Showing posts from April, 2016

Hospital dialogue

Late evening. Male care assistant in his 20s/30s, of Asian appearance; male patient, white, in his late 80s. The names have been changed. Bill, I need to take your temperature and blood pressure. Must you? Yes, Bill, I must. Very well, then. [pause] What's your name? My name's Shamoon. Give me your arm now. Where are you from? I beg your pardon? Where are you from, where were you born? England. What's that? I can't hear you. England. I was born in England. Oh, I see. [pause] Only ... I asked because ... Yeah? You look a bit ... Indian. I don't mean Indian as in cowboys and Indians, I mean from India. Yeah? That's what I meant. So what's that got to do with anything? Uh. [pause] So what's my blood pressure, then? Is normal. OK. Ah, that's good. So I'm not dead yet, ha ha. Yeah, Bill, you're talking a load of rubbish, that means you're still alive.


I can't believe how much I have taken my good health for granted for all these years. Before last month (in my 66th year now) I had not spent a day in hospital or had a serious illness since I was a child. Then, a week before Good Friday, a minor and unprecedented problem with my waterworks escalated into a full-blown health emergency over the weekend. By the time Elaine returned from her Hastings Half Marathon run on Sunday afternoon (I felt too ill to go out and support her) I was in such a serious state – extreme pain urinating, high fever, nausea, headache and uncontrollable shivering – that she dialled 999. Within minutes a very nice paramedic was here to check me over, and within the hour I had been whizzed by ambulance – yes, siren and everything, but I wasn't in a state to appreciate the excitement – to the emergency department of the local hospital. Where I spent eight days, much of that time being hooked up to intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Then felt better a