After a couple of days I began to work out the routine. Around 8am was breakfast time and time to change the bed. I cant remember if the first round of meds was before or after breakfast but it was around that time. Then the doctors did their rounds. An hour or so after that you would see a cleaner. I would usually have a nap after that until about lunch time or just before when they would give you another round of meds. Lunch was usually some horrible thing they were trying to pass off as a normal meal. They would have things like braised steak and tatties, steak pie, chilli con carne on the menu. The thing is though, when they came the dishes that you maybe thought you knew were not what you expected. The braised steak was more of a gravy/soup. I don’t like my chilli spicy but the chilli was so mild and flavourless even I thought it was weak, but it was probably the best meal they had. Other than those I tended to ask for sandwiches and baked potatoes as these were harder to mess up.
After lunch came a little bit more downtime until afternoon visiting. This was when I found out who my real friends were. Other than two friends I only had family come to visit. Out of those two friends one came during the day a couple of times and the other at night a couple of times. I will always be grateful to them for coming in to see me because it brought a bit of respite from the usual chat. I could have a laugh and talk about there being pretty nurses on that day or other things you don’t want to talk to your mum and dad about. It also showed me who my real friends were. I’ll never look at my friends the same way again. It really got to me that some people who I thought were good friends didn’t bother to even stop past for 5 minutes or even call me and ask how I was. I’m sad to say I don’t really talk to one of the friends that did come and see me anymore but I wish I did because he showed up when no one else did.
After that it was the 3rd round of meds. I think this is the time I would get a warfarin injection into the stomach. This was to stop my blood thinning as I was lying in bed so much. The doctors would tell me to get up and walk about which I did as much as I could, but it gets a bit boring when the only place you can go is round and round a ward and the only thing you can see as you do it is people on ventilators.
Then it was more horrible attempts at what would usually be culinary delights. I must say, I don’t think the people cooking the food would have meant for it to taste as bad as it did. I would imagine they were doing the best with what they were given.
Evening visits was when I would get the most people coming to see me. We were only supposed to be allowed 2 to a bedside but usually there was 4 or 5 as at this point I had the private room. My mum, dad, mum’s boyfriend (mum and dad are obviously divorced), aunt, uncle, brothers and cousins came to see me. It’s amazing how much you see of your family when you’re in hospital. I wouldn’t change that for the world though. Visiting time was the highlight of my day, although when I was out of it on morphine I did tell the pretty Polish cleaner “you coming round to do the cleaning is the highlight of my day”.
After visiting came one more round of meds. Then I would try to watch a film or some TV to settle down for the night, but like I say, with the meds it made it hard to concentrate and I would just sit and worry about what was happening to me until I managed to get a little bit of sleep until about 1am when a nurse would attempt to sneak in and check my pulse and oxygen levels and make sure I was still alive. Then it was another attempt to get some more sleep to do it all again the next day.