As a nil-by-mouther the breakfast trolley was off limits, so I began my first morning in hospital hungry and thirsty. Riding in the slipstream of the breakfast trolley was the medicine trolley. The nurse wasn’t clear what medication I was supposed to be on and suggested I took my own tablets for the time being. FINE. Lucky I had them with me then. Later a gaggle of doctors of varying ranks encircled my bed. The highest-ranking doctor asked the questions. He too seemed very confused about why I was in a hospital in Coventry when I lived in London. He said he’d give me some tablets to stop me going to the toilet so much. The opposite of a laxative, I guess. As a parting shot he waved a dismissive hand at my nil-by-mouth sign and said, “No need for that, you can eat.” OKAY. But why was I put on nil-by-mouth in the first place?
One hospital day slowly became another. I took my new tablets and in due course they did indeed block me up. The same gaggle of doctors as before shuffled up to my bed. The previous day’s highest-ranking doctor was no longer head honcho and had been outranked by a very senior looking consultant. The very senior looking consultant now asked the questions and naturally, seemed very confused about why I was in a hospital in Coventry when I lived in London. In his genial Brummie way the very senior looking consultant explained there wasn’t really much point continuing with the tablets I’d been prescribed the day before and enemas might be a better bet. FAIR ENOUGH. Only the hospital pharmacy didn’t have the right enemas in stock. But they would. Soon.
My second day in hospital became my third. To bring to life the mood and pace of the remainder of my time on the ward you may find this piece of music helpful:
Life became a waiting game. My ears would prick up on hearing the trundling wheels of the medicine trolley in the next ward. Would it be bringing my long awaited enemas? Would it my arse. Speaking of which, I was by now defecating for Britain. I passed nothing but blood. I wasn’t really urinating at all. Still had the night sweats. The pain inside my back passage made the stomach cramps feel like a tickle by comparison. And still I awaited the arrival of the elusive enemas. Two more days passed. My stubble evolved into a beard. Now when the nurses passed my bed they didn’t even bother shrugging their shoulders. Of course, the gaggle of doctors dropped by daily. A doctor from the hospital’s gastroenterology department also paid me a visit. Needless to say he seemed very confused about why I was in a hospital in Coventry when I lived in London. JUST BECAUSE. The enemas finally arrived and as I pushed the first bullet-like pill up my bum I kind of wish they hadn’t. The next day I was informed I could go home. I had been in hospital just shy of a week. As I walked out into bright sunshine, in much the same condition as I had arrived, I consoled myself with the fact I would never again have to explain why I was in a hospital in Coventry when I lived in London.