East Ward #2

Chapter 2

I have been admitted for observation. Well that’s interesting, because I don’t know where they are doing it from. Maybe from a tiny hole in the ceiling above my bed. It certainly isn’t being done as a matter of course by the nursing staff, who seem a bit bemused by my presence. In fact, I sneak a look at the ‘Observation sheets’ only to find them incomplete and incorrectly filled in. But wait: I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I have been admitted for observation by my Neurologist after spending a miserable summer fighting to adapt to a new drug: Rotigotine (or ‘Neupro’, a non-ergoline dopamine agonist formulated as a once-daily transdermal patch which provides a slow and constant supply of the drug over the course of 24 hours, for those of you who are interested in that kind of thing) For it to have any impact, I was having to wear patches the size of your average single duvet. They made me nauseous and left painful red weals on the skin, such that you weren’t supposed to use the same area of the body more than once a fortnight. Now then. Take away the head, chest, midriff, hands and feet which were also ‘no go’ areas and you’re left with? Well, you’re left with the fact that dripping wet I weigh about 9 stone (57.15kg in Euros) I didn’t have enough skin! None of which was fully appreciated by the consultant concerned as at no point during the whole pitiful saga was I examined. Indeed all our calls and correspondence to the hospital in question were fielded by another (junior) member of staff. Meanwhile, I was spending hours  a day in a near catatonic state, trying to make light of it to the kids – being as upbeat as possible (Of my waking day, more time was spent like this than with any degree of mobility.) Anyway, cut a long story short, I’ve wound up in here to ‘iron out’  the problems with my medication.

I arrive promptly on the Monday morning (A miracle! Once punctilious to the point of obsession, these days it’s a case of  ‘Give me a window of about 3 days and I’ll see what I can do…’) I find my way to the ward via main desk and lifts and am shown to a bed.

Sometime later – I have lost track of time and dozed off I think, a waspish Filipino Ward Sister comes to take my details. This is a painful procedure as although we appear to be talking the same language, we are both hearing something quite different. That hurdle finally surmounted, I am left to my own devices – for the rest of the day. No one comes to tell me what the plan for the day was, where I should go, stay; what I should do etc….

In fact, this Ward Sister was to provide endless amusement as the week wore on, doing the pre- op checks on unwitting and skittery patients. It took me a while to decipher what she was actually saying, but it was worth the effort.

Example: heard issuing from behind curtains on my second morning –

“Okay, you okay? I take your details … You gadanny medalinyabaddy?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Medal? You gadanny medalinyabaddy?’

‘I’m sorry, I don’t …’

‘Any medal inside, before?’

(Have you got any metal in your body? ie. implants, plates, screws etc)

‘You gottadrawen? …. Your harm … ‘You gottadrawen?


(Have they – the surgeons – done a drawing (ie made a mark to indicate which) on your arm?)

Priceless was the look of complete incomprehension on patients’ faces as, interrogation over, the curtains were drawn back and once more they joined fellow inmates …

… who were to include the Junkie, who first woke me up in the early hours of my second day.

© Andy Daly  2010

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