Unexpected Extensions, Overdue Apologies and a Dire Warning.
Taking a trip to Southport after weeks of being in hospital and the surprise revelation that I had been booked in for unexpected open heart surgery had been a very wise decision.
We had been able to relax and enjoy ourselves, almost (but not quite) forgetting everything that was waiting for us once the trip was over.
A Few More Days in the Sun
When the medication I was taking to fight the infection began to run out, we tried to get some more but the local hospital told us that I would have to be admitted, as they could only administered that drug to me as an inpatient.
I very politely and calmly informed them that there was more chance of a snowman sitting upon the throne of Hell than me spending weeks in a hospital that was over three hundred miles away from home just to get some antibiotics.
It was time to accept that the holiday was over.
You can imagine then, our delight when one of the team that had been dealing with me at the hospital in Inverness called to say that she had finally managed to organise for us to collect some of the antibiotics at a nearby pharmacy.
She made it clear that it would be just one week’s supply but that would be enough for us.
We really made the most of those days. It may seem like a small thing but that wonderful person putting in just a bit of extra work to enable us to get the medicine made a huge difference.
When it finally was time to come home we didn’t feel miserable that our holiday was too short but instead, thankful for the extra few days she had given us.
Back home meant back to school, even whilst continuing the powerful drug therapy that was fighting to stop an aggressive bacterial infection slowly eating away at my heart. (Can you tell I enjoy a bit of drama?)
It wasn’t all bad though.
You see, from around my third year of secondary school I had been showing an increasing interest in pursuing a career in medicine. All my subject choices were leading that way and the history I had with hospitals and being around medical professionals had obviously played a large part in that decision.
I’m not sure if you would call it being inspired… or Stockholm syndrome.
Understanding this, one of my teachers brought to my attention an opportunity to apply for a “Doctors at Work” programme that would be taking place at Raigmore hospital.
Now you (reasonably) may be thinking that, after spending weeks there attached to a machine feeding me medication, I would strive to avoid the place as much as possible.
It would be untrue to say that the thought didn’t flash through my mind but I was also well aware that chances like this did not grow on trees. I asked my teacher to pass along the information and got to work on my application.
It wasn’t long before I received confirmation that I had been accepted to the programme. Between my personal essay, subject choices and more than a few good words from my school’s head teacher, they were happy to take me on.
Guess Who’s Back
So, there I was, walking (for what felt like the millionth time that year) through the white hallways of Raigmore hospital.
However, being there out of choice, rather than due to some nonsense my body was kicking off about was a strange but ultimately enjoyable change of pace. It was going to be interesting experiencing hospital life from the other side.
The course itself wasn’t particularly long, just one week living in the hospital accommodation and closely shadowing various doctors in their different departments.
However it did promise to be very intense, a fact that was made brutally clear to us during a lengthy introduction meeting.
We would be seeing things in the upcoming week that could be upsetting, even disturbing.
Still, that didn’t deter our small group of around ten members from wanting to get stuck in.
Our first day was more a tour than actual shadowing, we were taken around the labs, offices, some wards and introduced to some of the doctors who would be taking us on. There were a few who couldn’t make it as they were busy doctoring. However, that felt like a valid enough reason to delay shaking the hands of a few wide eyed teenagers.
After the day was over we all retired to the provided accommodation.
This was where the reality of my ongoing infection would once again begin to throw a stone into the flow of life.
I was still needing to have my antibiotics administered every evening and the only people available to carry out the procedure were my parents.
This meant that every night they would make the hour-long drive to the hospital, help me with my medicine and then have to drive home again.
To my shame, as a teenage boy wanting to fit in with this new crowd, I probably didn’t show my parents the appreciation they deserved.
Once the process was completed, I would usher them quickly out of the door to get back to whatever was going on that particular evening.
So, sorry about that mum and dad.
This of course was just the beginning of the week and many more things happened during my time shadowing, probably enough to fill another post…
- Enjoy yourself.
The extra few days that we were able to spend on holiday were not filled with crazy adventures or exciting new experiences. They were spent on the beach, soaking up the sun and swimming in the sea. In the evenings we would sit in the bar at our holiday complex and watch whichever dodgy cabaret act was performing that night. And we enjoyed every moment of it.
Though we did not know it at the time, that was the last family holiday we took before our lives were forever changed.
Thankfully, it was a pretty damn good one.
- Be grateful when people put themselves out to help you.
For example, if your parents drive over sixty miles a day to spend ten minutes giving you medication so that you can take part in a week long course, at least make them a cup of tea.
Obligatory Blog Quote
“This Looks Like A Job For Me”Eminem