Wednesday 16th November 2022 – THE DOCTOR CAME …

… to see me this morning.

She brought with her the news that they are throwing me out on Friday; as I suspected.

Consequently I showed her the letter that I’d written to the hospital back in early August, which I’d already prepared on my laptop in anticipation.

She read it with a considerable air of consternation.

Naturally, I reminded her that she had seen a few days ago the four-line message that passed for an answer. I asked her if she was satisfied that the answer that she had read was a full and complete reply to the points that I’d made. And she admitted that it wasn’t.

And so I went on the offensive. And believe me, it it’s “offensive” you want, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney, “I’m your man!”.

What I wanted to know was whether she would have been satisfied about being passed from pillar to post and sent round in ever-decreasing circles over the last 18 months. She replied that of course she wouldn’t.

And then I reminded her that I’ve been in hospital for almost 3 weeks. Does she not think that this would have been a golden opportunity for the four services interested in my case, the urology, haematology, pneumonology and cardiology, to co-ordinate their efforts and examine me together to find out where the problem with my breathing lies? She agreed that it would.

So ultimately I asked her how she would feel if she had been pushed around like I had been and asked to carry out all of these tests time after time wit, predictably, the same results.

She replied that maybe they had reached the limit of what they were capable of doing. I asked her that if she had taken her car into a garage to repair a fault and the mechanic had said that he had reached the limit of what he was capable of doing, would she not take her vehicle to another garage to see if another mechanic could find the fault?

She agreed that she would so I reminded her of the chaos that had led to my coming here to Leuven. And that was just four months. The current chaos has lasted for 18 months and so I reminded her of the part of my letter than had said that if “I am ill and your medical staff does not have the ability to treat me” then I need to be told so that “I can find another hospital where the staff is capable of dealing with the issue and I don’t care if that hospital is in Valparaiso or Vladivostok”

Of course, there was absolutely no answer to that.

The discussion went on for much longer than that and I do have to say that I was probably on my best form for many, many years. And I felt sorry for her having to listen to my well-co-ordinated and well-thought-out rant because none of this is any to do with her really.

But I bet that my rant will be all in vain regardless and I’ll still find myself out on my ear on Friday.

That’s a shame because I’m just about becoming accustomed to life here. I actually managed to sleep right the way through to the alarm without any difficulty whatsoever with just the odd stroll down the corridor here and there during the night.

And I’d been on my travels too. Last night I was in some kind of village similar to Portmeirion. They’d found me some accommodation in a little cottage somewhere. I decided that it was so nice that I wanted to stay there for a couple of nights. I was up early and playing badminton with myself and a couple of people from a nearby cottage went past. One of them was a girl whom I knew from school. eventually I became fed up of playing badminton. I was somewhere climbing up some rocks that led to another cottage at one point. I could see two people, Sheila and someone else, walking past down below and talking.

There was also something about Nerina as well, like a staff magazine type of thing and she was featured in it dressed all in white on the top of a mountain like something out of the Sound Of Music. That’s really all that I remember except that while I was climbing up over the rocks they announced the time – it was something like 09:45 and I thought “God! That’s really early! I must have been up quite early this morning making the most of my stay here. But I hadn’t realised just how early it had been.

Once I was awake and I’d been organised by all of the nurses the morning was quite quiet as I expected. Just the doctor coming to see me and all of the nurses bringing me my medication. And occasionally being awoken by nurses here and there after I’d fallen asleep.

The afternoon should have been quite quiet and that’s how it started. But it all changed when the physiotherapist came to help me walk.

“We need to work on your walking so that you can move about more easily” he said

“You’ll have to get a move on” I replied. “They are throwing me out on Friday”. And that bought a gasp of astonishment from him as well.

They also told me that I had to go for a MRI scan of my back.

It should have been at 17:45 but they came for me at 17:15 right in the middle of my evening meal and I was dragged away on a wheelchair.

They were quite quick enough with the scan although I was 15 minutes under the machine. And when I returned to my room they had swept away my meal tray.

The missing food didn’t bother me all that much but the missing coffee certainly did. However the porter who brought me back went off to negotiate with the nursing staff and a pot of coffee miraculously appeared.

So now I’ve finished what I need to do and I’m going to sleep. This news about me being turfed out on Friday is depressing. It’s a lost opportunity to see what’s wrong with my breathing or to try to improve my general health and I have a feeling that there will never be another opportunity quite like this.

It’s probably the first step on the road towards the inevitable end but I’m going to go out with a bang. As Neil Young once said, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away”.

But how do I get to be able to walk if no-one is able to help me?

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