A nice lack of skywater, a nice dose of solar stuff, an even nicer absence of atmospheric movement and an expected amount of lack of warm at the Castle this morn.
I managed to survive my "visit" to Grimly Dark Orspital, and am now back on the sofa "resting".
It was interesting; as this was my first experience as a patient I can only go on what I have been subjected to and the treatment I received.
First up, my GP had sanctioned "Orspital Transport" for poor old Angus, it was booked for 11 of the am, unfortunately it turned up at 10 of the am and in my rush to get going I forgot to turn orf the central heating, but the 'concierge' was good humoured and helpful, the driver was a bit of a miserable mare and didn't say a word, but ho-hum.
Travelled to Grimly Dark at 57 mph (the transport was limited to that speed) but arrived safely and was taken to the "Pre OP" do-dah or "POD" an hour early but as the receptionist was orf somewhere collecting the mail ten minutes passed before I was booked in.
Sat waiting for half an hour, then was called to the "ward"-four trolleys jammed into an alcove given a gown and left to change.
The nurse (Chinese) was good, kind and attentive, the staff nurse (non specific nationality but not native) was OK.
I was booked to go dahn to have the old arteries reamed at 2 of the pm, so a nice three and a half hour wait was in store, managed to have a nap and chatted to the two other guys, one had been there since 7 of the am and had just been told that he had been bumped to the afternoon list, the other one was taken away almost immediately and I never saw him again.
The nurse did a few checks-blood pressure, sats and a blood sugar thingy, time passed, no food or drink, then at 1.45 of the pm I was taken to the "theatre", stayed on the trolley in the waiting bit, the nurses (one Polish and one Brit) chatted and gave me an extra blanket because of the lack of heat.
2 of the pm came and went, as did 2.30 and three of the pm then just after 3 the organic mechanic turned up, sort of explained what he was going to do, got me to sign a consent thingy and then pissed orf for another half hour.
Taken into the theatre at 3.45, the organic mechanic returned with another who was concerned that I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since eight that morning, told her it was because that is what the letter said that they sent me, "I will change that she said".
Removed the boxers and got onto the bed thingy was painted orange from belly button to dangly bits covered up with a big paper sheet do-dah and a couple of stick on holey things either side of the man veg.
Said first organic mechanic then proceeded to inject local anaesthetic in the left side next to the dangly bits, did a bit of pushing and shoving while the nurse was asking me questions-address, name, age, what am I allergic to etc.
Then the OM inserted a balloon into the numb groiny bit and told me to tell him when it hurt---did I......then he said he was going to put a stent in which he did.
All done, all I had to do now was remain flat on my back and not move for two hours, then stay still for another four hours.
Taken back to POD on the trolley, stayed on the trolley for two hours while the nurse did "obs" every half hour-blood pressure, sats, pulse and the inevitable blood sugar thingy.
Then I was allowed to sit up a bit, and given a cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich.
By now it was getting on for 6 of the pm and the POD closed at seven so a hectic race was on to find me a bed.
After many, many phone calls a "bed" was found and much to my surprise after spending eight hours on the trolley was whisked orf to "Parkside" the private Orspital attached to Grimly Dark.
Oh joy I thunk, private room, en-suite and a TV, it turned out that the room was vacant because the roof had leaked, and there was no remote for the TV.
And to be really honest I would rather they had put me in the car park because it would have been quieter, the "sister" was a German who could only communicate at decibel levels above 100 and I swear she was marching up and dahn the corridor all bloody night in her jack boots, and on the roof of the room was a stonking great air-con thingy which cut in and out every fifteen minutes, add that to the hourly obs-blood pressure, sats, pulse and the inevitable blood sugar tests ( I had run out of fingers to prick) poor old Angus didn't get much sleep.
But the night finally ended, the hourly obs stopped, the German Reich Fuhrer buggered orf and was replaced by a very nice English lady.
I managed to have a pee, staggered up the corridor to get a cup of coffee, someone found a remote and life became almost bearable.
Breakfast arrived-cold scrambled eggs, cold hash browns and a warm coffee, more obs, yet more blood sugar thingies, then I waited from six of the morn to eleven of the same morn for a medic to arrive to discharge me, and as buses do four arrived at once, none of them was the Consultant I saw or either of the organic mechanics but a boss lady two F something's or other and a pompous, patronising, posh Pratt of a pillock who waltzed in, turned orf the TV and ordered me to drop my kecks and get on the bed so that he could take a peek at the old groin.
We had a short discussion about using the weed, which he lost, and then he minced out shouting instructions to someone about statins and other stuff.
I was not given any information about post op care, what I could and couldn't do or what to do if it all went tits up.
The nice English lady came in and said that they had the stuff I needed in the drugs cabinet and that would save me having to wait several hours for the pharmacy to deliver them from fifty yards away.
Boxes of stuff in hand I was then allowed to get dressed and found out that someone had lost my boxers, so I was given a pair of paper undies to keep me decent.
Then I was taken to the "Patients Lounge" to await transport back to the Castle, given a cup of tea and waited three hours before a ham sandwich arrived and I got so fed up with sitting there feeling my groin swell up that I phoned a taxi and came home.
Now, as I said as this was my first time at Grimly Dark as a patient I can only report what happened to me.
Whether my experience was "normal" or not I don't know, what I do know is that it seems that very little has changed since 2005 when Mrs Angus was killed by the poxy place, I don't care what the CQC says.
The nurses, staff nurses and ancillary staff were excellent but once you got above the front line ranks things were sadly familiar, lack of care, lack of information, lack of common sense and worse of all lack of empathy for the patients (me).
Whether I was given a private room because "they" remembered me from 2005 I don't know, or whether it was just fortune or not is beyond me, but if it was the first they failed to impress, the system is badly flawed, no one speaks to anyone else, departments are separate kingdoms, the "that's not my job" ethic is rife and despite all the money thrown at it this particular part of the NHS it does not come up to the standards expected or deserved by the old or the sick who rely on the "service".
All in all not a satisfying experience, mentioning the nationalities of the staff involved is not racism, just a hint of how much we rely on immigration to keep the old girl going and how hard the "soldiers" work to try to offset the arrogance and ignorance of those that make the big bucks and sit in their top floor offices whist the patients spend untold hours of their lives waiting.
So as I sit here contemplating my black plums and the bruises from arsehole to navel I wonder; would I do it again, or worse what is in store for me as I stagger even further dahn the road to dotage and the final reckoning.
Only time will tell......