Thursday, January 16, 2003

Soiled Dressings

I have had gastroenteritis and spent a couple of nights in hospital. The only good thing about that illness is that they think you're infectious so you get your own room. I'll say it again, I hate doctors. On the whole, they tend to treat their patients like idiots, are unable to acknowledge that they may be wrong, and are more arrogant than High court judges, prison warders, politicians, newspaper editors and university lecturers put together. On the other hand, I'm not a very patient patient.

So the experience wasn't really that pleasant, and I experienced personality clashes with various members of staff from the moment I arrived at A+E - at 2 in the morning, vomitting and shaking in a very unglamorous way. I had a needle shoved into my arm, and was put on a drip-feed, which was switched off after 7 hours (although I was still attached to it via the needle for the next 30 hours). This was to stop me from leaving of my own accord, or from moving about too much. I was woken early every morning by a chirpy brigade of nurses who turned on all the lights and demanded to know if I wanted a cup of tea. I never drink tea in the morning so said "no thanks" politely. "Oh get him!" shrieked one elderly male nurse. "He won't have a cup of tea because we woke him up. He's having a sulk!" And it was like this, being patronised, evaded and lied to for 2 days. I had two dreams while in the ward, both involving me escaping. In one dream the nurses fixed needles to my arms and my face. I pulled them out, and then when I tried to get my clothes on, I realised they'd replaced my shoe laces with blue ones - just to be awkward. Maybe these dreams were the result of all the unneccesary drugs they'd been giving me to keep me in control.

Eventually I could bear it no longer, so I made a big scene in front of lots of visitors, and they deigned to let me leave, on the promise I would come back later to collect some medication they should have had ready for me three hours earlier. When I arrived back this evening, the camp male nurse handed me a paper bag marked "Soiled Dressings". Someone had written my name across it in a black felt tip pen. "Your medication's in here", he said dryly. Bitches. All of them.

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