This does not surprise me in the least because I have a damning story to tell about the NHS and how they treat people if you will please indulge me
some of your time.
Nearly ten years ago when the royal infirmary was still in the centre of Edinburgh I was admitted to hospital with a burst appendix and it was an
emergency as I was in shock and slipping in and out of consciousness. To cut a long story short they slit me wide open across my abdomen just below my
navel in a cut that would have made a Sepaku fetishist proud.
I awoke after surgery to find myself in the intensive therapy unit surround by machines and propped up and to my horror, WASTED on morphine (I do not
even take Aspirin I hate medicines). Well I looked around for a bit to get a taste of my surroundings and in the bed to my left was a young girl who
was to have her hands amputated due to a car accident. Her hands were black and the fingers tapered to spikes – the prognosis looked grim even in my
I managed to smile at her, she looked away.
To my right was an old man but I did not care to look closer as I was feeling sorry for myself and realised that might be in hospital for a while. I
was in over Christmas and New Year – two weeks as it happens.
Anyway a nurse drifted into my swimming defocusing vision, she held up a wet cloth and looked at me in an unfriendly manner. ‘Do you want to wash
yourself?’ she asked, barked at me in a west coast accent.
‘No thanks' I croaked. 'I just want to be left alone thanks’. I had just had major surgery I found the question and her attitude perplexing –
She abruptly threw the cloth onto my exposed chest and then brushed past my bed and in doing so knocked into the two tubes that were imbedded deeply
into the side of my abdomen near the metal clips that were keeping me closed up. I had not realised the drains where there until she knocked them and
the pain was enough to make my eyes water even on the high levels of morphine I was dosed up on – Naturally I flipped my lid.
I tried to shout my outrage but the effort caused my vision to spool but I did jerk around like a worm on a hook, active enough to get her attention
and those of other nurses going about their business. I demanded to know why she had done that and why she had obviously done it on purpose.
She laughed proof she was playing a sadistic game and left the room and the effort of my anger right after awakening from surgery caused me to pass
I awoke to find her looking right at me and she held up a comb as my vision cleared and asked if I would like to comb my hair with a smile – an
unfriendly smile I must add.
Immediately I retorted ‘No thank you sweetie I have no hair but obviously you might want to use that on the helmet you think is a hair style but is
to me cast from solid iron... Love’.
From there we actually had a “to and fro” which ended with me demanding to use a phone as I was suddenly determined to call my solicitors and
raise a real stink – I was close to passing out again but my blood was up and even short on breath I was not going to be abused in such a vulnerable
state where I could not move and my stomach was distended to the point it looked like it might explode like a long beached whale.
All of a sudden suited management appeared and they tried to tell me that I had imagined it all but I was having none of it. I informed them that I
would inform my solicitors in London of my imaginations as I took this witch of a nurse and the hospital to court for assault and lack of
professionalism – whatever I could get my mouth to yammer I yammered and I was tough going as morphine dulls the mind and makes the mouth most
I ranted and raved and passed out again but before I passed out I was pleased to see the nurse had realised she had picked on a wild one and I was not
going to let her get away with it because I could see the concern for her position all over her face instead of the sadistic half smiles and furtive
glares. Her eyes averted when the suit looked back at her as if to say ‘What the hell has been going on here?’
At that point I blacked out hard!
This same administrator in a suit came to see me shortly after waking up so I think she must have asked to be informed when I had awoken. I was much
more lucid as I was not clicking the thumb button to auto inject my body with pain killers. I have always had a very high pain threshold so I did not
need or want the morphine. In any case I did not feel safe enough in this house of horrors hospital to succumb to these drugs so I stopped using
painkillers and just rode it. Strangely enough considering the injuries and the fact that I had been slit wide open the pain really was not that bad
as it happens but I digress.
I explained to the suit exactly what had happened and this sadistic nurse was removed from the ward for that day (sent home?).
I received no apology but of course I realise now why I did not get an apology. That would have been admitting liability and that would have been bad
as I eventually did manage to call my solicitors and they called the hospital. Events got away from this nurse and suddenly this awful creature was
gone, moved to another ward or sacked I do not know or care as all that mattered to me in my very weak and exposed state was that she was not going to
be anywhere near me during my recovery.
It was not as if I was in for a tooth ache, I was in because I was going to die otherwise.
Even before my operation this hospital had left me for four days with an explosively ruptured appendix. I had felt it pop like a water filled balloon
inside me and the moment it popped I knew what was wrong even as I went immediately into shock.
By the time the dead organ was removed the surgeons had no choice but to remove my gall bladder and my large intestine had to be truncated. Also as
the poison had soaked onto my liver over four days I had severe lesions and thus my liver nearly failed to the point I went yellow and began to
It was not fun for my wife to listen to me in this jaundiced state tell her to take care of the kids, and to burn me and scatter me in the firth of
forth in a non religious ceremony but if she liked and if it helped her then I would not be offended if she wanted to call on the old gods (she is a
pagan, I am an atheist) but importantly – do not forget- plant an oak in the garden for our youngest daughter and to never forget me... Love you
always and if there is an afterlife I will let you know!
It was indeed a strange series of events where I was comforting my wife as she watched me deteriorate over a period of hours to the point of delirium
and then suddenly over a similar period of hours I started to come back and I healed fast, surprising enough doctors that I had a gang of them and
some professor asking me a load of questions I cannot remember now but I do know I they were pleasantly surprised at my bounce back from the brink.
The NHS and the things that go wrong can be utterly tragic, I have seen the bad side of the NHS and I am thus never surprised to read of such negative
things in the press. Luckily I am very glad I am very rarely sick (the last time I had the flue I was aged twelve for instance) but a strong immune
system is a trait that bites hard as when I do get sick I get REALY sick to the point I think I might soon be punching out the grim reaper with a mind
to stealing his horse
My point in this post is that the NHS is in principle a great institution but it is also flawed and these flaws kill and traumatise people as in some
cases the worst of all people are working in these places.
When I think back to that event I always seem to put the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the film Jacobs ladder in the same context – that says it all
PS if a certain nurse is wondering is this could be her – Ward 9 if you worked there and it rings a bell? – I hope you are a better human today
[edit on 30-3-2010 by SmokeJaguar67]