Monday, August 31, 2009

Chapter 7 Scotland I'm BACK

The third morning was easier for me to be there in a strange place because of Isla and Cherie being there with me and having someone to talk to and feeling bonded to them. I really don't think I would have done very well without them.

One of the fun things was to watch the tea and coffee cart coming around for tea and biscuits 4 times a day. Now we don't get that here at home! The English ritual was alive and well here in the hospital!

In my Ward 43 there were 6 of us and besides "us girls" there were 3 women the youngest of them 85 years old and the oldest was 93 at that point in the week. Margaret was blind and I never really knew what she was there for. I am sure she had something broken and fixed before I got there. The other 2 women had broken hips and one came in the day I did and one was there already. They were not sent to surgery to fix those hips, they just gave them pain pills and told them they were not an they would have to wait until they had time to take care of them.

It was a little before this point that I started paying attention to the situation there. I had been in this Ward about 12 hours when I started to notice a lot of differences in the care of the patients than I was used to here at home. You know the United Kingdom has socialized medicine and I am here to tell you....
it ain't what you are used to if you are from the States!

I kept asking the nurse why am I not hooked up to a IV drip bag to keep me hydrated and to administer my medication. She said, we don't do that here.
What???? I was on IV antibiotics but they were just pushed into my IV port in my hand 3 times a day with syringes. I thought that was odd and a very old fashioned way of doing it.

If you were not able sustain yourself and to sit up and drink your water and eat what came on your tray you became weaker like I watched the aged do. Visiting hours were from 2 to 3:30 in the afternoon way after lunch, and evening hours were 7 to 9:30, way after our "tea time" which was the evening meal. So you had no family members there to feed you, and if you were old or too sick and a nurse didn't take an interest in you, well you didn't get much to eat or drink. The 93 year old next to me looked good when I first arrived but she quit eating and drinking on my 3rd day there. She got red streaks running down her cheeks and I told her family she was not eating or drinking and no one was trying to get her to eat. Now that is just wrong in my opinion.

Not everyone had a call button that worked on their bed either and I noticed that Cherie always was watching to see if anyone needed a nurse. She was the "little mother of the Ward". Actually Isla and myself became "mothers" also, but Cherie was the natural!

Actually I became quite fond of all the nurses and even
the cleaning crew on my stay there in the hospital. I only had problems with one nurse and I will tell you about her later on in the story.

I found the Scottish people to be the most sweet, adorable, humorous people. I quite fell in love with them and would not have known them if I had not landed up in this hospital. I had been in a state of anxiety the first full day I had been there then on the 2nd day my husband made the statement that day when he came to visit I seemed like I was starting to like it there! Well I must admit I really liked most everyone we came in contact with.

Margaret made it hard to sleep at night because she had night terrors and called out and moaned "oh my God, I am dying" and that made me creepy, but, I did get used to it. Margaret also yelled out "where's Doris?", which is my mothers name and that got to me also.... She spoke Gaelic but I did not know what that was about.

The worst part was the other 2 women on my side of the Ward who were waiti
ng to get their hips set. They would have the doctors come in every day and tell them they were not emergency cases and maybe tomorrow they could go to "theater" (surgery). They would change their sheets and give them baths, but they cried out in pain. It was very sad and depressing to that they were not perceived as emergency cases. It would have been the same for me if I had been there with a broken leg or hip, but these people are old!!!! It took each of them 5 days, yes, I said 5 days, to get their surgery. My 93 year old ward mate went to surgery and then they brought another woman 85 in to take her bed with a broken hip. I am sure she waited just as long to get it set. I don't know if the 93 year old made it through her surgery or not, she was awfully weak, and that made my heart ache.

It wasn't all horrible, the 3 of us young ones ( ha ha) always kept things going when we were not asleep from too many pain pills. :) We celebrated each others accomplishments and also talked about our trials and tribulations.

Isla was planning a wedding next September and we talked about that and how she missed seeing her boyfriend. He was hurt in the same car accident but had been released to home, but could not travel. We got to know each others families and friends and that was so much fun. Cherie had the two cutiest little boys ever! Isla had a dear mother we talked with alot and my husband was totally taken with them all also.

The girls were always mad that my husband was not allowed to hang with us during the day. I told them, hey I get it, it is for privacy. They said "we have all the privacy we need, we have a curtain!" I said I did not think the older generation would see it like they did. :)

to be continued. . . . . . . . . . . .


  1. You are just amazing. Both you and your sweet husband. Here you were in such a bad way and you were both worried about your condition and you made these incredible friends and made the best out of the situation and conditions.

    I'll look forward to the next installment.


  2. I hope that you are feeling better!!I feel so sad for the older women with broken hips.Thank you for your nice words about King, I am really excited!!


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