival. I don’t remember much of them.
Terry has come for a quiet chat about my mental health and to say goodbye as I’m being moved to a different unit. I give her a hug and tell her I’ll miss her, before I erase her from my memory.
Bed 6, Bay 1
I like it here. Apart from that young woman that occasionally rambles on a about rats and cats and talks to an invisible person called Libby, it really is very cosy. Doctor C says I can stay as long as I want.
Image via Pixabay