Emotional Farewells, Uncomfortable Phone Calls and an NHS Funded “Fast and Furious” Experience.
Upon being called in for an important meeting with my doctors, they informed me that they were happy with the progress I was making but still a little uncomfortable with the idea of discharging me just yet.
Instead, they suggested that I be moved to Raigmore hospital, in Inverness. It wasn’t quite home, but it was a hell of a lot closer than Glasgow.
I’ll Miss You (But I Hope I Don’t See You Again)
Considering the normal pace at which hospitals run, everything seemed to move surprisingly quickly once the decision to send me north had been made. We had just a couple of days to pack up everything that had accumulated over the previous few months.
My dad ended up taking most of it in his car whilst hospital transport was provided to take me to Inverness. Mum decided to travel up with me so that I wouldn’t have to make the long journey by myself.
Saying goodbye to the various nurses, doctors and other hospital staff who had spent the last few months looking after me was actually quite emotional. Perhaps because of the small team that worked in the unit I had been kept in, we had all gotten to know each other very well. They had always seemed genuinely invested in what happened to each one of their patients. Not to mention the fact that I would miss waking up every other morning to the musical sounds of one particular auxiliary turning the air blue when she saw the state of my next door patient’s room.
With everything tidied away, I shut the doors of the room that had been my home for the last ten(ish) weeks and took one last roll down the polished white corridors, but not before leaving a few tire tracks on the freshly mopped floor.
The trip from Glasgow to Inverness went by fairly quickly, mostly due to the… enthusiastic driving of the man taking us there.
As we passed the sign that welcomed travellers to the Highlands, I felt an unexpected assault of emotions. It was terrifying to be leaving the place that had been taking care of me so well for such a long time, but as I watched the mountains begin to rise in the distance, anticipation and excitement took over.
This was the last stepping stone. Home was just around the corner.
Upon arriving at the hospital in Inverness, we were told that they had a bed for me but it wasn’t quite ready yet. I would need to hang around in the waiting room for a while.
Obviously, being the patient soul that I was back then, I decided that waiting around wasn’t quite for me. Instead, on my mum’s suggestion, we headed down to the paediatrics ward. It was where I had spend weeks earlier that year being treated for my infection and we wanted to see if any of the nurses who had taken care of me were on shift (and had any time to actually come and say hi).
Oh, Haven’t You Heard?
At this point, it is important to flash back a few days.
Whilst discussing my return to Inverness with staff at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, we asked if any of the people that knew me back in Raigmore Hospital knew about what had happened to me. Some of them had looked after me during the many weeks I was on antibiotics, others had known us all for most of my life.
We were assured that if they didn’t know yet, they would be informed before I was sent up north.
So, as we wandered over to the ward, we were comfortable in the knowledge that my half legless appearance would not come as a shock to anybody.
One of the nurses (somebody we didn’t know) let us into the ward and said that two people I knew were on shift. She would go to find them.
After a few moments we heard them chatting away as they walked along the corridor.
They strode into the room with big cheesy grins. Grins which vanished in a moment as me and my mum watched their faces drain of all colour.
One of them was holding a phone, they had called my old paediatric consultant (who was having a day off) when they heard I was there and he had wanted to speak to me.
I took the phone from them, already on edge by the sudden change in their demeanour. By this point I probably should have expected the exchange that followed but it completely caught me off guard.
“Hello Dr (I’m not writing his name here)”.
“Hello David, it’s good to hear from you. How did the surgery go?”
- Even when you trust someone to do something, there is nothing wrong with double checking.
I don’t want to make any particularly bad comments about the people who told me that the Raigmore staff would be informed. They work in a hospital and there are a million more important things to do than call a specific ward at a different hospital to tell them what has happened to one of their patients.
However, I did assume that it had all been sorted and perhaps if I’d checked with somebody before leaving Glasgow, the uncomfortable situation I’ve mentioned above (and will expand on in a future post) would have been avoided.
Obligatory Blog Quote
It was my understanding that everone had heard.Peter Griffin (In relation to the bird being the word)
Thanks for reading folks.
Stay safe and be excellent to each other.