Last Tuesday my friend David dropped Debbie, my Interpreter, and myself, on time, at the Emergency Dept. of Ronda Hospital, Andalucia, Spain. Debbie and I hung around in the freezing “car park” of the waiting room before being guided into reception where a hospital wristband was wrapped around my wrist and we were shown into a side ward.
Angela, my pretty Neurologist arrived with a just as pretty student nurse (similar to photo).
After signing the “We can do what we like with you” form, the student nurse put a drip tube in my arm, then Angela positioned me in the foetal position so that she could give me a lumbar puncture. Oh no !!
Pulling up my shirt, swabbing my lower back, I felt the 2″ needle enter my spine. Then ZAP !! A million volts hit my spine !! Four times she tried to extract fluid. Four times the million volts made me grit my teeth and sweat poured from my forehead.
“I give up !!” sighed Angela, “Sit on the edge of the bed and bend forward as far as you can.”
The young nurse, in front of me, helped me into position. Twice 100,000 volts went through me which wasn’t too bad. Huh !!! I clenched my teeth and closed my eyes. “Happy. Happy.” Angela suddenly exclaimed, ” Get me a gauze and plaster nurse !!”. Opening my eyes, all I saw was white with black spots about 6 inches from my face. I suddenly realised that I had a great view of the nurse’s knickers through her almost transparent uniform slacks as she was bending over to get the items from a low shelf. Oh, the pleasures of a lumbar puncture !!
At this point, my interpreter left in tears and I never saw her again !! Followed closely by my Neurologist and the student nurse. “Can I have my sweet now ?” I pleaded. Angela laughed, ” No !!” she said, as she waved goodbye.
I was left on my own for 2 hours in this cold room until my ward bed was ready, during which time a nurse came in with a square metre of blue fabric with tapes sewn on it. “Get undressed and put this on !” she commanded. I refused as it was cold and I had my pyjamas in my bag. She went away in a huff !!
Two days in bed. Nothing happening. Little or no sleep during the day from 6am to midnight as the staff had great pleasure in coming in every 10 minutes with food, temperature taken, blood pressure, cleaning the tube in my arm, tending to the patient in the next bed (who constantly had visitors). I struck up a friendship with Ella, the 35 year old daughter of the old man in the other bed in my room 339. In fact, the family were lovely and helpful to helpless me, as were the staff. I did have visitors, Toni & Pedro (my neighbours) and Hilda & Louise (friends) who gave me a small birthday party while I was in bed.
Suddenly, at 6pm last Thursday I was surrounded by a group of nurses. I don’t know what a group of nurses are called. A nooky of nurses perhaps !! They brought with them pipes. bottles and a pump. One nurse who spoke English said that I was to have 5 bottles of (for you Spanish medical geeks) 50mg/ml solution of Inmunoglobulina humana normal (IgIV). I can’t even say it, yet alone type it !! So I have named it “goblin”. And once the 5 bottles of goblins were administered I could go home.
Over 3 hours later and me dying for a pee, the nurse came in with a downcast look and told me that I can’t go home, I will have to stay another 4 days and take in 5 bottles of goblins every day. A total of 25 !! Oh no !!
Last night I arrived home. Pedro had lit my log burner and my 2 cats were ecstatic to see me after 6 days. Oh, it was so nice to be back home !!
This morning I had a hospital report to give to my local GP doctor. I couldn’t have put my name on the list as I arrived home last night and I could not go to the town hall at 12 noon yesterday to get a number to be seen. I had a 3 hour wait before entering his surgery. The doctor spent a few angry moments telling me off for not having a number. If I ever have another report to give him, I won’t do it !!
My hands are better but still have a long way to go before the shaking stops completely.
Ralph xox 🙂
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