The paramedics have me safely in the ambulance – we will have you there in no time toots, I hear. ” just for you, I will out the blue light on, and his nibs, may press the nee naw button on the odd occasion”
I can hear lots of voices, familiar machine noises. A kind voice calls my name. I open my eyes and realise already I’m in the accident and emergency department. We are going to put some monitors on you to trace your heart, put a cannula in to take blood. Is this okay? I nodded. ECG done, blood tests taken. They decided to leave the finger sats monitor on. Everything seems to be getting done very quickly and there are a lot of staff around me. Subcut morphine getting injected into me for the pain. “We are just going to wheel you round to another room Elizabeth” as I’m getting wheeled round I see Steve catching up with us – oh boy am I glad to see him. A feeling of terror fills my body, my heart starts thumping, everything was out of my control. Steve’s gentle touch gave me the assurance I needed.
Parked in the bay, the nurse lifts my top, takes my obs once more, and gives me yet more morphine. A doctor comes in, examines me. Then the nurse starts some of the clean up process on my stomach, I can only describe it like an overflowing septic tank. The stench was awful, what was coming out of the infected peg site resembled a newborn baby’s first nappy. The nurse used swabs and started to soak up the pus that was oozing out. My stomach was making horrendous rumbling noises. The pus was flowing and flowing and then erupted it somewhat resembled a geyser in ice. I felt the need to apologise for what was excreting out of my body. When I did apologise the nurse would return with a comment such as ‘it’s fine Elizabeth, and we’ve got to get all this out” not once did she gag, make a face or give any inclination she was dealing with a foul smelling leakage – which helped a lot.
A young man dressed in a familiar uniform asked to wheel me along for a tummy X-ray. He got me into the room and put the trolley parallel to the X-ray bed, with all the will in the world I could not get from one to the other. The pain was excruciating. He assured me he could bring the X-ray above me. And so he did.
More cleaning, obs, yet more morphine; Steve tells the nurse he gave me morphine just before the ambulance left, and the nurse gave me morphine as soon as I got to hospital and then again when they started cleaning the pus. The nurse explained to Steve I am in excruciating pain and need this quantity of morphine. Im ready to get transferred to surgical observation unit.
Twenty minutes in the unit and the surgeon who did my surgery, Mr Paterson-brown was at my bedside. Boy was I glad to see him. The unit has a treatment room. Mr Paterson-brown acted Immediately. He explained everything in detail to Steve an me: what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. He used forceps to cut the flange of my peg to release it, this would let the horrid pus, infection escape out of the wound easily, he redressed it and. Told the nurses how to take care of me. He arranged for me to get intravenous antibiotics and get transferred to the surgical ward. The infection had got hold of me – my temp had gone up to 39.4 and I was feeling awful – septicaemia wasn’t a good feeling. I found the world kept coming and going. I was there but I wasn’t if you know what I mean. Looking back it’s like a dream. I got wheeled back to the ward of the surgical observation unit for the morning. Then it was decided I needed a stay in hospital to get me better. This would be a transfer to the surgical ward upstairs. “Get you up to the ward, put you on some IV antibiotics, see the dietician, get your temp down, dressings done, etc – we will look after you” I hear Mr Simon Paterson-Browon say. “How long will I be in hospital for?” I ask. He looks at me and gives me one of his lovely smiles, that I’m sure makes many a nurse swoom, he pats my knee and gently says “we will get you to the ward and take every day as it comes I think, is this ok with you?” I nodded. If anyone was going to fix this mess I had my money on it being Mr Simon Paterson-Brown.