Monday, September 28, 2009

CHAPTER 13 SCOTLAND Leaving the hospital

Cherie got her crutches and I got the Zimmer! I am actually able to use it and get around very nicely! It means for me I get off the potty chair and that is wonderful!
I start slow but by the time the day is over I am scooting around nicely and it is so exciting! The girls are cheering me on and it feels good! Now I am getting somewhere!

The day cleaning crew comes in and starts tidying up and cleaning like every morning except this day the cute little lady cleaning has her helper with her and he starts elevating every one's beds up as far as they can go. I am wondering what are they doing? Well I soon see that the cleaning lady is crawling under the beds to dust! When she gets to mine I hang my head over and say that looks scary to me! She grins and says what you have to do to make a livin'! I would be afraid one of those beds might collapse and squish me!

Friday night goes okay and I am still alive to tell about it, the only thing was it was so hot in the hospital during the day and that night.

That Friday Ross was upset because he could not find a tee shirt in the hospital gift shop that said Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.......he said they have them at Mayo Clinic! I told him he was funny!

Richard and Angie came to visit that night and Richard in his English accent told me "we might be late tomorrow afternoon visiting, because they were doing a whiskey tour." I thought he said they might be "lit"! I said you wouldn't do that to me when I am in the hospital would you? !!!!! That is one of the things tourists do in Scotland is go to the Scotch Whiskey distilleries.
Glenlivet distillery


Ross said to me a few days before that they rent Ambulances to get home from the hospital. I said of course they do because everyone drives a bandaid box here! How would you get in one if you had broken bones and could not crunch up!
Richard is always talking about my Denali and the other big cars and trucks we Americans drive around. Well that is okay for them, but I saw what damage little cars and big trucks do while I was in the hospital there. I want a little protection thank you very much!

It is Saturday and about mid afternoon one of the little day nurses aids comes in and walks down to "the girls end" and announces that they need beds and she hates to break up the happy little family but 2 have to go and it isn't Isla
We all looked at each other and I thought we were going to flip. We said to her we aren't going! We refuse to leave Isla there alone without us! She finally got us to say okay, but we would not go if we were not going to be in the same Ward. We were getting closer to going home than Isla and we knew we would have to go through this sooner or later. We both felt terrible to leave Isla there but Isla put up a good front for us.

They took Cherie down first in the wheelchair and our Ward was going to be in Plastic Surgery by the burn unit. Okay, now what kind of plastic surgery do you get in a government hospital I thought to myself?

The nurse got back to take me down and away we went. I tell you I was so nervous about this move. When I got there it was a tiny room with 3 beds in it and mine was an antique version like I had never saw before and it was stuck behind the door. This bed did not even have any way to lift the head of it up and I had to sleep elevated! It's headboard had a hay rack for a method of elevation! You just had to stack pillows on it. Gad, the thing was horrible! Actually our friends we were visiting just had a new grandson and they were showing us the photos of Mom and baby in the hospital when he was born. I made the comment what kind of weird bed is Louise on?

Oh, just like this one! ha ha

Looking up my nose in my hospital bed! You can see the hay rack headboard

Well I am not too keen on my situation down here in this old part of the hospital, but Cherie was just going on. I am visiting with the nurse and she is helping me get settled in. She was fixing me up with some bandages on my knee because it had started oozing water out of my surgical wounds....lots of water...gross..
Same situation the nurses are very nice down here and we did get away from Godzilla and Isla told Cherie maybe she will get fed now she is down there.

In a little while a nurse comes down to talk to Cherie about her complaints over us getting thrown out of our ward upstairs. Well I did not know this yet but when they delivered Cherie to her new room they pushed the wheelchair up to her bed and left her. She asked the nurse "well what do I do now"? The nurse looks at her and said "you get out of that wheelchair and get on your bed". Cherie looks at her and said, "How am I to do that, I can't walk and I just got these crutches an don't know how to use them yet!" and " the next one, Karen, that they are bring down is worse off than me!" Cherie said you should have saw the look on that nurses face then. The nurse told her they said we were ready to go home when Physios ( their term for Physical Therapy) releases them. The toilet down there wasn't a handicapped one so Cherie couldn't even use it! They had to modify it with the cute little raised seat with arms. There wasn't a shower in it either but the nurses were nice.....

Isla emailed (Facebook) Cherie and said no one was taking care of Margaret now and that our beds were still empty. Actually my bed was still empty when I got out of the hospital...........who do you think banished us from Ward 43? They did not need the beds like they said did they!

Okay now we are settled in and this floor is weird. The patients down here are all mentally deranged. There was one woman who tried to get Cherie out of her bed because she said it was hers..... scared her to death since she has a broken hip and sometimes those old people are strong as an ox! She constantly roamed the hall exclaiming "oh, my God" over and over in a dying voice. Creepy and it was dark and gloomy down there too. We had a roommate who had plastic surgery on her abdomen trying to fix some damage from an 8 year old car wreck. So that is the kind of plastic surgery you get in a government hospital. She informed us she never sleeps when she is in the hospital ever. She said I roam the hall and read, so actually she wasn't in the room much that night.

We have our evening visitors and we are telling them our story of the day. Then when visiting hours are over it gets creepy again. Cherie and I are laying in the beds and the lady is doing her chanting and you could hear the sound of a TV muffled and what sounded like someone banging a tin cup on jail bars.... I said to Cherie " Cherie do you think we are really in plastic surgery or are we in the NUT HOUSE? I did not sleep much that night because I was afraid to shut my eyes!

The next morning I am sitting up in my bed and I am thinking I am getting out of this place today one way or another! I was getting depressed and Cherie says "Karen, what are you thinking?" I told her I was getting a little depressed and she said I want you to snap out of it!" and I did. I told the nurse I wanted out of there today and she said that it was Sunday and Monday was a holiday and Physios aren't working today. I said well you better find some of them today.

The nurse comes in and sends me down the hall to the room of a gal named Karen and her roommate who have a good shower and they won't mind us using it. Okay, I thought that odd but I hobbled down on my Zimmer and to the shower I went. When I got there I saw Karen and asked if it okay I took a shower. She nodded and tried to smile. Karen obviously had been burned very badly over her entire chest and body area with half on her lower face. She was so thin and a fair redhead and I wondered what tragedy had befallen her. It was obvious she had been there for a long time because her scars were not fresh, they were healed. While in the shower I discovered the Zimmer made a great towel rack.

When Cherie went for her turn I told her, to leave her crutches this time and take the Zimmer, it makes a great towel rack and you will need it. She zipped off and went to shower.

Then two gals from Physio showed up to give me crutches. I took to them really well and they said the would be back and where was the Zimmer? Oh, that, Cherie took it to use as a towel rack and you can pick it up when you come to give me my stairs test with crutches. You could not get out of the hospital until you could climb stairs on your crutches. So Cherie and I got our crutches test and passed! I was going to be free to go!!!! Ross arrived about then and I told him I was getting out of the hospital where were Richard and Angela? He said on their way back to Banchory.
Ross called them and they said they would turn around and come back. Well the bad news it took hours to get dismissed from the hospital.

Ross went down to the nurses station and informed her our beds upstairs were still empty. He said the nurse was very annoyed they told her a white lie about Cherie and myself and why they needed us in their ward.

I wanted to go back upstairs to tell Isla goodbye, but I knew I would cry and not want to leave her. It was late and Richard and Angela had waited long enough. I was going to miss my best Scottish girlfriends Cherie and Isla, I had known them only a week but we had gone through what seemed much longer and lots of pain together. We celebrated our small accomplishments in our own recovery.
We had hooked up on Facebook to keep in touch with each other in the future and Cherie made me promise if I came back to find them. I will you can count on that. Cherie was going home on Monday if she could get a ride in an Ambulance, but is was a labor holiday on Monday in just Aberdeen, so I am not sure if she had to wait until Tuesday or not.

It was one of the worst and one of the best experiences of my life all wrapped up into one package...
I had so many people praying for me from home for my recovery and I am also very thankful to them for that. I truly felt their power of prayer, and I felt so bad that they were all so upset. I had phone calls to my bedside and Ross's cell while I was in the hospital from my in-laws and my church stake President and my Relief Society President. I love them all and I couldn't have made it without their support from the homefront.

Now it is time to see Scotland on Crutches!


  1. Wow... What an awful and wonderful adventure. I wouldn't think about going to such extremes to make new friends, but it sounds like Isla and Cherie were angels in disguise to help you get through this awful experience. I hope that all has worked out for both of them and you all are still in touch.

    I'm ready for Scotland on crutches now. And tell Ross he can get t-shirts made with whatever he wants on them, but I agree they should have had them for sale. Help out with the social medicine cost.


  2. Oh geez, what an ordeal! The hospital sounds so crude compared to ours in the US. I am glad you made it out OK!

  3. I could not even imagine what you had to go through! Well, I have had 2 surgeries, and one of those I was in the hospital for 7 days, but that was in the U.S.! So, no, I can't imagine what you had to go through!
    I am so glad you made some friends while you were in the hospital, I am sure that helped!! That place they moved you too, scary!

  4. Wow KT- I was half waiting to hear a ghost story when they moved you to the old ward. But I am glad you are out and about now, and ready to tour!

    Take good, good care, and know that we'll STILL be thinking of you and keeping you (and Cherie and Ilsa) in our prayers!!

    HUGE HuGS!!

  5. We get some of our best friends sharing adversity!
    It was funny about Ross and the t-shirt. He forgot he was living "socialism" at the moment, instead of "capitalism"! Watch out, you might get a bunch of t-shirts for Christmas with Scotland Royal Infirmary on them! And I'm going to make you a "Godzilla" voodoo doll. LOL


I LOVE to hear comments from my friends in the blog world!