Out of patience – or – outpatients?

So, having escaped, the days rolled rapidly round, and after less than a week since I left, the ambulance drew up to take me back to gaol.

Naturally when your appointment is for 12.30, patient transport is booked for 10am. Even on a wet day, with a ‘plane landed, and border queues, it does not take two and a half hours to get to the hospital in Gib.

It is a 20 minute walk. OK, I can’t do that, but it is ten mins in a vehicle. Allowing for ten mins to carry me down the stairs, that leaves two hours and ten mins to wait, assuming they are running on time. I took a book. In fact it could have been worse. The ambulance turned up at 9.30 in case I was ready, but luckily the front door was shut and our intercom doesn’t work. Note to self: do not fix intercom.

The driver asked what was happening. I didn’t know, just a chat with the consultant, I said.

No, he said, they’ll probably take off the plaster, rip out the stitches, and put a new one on. I felt faint. That didn’t sound like see the consultant. That sounded like something that needed a local anaesthetic at the least. I decided he was wrong.

In the hospital I was taken up to OP orthopaedics in a wheelchair with a dodgy sticky-out bit for legs in plaster. I spent my time trying to find better positions for my leg and little time reading my book. Arrival time, 10.20. A mere two hours and ten mins, as predicted, to wait. With my leg in a very uncomfortable position.

Appointment 1

But, just before noon, things started to move. Or, someone moved me. To a strange room with a bed. And things that looked like someone might DO something to me. Not a nice how’s it going chat with my consultant.

Looks like doing things here :(
Looks like doing things here :(

‘Can you hop on the bed?’ asked the nurse briskly. ‘And don’t put that foot on the bed. No shoes allowed.’ I hopped. I left the other foot sagging on the floor.

Nurse Brisk came back and proceeded to start ripping my leg apart. Or the bandages and plaster.

‘Just going to have a look, see how it is,’ she said briskly.

The trouble was, the whole thing was stuck together with blood. My blood. Post op.

Did it hurt? Oh yes. I screamed and yelled as she yanked off various sticky bloody bits.

‘I’m going to have to get a colleague,’ she said, and marched out. So far we’d only taken off bandages. The plaster still had to come off. Why couldn’t they take it off in tiny pieces?

Nurse Colleague held something. My leg, I think. Nurse Brisk yanked. My ankle felt like it had been fractured all over again. Wonder if they have sound proof walls?

I shouldn’t have been surprised. The plaster had been covered in a light shade of rose carmine since the op when blood had seeped through everywhere and stained a couple of protective bed covers. At the time, I was told it was normal. Maybe so, but blood everywhere does not make for easy plaster removal.

No I didn’t look. No I didn’t take photos.

Two dressings got ripped off, one on either side of the ankle. Ouch! and Ouch!

Betadine was rapidly applied all over.

‘You’re healing really well,’ said Nurse Brisk rather more kindly.

Consultant had a cursory glance. ‘Nasty fracture, as I told you.’ Long pause while he admired his work. ‘But it’s looking good.’

Dressing reapplied.

And then, as orthopaedics was chocka, I was shunted down to A&E for a back slab, ie a half cast to the back of my leg.

A&E was not impressed. Six staff hanging around a desk asked why ortho couldn’t do it. I was wheeled to a plaster room while I waited for busy staff to finish chatting at the desk. I asked for the bed to be raised so I could read my trusty book.

Busy staff arrived. Another Nurse Brisk who was clearly in charge of instructing Nurse Junior about the intricacies of daubing legs in plaster.

Should bandages be wet or dry? How long to leave to dry? The perfect consistency? Stockinette or tubigrip? (naughty Spaniards use tubigrip) How much protective gauze and bandage to use?

I reckon I could get a job as a plaster technician after that, plus a fair amount of personal experience.

Then they went. I was still uncomfortably on my stomach. This, it seems, is a good position for applying a cast. Not for me it wasn’t, my back was killing. I hastily wriggled over, and started fidgeting. I needed my book. I needed to go home. Had I been abandoned?

No. Two smiling angels appeared after ten minutes uttering the wonderful words: ‘We’re here to take you home.’ And so they did.

Appointment 2

Trouble was, after the incident upstairs, Nurse Brisk had said, ‘I’ll book you in for next week to take out your staples.’

Now why give me pain and agony over two appointments? Couldn’t they have left it to the second one? Maybe not.

I told Nurse Brisk I would need patient transport. ‘We’ll see if they can do it. You may have to get a taxi.’

I laughed. I can’t get down the stairs. I can’t walk. I can barely fucking hop. You think I am going to get in a taxi? I didn’t say that. And when I rang, the patient transport had been booked for 11 for my 11.30 appointment.

They turned up at 10.59. Remember, I’m on first floor, twenty steps. The previous week, they carried me down in a chair. This week, the staff used their caterpillar track chair. Costs around three grand but goes up stairs. Still need two people to guide it.

I was tramadolled up to the eyeballs. Which means I’d taken one in prep for the staples out, and the plaster off. The bad news is that knowing what to expect was freaking me out.

It wasn’t like this when I was a kid. They probably gave me a local for taking out stitches. I certainly don’t remember the agony of them taking off plaster.

I arrived before 11.30. The nice wheelchair attendant (note, they are no longer called porters) informed the desk and I waited.

I looked at the painting above my head
I looked at the painting above my head

I was still waiting at 12.30, an hour after due time. I’d read a chapter of my book though. A nurse asked me who I was waiting for, blah blah. So did another one. It was Nurse Brisk in fact.

‘Who are you waiting for?’

‘You. To take off my plaster and take out my stitches.’

Truth is, I wasn’t annoyed. The receptionist was on day off, the nurses were trying to cover for her, and I was hardly going anywhere.

Plaster came off much easier. Phew!

Plaster. On chair. Off, but waiting to go back on
Plaster. On chair. Off, but waiting to go back on

Dressings were ripped off.

‘I’ll just get the extractors.’

No, that wasn’t what I wanted to hear at all. I didn’t dare ask how many staples there were. There were 17 stitches on my other ankle from my years ago op and this looked similar.

Even though I wasn’t looking.

‘You’re healing really well.’

Oh good. So good in fact that some of the staples had scabbed over. Not only did Nurse Brisk need to pull out the staples she also needed to rip off the scabs to get to the staples.

‘You’ll only feel a tiny prick. It won’t hurt. But do stop me if you want a break.’

I did. It was pricking too much, hurting too much, and it was nearly as bad as having my hair pulled through a swimming cap with a crochet needle for blond highlights. At least I looked good after that.

We started on the other side. The disposable sheet had nice red marks on and the nasty tin thing had goodness knows what in.

The tramadol had not worked.

‘You’re going to hate me now.’

‘I already do.’

The next torture was some wicked spray.

‘You mean it will sting?’

Nurse Brisk applies inevitable betadine. Grabs spray. Applies.

‘Not too bad?’ she asked.

‘When’s it supposed to start hurting?’ waiting for the delayed effect to kick in.

It didn’t. Never felt a thing. Probably still recovering from the staple extraction.

Dressings on. Another stockinette. Gauze. The reusable plaster in place and loads of bandage. Plaster trimmed at knee and toes.

Good to go.

And a holiday. A whole two weeks before my next return, and plaster off, and just to check ….

For what?

Not much chance of post op infection being missed though I have to say.

Adorable Belfast sink and drainer. I used to have the very same. I need that in my Gibflat
Adorable Belfast sink and drainer. I used to have the very same. I need that in my Gibflat

In other news

King of Spain, read about it on Clouds (later today).

Some books I read in hospital because being immobile means reading.

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris


Wrote Chocolat which was made into a film that I haven’t seen nor do I wish to.

It goes without saying that like Helen Fielding, Harris also went to my school. I really must write a novel. Perhaps I just need to say that I went to WGHS.

Mediocre is the kindest thing I can say. Man is stupid as he doesn’t recognise his predatory girlfriend and the plot and ending are just plain stupid too. It doesn’t merit a more thoughtful review.

King Rat by James Clavell

imageClavell was Australian-born British, and later became American. Just to confuse the issue. But King Rat is based on his experiences in Changi POW camp. A good book, hard, tough, and yet vulnerability showed through. The characters are very well portrayed, the atmosphere is quite spooky, and the suspense is brilliant. A great read but not for the faint-hearted, eg, they breed rats to sell them for food to other prisoners …

Red Notice by Andy McNab

imageI do like boy’s own action stories, whether Fleming, Higgins, Deighton, Ryan or McNab. But I’ve read better by McNab. Do authors start to churn it out and drag it out?

Implausible tale. Both in terms of character and plot. Good and easy read? Yes. Not as bad as woman’s realm, but not far off. OK if you are in hospital with little else to read. [Looks behind shoulder for Andy McNab]

Full of heroics and bravery and drivel.

Bluebirds by Margaret Mayhew

The sort of book I run a mile from. Soppy pic of soppy woman on cover looking misty-eyed. It’s actually about WAAFs. A cadre of them sign up, get shipped out to RAF somewhere or other, where the boss of the station doesn’t want them.

imageBut, the description of what WAAFs did, how they were treated, who joined up, is fascinating. To start with, they had no uniforms. Their senior officer was 22 (I think, from memory) and had gone on a quick AP course.

Obviously put men and women together and you get sex. A former services friend said it was a nightmare when the services were opened up to women. And this novel is set in the 40s. No pill. Which leaves those rubber things. I’m digressing but it must have been difficult having a relationship with someone.

The book follows four women in particular. Two of them were interesting, and two were boring as hell. Other minor characters were more interesting.

But to come back to relationships as these four seemed to have serious problems.

One of the boring ones had a boyfriend at home. He was sick and not long for this world plus he had a vile dominating mother. Boring WAAF marries him out of sympathy under his mother’s orders. Meanwhile, back at RAF whatsit, she is being pursued by a persistent Taff. She’s not keen on him, but when she finds out he is a fitter she picks his brains and finally moves out of record-keeping into mechanics. He is portrayed as obsessive and controlling. She is always a victim. Really? And she didn’t use his knowledge?

Later on she meets someone else who could equally be described as persistent, obsessive, controlling, and add to that manipulative. But he is OK. Huh?

But the best relationship disaster is one of the un-boring ones. She went to a posh school, so prob comes from upper middle class background, and her mother wants her to marry well. She was expelled from her posh school for smoking (!!!). She spends most of her time breaking rules because she thinks they are silly, and can’t really see the point or value of what she is doing.

Out of the blue, she is swept off her feet by a Polish pilot. They have a weekend away and she dreams of a future in a cottage with children and cooking … and … meanwhile, he doesn’t know what’s happened to his home, his family, his past in Poland. Wisely, her father agrees to their engagement, but asks them to wait before they marry. Would Polish fiancé really have wanted to settle into an English country garden when he came from Polish money and ancient lineage?

And then, there is the snobbish rich arrogant clever aristocratic pilot who she bumps into from time to time. He is beautifully portrayed. He is, after all, a beautiful person. Slightly long blond hair, always leaning against something and smoking, he doesn’t speak, he drawls.

This is a great anti-feminist character. In their first encounter, he nearly runs her over. In their second, he doesn’t see her and is busy slagging off WAAFs as low lifes. In their third, he figures his charm will ensure she will accept his invitation to dinner.

Later, she is standing at the bus stop in the freezing cold and he gives her a lift in his gorgeous Lagonda. But instead of taking her back to base, he locks her in the car, and calmly drives into London, a mere couple of hours away. So we must be impressed by this persistent handsome man who abducts a woman for dinner at the Savoy whereas there is something wrong with the persistent Taff who wants to buy a woman a cup of tea? Money and good looks speak volumes.

But wait, it gets better.

Our heroine goes to see him in hospital after he has crash landed and been burned. His mother writes to her and asks her to visit once he has been released because ‘she cheers him up more than anyone’.

So she goes and they have a fine time wandering around the family estate and playing cards and draughts and dominoes. Would suit me to be honest. On her last night, he broaches the subject of a relationship. She is, at this point, rat-arsed, tells him no, and attempts to stagger to her room. He helps her, and … follows her inside the bedroom, starts kissing her and of course they have sex.

Great example of No means Yes, and it’s ok to have sex with a woman who says no but she’s drunk so she’ll like it anyway. Because, the book went so far as to have her saying she didn’t want him to stop.

This is very very bad imagery. But you know what? It’s all ok in the morning because he apologises and offers to marry her. NO! NO! NO! That does not make having sex with a drunk woman, who has said no, make your crime OK.

If that’s not bad enough, later in the book, she decides she loves him anyway. So a happy ending all round. If anyone thinks that sort of behaviour leads to happiness then you are wrong. Or you have been reading too many trashy novels. Stick to King Rat.

All photos not really taken by me as, waiting for my transport home, I noticed a sign saying – no photos. Too late.

127 comments on “Out of patience – or – outpatients?

  1. What a process! Although clearly all the experts seem to feel you are heeling well. Hope it continues in that direction. Think I will give the WAAF Book a try. I know I will enjoy the history side of it. Thx for the review.


    • It’s unbelievable. I mean they’re keeping themselves in a job, but they are good at caring I have to say.

      The WAAF aspect was, seriously, very interesting. I just thought the relationships were pretty skewed. But avoid that and read the history of the blitz in London, air raids at the base, the progression of WAAFs from drudges to useful people, yes, that is interesting.


      • Glad you survived. I am heading in today for x-rays to check my bone alignment so your post was very timely. Hope you are not hurting from all the fussing with your wound.


          • I was pretty relaxed until the nurse who called yesterday told me that the doctor asked her to tell me to be sure not to eat before coming in. What does that sound like to you?


          • I was banned from eating after midnight. A few drops of water until 6am. After that nothing. GA was around 1pm. Think I’d had a banana at around 11pm. Food late pm post GA was not appetising. Burger and mashed potato. Yuk! Great post op food.

            Anyway, if you are out of it, you won’t know what happens. Do NOT go for the spinal epidural that leaves you conscious. And hey, could just be an X ray after all.


          • Agreed, no spinal for me. I have no idea what is coming, but I am told that the specialists are frequently dissatisfied with the ER docs handiwork.. sound like they may mess up my pedicure. YUCK


          • Surprise.. new surgeon not happy with alignment and is sending me for a CT scan for a clearer look a the situation. No hurry because the OR with the fracture table will not be available till later today. Sounds like an interesting day ahead. I looked up fracture table on the internet and realized I had seen those before in horror movies. I didn’t ask too many questions because I thought I better wait till I heard the results of the scan. My girlish wiles had no impact at all on this very handsome but stern new doctor.


          • Wait till you read my next post which will be the last for a while; you will freeze to death.


          • It is about to start. Nurse said they will be out in ten minutes to get my cast off and get me ready for the surgeon..


          • I am still in hospital because of dehydration. My leg is in big new plaster cast and in a sling. I am to get a hospital bed with a sling sent to home so I can keep leg elevated pretty much all the time for the next couple of weeks. Will be I full leg cast (hopefully more than one) for the next eight weeks, if everything goes well. After that another cast called a PTB, or something like that, short cast for four to six more weeks, IV needle is still in my left hand so excuse one handed typing. Thanks for your note


          • Oh dear. Sounds like more endless – legless? – agony.

            Your fracture is higher up than mine. I am malleolar, sounds like yours is a tib?

            Hope they found your vein better than they did mine. And that you are feeling better soon at home. I was thinking about you. Us plastered women need to stick together.


          • Both leg bones broken. New cast feels really tight. Swelling inside? See doctor later today. Confined to bed with leg up. Dreading the summer heat.


          • Do hope you haven’t got fracture blisters. Swelling? After a break at Christmas?

            Luckily my flat (and my finca if I can get back there) are cool.

            Concentrate on other things. Seriously.


          • No fracture blisters. Slight swelling after manipulation has subsided, being sent home this afternoon. Cast is almost fully dry, still feels cold and clammy. I am going to have to take it easy and am going to take your advice and focus on more im


          • Important things? Comment got cut off I suspect. Or more impact? No, def not.

            Good no blisters. Manipulation, ouchy.

            One day at a time read books, find free ones on internet, usually classics. Get partner to cook soup, love soup when sick, today’s order is carrot :)


          • Yes, I hit the wrong key.. going home now but with a new attitude towards my situation, After talking to Dr. handsome I learned that the CT scan showed my breaks were more numerous and serious than the ER realized. He told me that he had a hard time getting proper alignment and that he thought for a moment that, since I was adamant on avoiding surgery, he would have to put me in skeletal traction ( that is where they drill holes in your leg and put pins through that they hook up to weights) till he could reduce the fracture and cast me. The thought of that scared me into my new relationship with my cast. She (has to be a woman, no man would be as patient as she)is my new closest friend and I am going to give her the rest she deserves. Dr. says that if I really rest for 8 weeks he thinks I should heal up fine and be ready for a short leg cast I can bear weight in. I made him promise he would cast me with one of those cute rubber heels I have seen pictures of on the internet; that way I can look forward to wearing a heel on the other foot
            I am going to take your suggestion and quit focusing on (obsessing about) my injury and move on to other things. Blogging to be restricted to amusing incidents that befall a casted maiden; no more medical stuff unless things go horribly wrong.
            I have decided to further personify my cast by giving her a name: any suggestions?


          • The three of us are home now: me, my cast and my broken leg. How about naming her Anne, after all she is The Lady In White? Things are calmer now. New cast is much better than her predecessor. She even has curves. My leg aches but no sharp pains and my toes are wiggling constantly as prescribed by Dr. Handsome. She (Anne?) loves all the attention she gets by being elevated for all to see whenever people enter the room. Everyone likes to touch her and tell her how strong she looks. For my part I do nothing to upset her. Time to start reading La Recherché du Temps Perdue. When will I ever have this much time on my hands again. I hope never.


  2. You do make smile at these hospital escapades, some of which I relate to, as you know. I used to love the wheelchair journeys I had,,,For a while I had xrays done while in bed, but when I was able to walk they sent me to the xray department in a wheel chair. One particular porter or what ever they call themselves, was quite a speedy person and dangerous, whizzing round corners and just missing the lift doors. They would park me up outside the department and leave me. Because I had nothing better to do I found it rather amusing, especially when I got back to my bed ‘alive’
    I might try and keep a look out for the WAAF book, not into the other authors..


    • Hospital people will relate. After all, what else do oldies have to write about? Porters are a breed apart are they not?

      Don’t know about UK but Gib has separate staff and public lifts. UK prob same now. For trolleys and weight and all that. Only went in one public lift. Bit tight with leg sticking out. Ouch! Leg caught in lift was a bit of a worry.

      King Rat was the best. WAAF one held my interest for the history.


      • Yes that is so in reference to lifts, but in a chair they mostly used public, but when in a bed they would then use the staff lift. I can imagine a race of wheel chairs racing about the corridors, oh what fun..get the heart racing, ;)


        • Out of five chair journeys, no I lie, forgot X ray and casualty say ten, I’ve had one in a public lift. Bet my porters would beat yours. Add in obstacles? Use public or private lifts? Wheelchairs coming from other direction? Had that a few times!


  3. In my teens I loved Shogun, also James Clavell, and it is long enough for a few days’ recuperation. The history is fascinating.

    I too have been screaming in an NHS setting. I thought, but what about other patients? Do they think we have an 18th century barber-surgeon in here?

    Yes, there are staff lifts and public lifts here, the staff lifts are much bigger. You could use one if you were in a wheelchair, the buttons are not worked with keys or anything.

    Still interested in all this. Glad it seems to be going well, ish.


    • I vaguely remember Shogun, but Clavell is good enough to take away pain and boredom. Changi to me meant the flash new airport, so his story was good. Very good.

      Couldn’t access staff lifts without swipe cards in Gib. Super secret

      Thanks Clare. Objectively I find it interesting. Comes of being an NHS manager.

      I’ll survive, missed out one of the worst bits, doubt I’ll include it.


  4. You know, I feel for your pain. It sounds dreadful and even though I’m supposed to be “blokey” and stuff I think I’d freak out too. I’m glad you’re getting better though. All that “Healing Nicely” stuff must be reassuring.
    Interesting comment about the book, and written by a woman, too (unless it’s a pen-name and it’s really some male fantasy). It reminds me of something I came across a while back. When I was a kid I was hooked on Biggles novels (remember them ? ). Written for boys to become men, if you see what I mean. I stumbled upon an old copy in a secondhand book shop recently and started reading randomly for old times sake. I was horrified at the overt racism. Absolutely. I figured it should be consigned to history and placed it back on the shelf. It’s a wonder I turned out normal at all. :)


    • Pain isn’t too bad, but luckily I’m good on pain. Ripping off plaster and extracting staples is a bit challenging though.

      I never read Biggles. Now I will have to. I don’t have a problem with something written in the 40s that portrays that imagery. Written retrospectively is different. Conversely watching Quirke on BBC, they use Ms on subtitles. Really? Just really?? In 50s Dubln?p

      As for the book, truth is although I hate to say it, reckon it’s more of a female fantasy. The last word is key. It’s a fantasy.


  5. When she said you’d feel a little prick I thought you were going to suggest it was her. You’ve been through a rough patch and I’m sorry but on the bright side you did get to do a lot of reading and from here on in things get better as the plaster won’t hurt to remove.
    Try and be careful please…….


    • I know. ‘Twas funny. Words to use and those to avoid eh?

      Have to say I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. And the good news is, happy valley is on tonight. Can hardly wait. Beats your antiquey progs!


  6. Not convinced about the reading choices but then I suppose when your stuck in hospital for hours anything is a blessed distraction. Sounds like you’re in for the long haul. Onwards and upwards as they say. Whoever they are ….


  7. Argh, should be you’re not your. Typing this on my new iPad with which I’m not entirely happy yet. Don’t like touch screen and even sideways it’s still too small. Well, that’s my excuse anyway. :)


  8. Sounds a damn good job that you’re good at pain!
    Personally, it’s the anticipation that gets to me, rather the general medical brutality itself…
    Have a quiet two weeks break.

    As for the books, I’d read King Rat and enjoyed it…McNab isn’t my style….but that Harris woman takes the cake for banality!
    On the WAAf front I’d heard similar background from my mother in respect of the ATS, together with the opprobrious epithets for the womens’ forces units…pilots’ cockpit, officers’ groundsheet, etc…
    What I have always wanted to know is how mother knew that Polish forces pushed their beds together in their huts and sported hairnets and silk stockings….


    • I do pain well.

      But yes, I was far more freaked knowing what was going to happen than the previous ‘nothing’ appt.

      Rat was good, very good. McNab can be good but this one was a hospital read no more no less.

      Harris! What is it with women from my school? Write crap and earn shitloads? Six years younger than me so I only found out looking her up today. Anyway. Book was still rubbish so that’s an end to that.

      WAAF info was interesting. As was the lure of Polish men. I actually follow a Czech site after I researched the Polish prime minister dying off Gib.


  9. Ouch, ouch and triple ouch, I cringed all the way through both your hospital visit descriptions.
    I can understand why you were dubious about your return, especially knowing the staples were being removed.
    Hopefully with no congealed bandages and no staples to contend with, the next appointment won’t be as bad……..


    • Had more pain via OP than two weeks in gaol. Except for the trainee medic missing my junky veins.

      Staples. Hmm. With which I say Tram has its purposes and staple extraction is not one.

      Vic, there was more blood when she’d taken out the staples. It came through the plaster and the bandages …


  10. The best time for seeing ‘No Photography’ signs is as one leaves. That happened to me in Warwick Castle. I have some lovely shots.
    As for books – I hope women have matured a bit, but the wife of one of my sailing friends was a Mills and Boone writer, and a formula she had to stick to was for the hero to behave like an utter pig until the last few pages. Her books were most popular.
    I hope your sufferings are soon coming to an end, and that you won’t offer your dear little companion an opportunity for an encore.


    • Your first statement is class and so true. Sitting in the foyer, reading the opening plaque, looking at the paintings, the what department is where and hey! No photos! Tough shit.

      I will let Warwick Castle beat St Bernard’s Hospital.

      I do hanker to write books like that, I must be honest. LitTle companion is currently hunting potatoes. But he’s just a hunting dog.


  11. Ugh, bless! My stomach turns just reading about it. Thankfully(knock on wood) I’ve never had anything broken. I’ve never even been in hospital except to visit. I’m a tough old bird!

    Now, where is that anti-nausea medication?


  12. That sounded terribly painful.
    Pobre, pobrecita! Lo siento para almas tuya.
    We’re going to have to call you, hopalongroughseas! :)
    Just drink yourself into a stupor…you’ll soon feel better. :D


  13. I had to tell myself to breathe after reading Appointments 1 & 2. After that the book reviews were a relief. I find it beneficial to read long reviews for books I’ll probably never read – saves me even thinking about it. Pleased though at the multiple assurances that your injuries are healing well :)


    • During appt 1 when I was virtually hyperventilating as they took off the cast, the nurses said, ‘and yes it’s a boy! Well done’. I wondered how many times they had said that and found it so unfunny. Of course, the law of averages says most women of my age will have had kids. But as I haven’t, it meant zilch to me.

      Reading a review does save time reading a book I suppose. King Rat was the best, but the innuendo regarding the relationships in the last one fascinated me.

      The only book I didn’t read in hospital – I actually left it behind deliberately – an Aus author who I have read about on blogs. I’m going to have to try and find her name now. So didn’t grab me.

      I hope they are OK, still hurts which I convince myself means the scars are knitting together …


  14. Quite a journey so far and much still ahead. The skin will heal quickly enough but what lies beneath will take months, maybe years. There’s also the unexpected things–troublesome blood clots for example. In the meantime I am glad to see that things are progressing as well as one can reasonably expect.
    I have to admit that the “I already do,” retort struck my funny bone. I read this post yesterday and was still grinning to myself later on as I thought of it again.


    • It is so long drawn out. Hence long drawn out blog posts :D. In olden days, it was do something, stick leg in plaster and some time later, take off plaster. So much easier.

      Blood clots. I keep forgetting the clexane. The daily injections because I was immobile. One of my room mates had a foot/leg problem. She wasn’t in for that. The blood clot that she had a few days before. Discharged by the medic, but came back in for a CT when it was found. Evil. ‘I’ll really give up smoking now,’ she said.

      May have been funny, I thought the bigger joke was that I honestly didn’t feel a thing with the spray. They must have such a boring job and need to distract people and … and


  15. Hospitals aren’t fun at all. Glad to hear that you’re healing well. I know all about staples and extractors, I had about 30 in my thigh, but the memory of the pain has faded after 27 years. :)


  16. Oh, that didn’t sound like much fun at all Kate. I am glad though that the staples are out and that they say it’s looking good. I hate hospitals and I think after this you are going too as well. I feel for you hon. The ‘Bluebirds’ is my kind of fun reading as well when I have totally nothing else to do. I can see you did a lot of reading for sure. :D

    Take care and big hugs and kisses to you, Pippa and the little Rat. <3


    • Er no, is the answer to that. I was good in hospital as a kid. But too long working for the NHS and changing how I thought, left me very wary and unwilling to use hospitals unnecessarily. I saw where the money went. You don’t need people using up the system if they can heal at home. Pain relieving chemo is more important than a fractured ankle.

      I’ve read little since I got home. Not helped by Rat trying to shred a book! I blame the internet for my book withdrawal.

      Thanks. Little kisses back from Rat, a snooze from Pippa, and whatever from me.


  17. Good to hear that you’re ‘healing well’, Kate. Keep up the good work. Not sure why hospitals have to present themselves more as torture chambers than healing places though.


    • That’s what they say. They probably say that to everyone.

      Suspect it’s the old medical v social debate. People become objectified, characterised by their illness/injury, and not treated as people. They see so much pain I guess they become immune.

      A cancer surgeon I worked with talked about what a good experience it could be because breast cancer helped some women focus on their life. Really?


        • I don’t know. I nearly fell on the floor when he said that. We got on well work wise but what do you say to that? I really appreciated getting breast cancer because it sorted out my life. No, I do not buy that one at all.

          In terms of sorting priorities, you can see where he is coming from. But if you are a woman with breast cancer, gross, patronising and condescending are the first three words that come to mind.


  18. Ouchie ouchie ouchie. Never never do I want a broken leg. Just faint from the thought of it.
    Always a book or something – there will always be a wait…(longer now than ever before here)
    But glad you are home most of the time (you have to manage the stairs up and down? Ramps would be a big help. Here due to law suit concerns they would be delivering you to the car door by wheel chair – not risking you falling on their property. (And anyone who knows wants to stay out of ERs and hospitals whenever possible)
    King Rat is a solid good read. Think I read all his titles during one long dull year.
    Paw waves to Pippa and Snowy! (stupid laundry again – hasta later)


    • This is the worst I have ever had.

      I take a book everywhere. On the bus, to the tax office, the water office, the post office, you get the idea.

      Nope to stairs. Promised physio faithfully that I wouldn’t attempt them. Otherwise no escape from gaol. Have you tried hopping up and down stairs with a bad wrist, bad ankle and the other leg encased in xx pounds of plaster?

      To be fair, I have been transported very well by the health service. But, I am immobile. So they should. Still love our health service though. We aren’t claim-based yet.

      King Rat was one good read. Think Snows may have shredded it though. Doesn’t seem to be around.

      He’s out and Pippa’s catching a well earned snooze. Hastas Molly.


  19. I love Clavell’s books: Shogun, Taipan, Noble House, King Rat. The fun thing about them is that he weaves characters from one book into the others, not necessarily in a major way but often in a cameo. Glad things are getting better for you.


  20. My sweet friend this ordeal must seem as if it will never end. I shivered as I read this. You are a lot nearer to it all being over with than you were though so that is a positive. You got a lot of reading done while in the hospital. Hope you are finding something to enjoy while you are home-bound and not very mobile. Hugs!!!


    • It does feel like that, just been back today, and, yes another appointment for next week.

      I can live with immobility. Traipsing back and forth to hospital is a pain. It would almost be worth being incarcerated again to avoid the disruption.


  21. Good grief. Your descriptive ordeal has me thinking back of my own visits for medical procedures over this past winter. Now I’m visualizing in retrospect and the scene is dramatically more frightening than it seemed at the time. Words – you use them so well. Prayers go out for your continued recovery. Peace, Dohn


    • Clinical procedures have changed over the years. Long time since I had fractures and plasters. Seemed worse this time, but maybe my injury was worse, I’m older and my memories have faded.

      Another friend was in over Christmas with heart problems, like you, far worse than I’ve suffered. But still, for the lucky ones who don’t end up there, perhaps an enlightening read?

      Thanks Dohn. Appreciate your good thoughts.


  22. My appointment with the Cardio Surgeon’s best scalpel in late September 1996, left me with an 8″ CABG scar front and centre chest, ending with a flourish to the right and held together with about 20 stitches plus an ankle to rear of kneecap scar on right leg from where they ‘farmed’ a vein to stick into my damaged cardio vascular plumbing.

    Not a lot to be seen these days after 18 years, but the scars do seem to fascinate the younger breed of Medics whenever my manly (?) torso comes in for an inspection. They’re all reared on Stents inserted through the Angioplasty procedures these days and we scarred veterans of the early days of “Cabbage” ops are getting scarce…..


    • Didn’t know they’d stopped doing CABGs. I think all my scars put together wouldn’t match yours. I’m still squeamish about looking at the two latest so no idea of the length or number of staples.

      It’s funny being an object of interest. The interest in my fracture blisters was fascinating. Nurse after nurse came to admire them. Even the auxiliaries had a peek.


    • The worst bit was actually falling and realising it was bad. Very bad. Thanks for the visit and comment. I see you are in Sydney. One of my fave places, we lived there for a while (Potts Point).


  23. In my teens I had a spinal operation. Two incisions. 120 staples. I genuinely believe staple removal hurt more than any other part of the process. If they are taken out to soon you’re super sore, and like you said, too late and they’ve scabbed over. Yuk. It makes me shudder!


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