Tales from a hospital ward with my notepad and a sense of humour | Dave Thomas

It was back in 2018 that I decided that the NHS is to be cherished when I went in hospital for a week with blood clots.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Dave, with his wife Harriet, writes a witty account of his stay in hospital in 2018

Reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated; in fact, there were more laughs in there than the last Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special!

A hospital ward is a wonderful place if you have a sense of humour and a notepad. Colin was 86 and a Middlesbrough supporter. He could remember Brian Clough like it was yesterday. Colin was on and off the commode day and night. Sleep for any of us was fitful and Colin passing wind at midnight was a sound to behold.

He could have gone on Britain’s Got Talent!

Trevor was in the next bed. It was an air bed but what people don’t realise is that these beds are not foolproof.

They have a mind of their own and can often deflate or even inflate of their own accord.

Trevor’s was just such a bed and it went up and down one night so much that if Trevor wasn’t ill when he came in, he sure was when he left.

Technicians came three times in the night to fix it and while all this kerfuffle was going on Colin was on and off the commode behind the curtains. It was a fun night.

A night later in came the mad Irishman. Another night without sleep for us. He’d had a few scoops too many, wouldn’t go to bed, and wandered round the ward turning levers and dials and fiddled with every switch he could find.

“What happens with this?” he asked as he approached a life support machine. It took seven nurses to get him into a little room next door and sedated.

Having no sleep is par for the course. They take blood pressure every couple of hours. If you are asleep at 10, they wake you to give you the last pill. The curtains are flung back at 6 in the morning.

If you are asleep at 7, they wake you with a cuppa. Breakfast was a slice of cardboard that looked like toast.

There was huge relief when I did not have a near death experience; It was just the bright light at the end of the scanner.

As I was recovering, I was asked if I would be able to self-inject every day. No problem, but said I could use some training. Nurse Bernard agreed to show me. To my surprise he fished out an old crumpet from his locker. “We’ll practise on this,” he said.

We spent a good chunk of the NHS budget with me injecting the crumpet several times. When we started it looked awful but it looked a lot better the next morning. The next session was due to take place on an old lemon drizzle cake. But then I heard I would not be self-injecting after all. It would be pills.

For a week I lived on tuna sandwiches and bowls of rice pudding. The bloke in the middle bed snook out one night and went to the Chinese.

I was indeed proper poorly but all ended well. The clots didn’t kill me, but I nearly died laughing.