Friday, June 19, 2009


The nurses were also quite funny, without meaning to be. Random small talk between two African nurses with very strong accents:

“Hello, how are you?”
“What is your name?”
“Otto what?”
“Otto Bum”
“That is a very nice name.”
“Thank you”

HAHA. I was laughing so much trying not to make a noise.

There was another nurse who had a voice like a scratch on a blackboard. It could literally crack glass. It was so rough and screechy that I was wondering if she was faking it. I attempted to record it one time, while making extra conversation with her to get a nice long recording. Unfortunately the recorder on my phone is too crap you couldn’t really hear her much.

She called me “Nurish”. I called her PleaseShutTheFuckUp (in my head anyway). I don’t know if she was married but if she was, I reckon the husband could actually use her voice as grounds for divorce.

Here is me imitating her voice.

I'm not even exaggerating. It really was like that.

Into the 4th week now and a procedure where they put a camera into my stoma to try and find a cause for my bloating and vomiting found there was severe narrowing in my intestine. They said I’d need further surgery if it didn’t improve by itself, which it sometimes does. I then asked to be discharged cos there was nothing more they could do really. Bit of a risk as I was very unwell still, but I had really had enough of everything by this stage. The nurses even urged me to stay a few more days. But I was adamant I wanted to go home, as I could have been there weeks more just to wait to see if the narrowing improves.

I came home and didn’t have the strength to use the stairs the first 2 days or so. But I saw quick improvements in my health afterwards, with the narrowing opening up after about 2 weeks. I’m pretty much fully recovered now and put back all my lost weight, and some more.

I should have been back home a week after surgery, but took just over 4 weeks. I have the 2nd stage of the operation early next year. Really looking forward to that (!).

The End.

SURGERY - PART 6 - Bollocks Man

There was an old man opposite me who was rather scary. He had a very rough, loud voice. He also had a strong speech impediment. He seemed a little mental because of the way he spoke. Sometimes he would randomly ask me something and I wouldn’t know what the fuck he just said. I didn’t know what to do. I’d say pardon a few times and either just reply “Yeah” with a smile or just blank him. What else could I do??

I overheard some talk between some doctors, and it turns out his voice was due to a stroke he had many years ago. Sad thing was that even some nurses would ignore him, either because they couldn’t understand him or because they felt uncomfortable around him.

Very poor standard of nurses. They tended to ignore the elderly quite a lot. The elderly would moan and worry more than the younger lot. But the good nurses would communicate properly with them, reassure them, build up a relationship with the patient which led to respect. The bad nurses, which was most of them, mostly foreign nurses actually, would just ignore them which didn’t do much for their state of mind.

He was a source of entertainment though. There was one time he came back from the loo and his bollocks were hanging out! Plain view of everyone! A nurse pointed out his wardrobe malfunction while chuckling. He made a lazy attempt to cover himself but it was all still in plain view for many hours!

His last few days before he left weren’t pleasant for him. He came back from the bathroom on one occasion with blood all over him. The poor dude had fell in the bathroom. A later visit to the same toilet by myself, I saw the blood stains myself. Stupid cleaners can’t even clean properly. There was blood on the toilet bowl and on the sink and a bit on the floor. May have hit his head on the sink or toilet bowl. Ouch. And then crawled around a bit.

Click to see bigger image

Part 7 - Otto


When your in hospital for an extended period, you start to get used to the characters there. The patients, nurses, doctors, and other staff such as cleaners and food giverers. Patients come and go. Some come, but never get back home. I had 3 patients in my ward who died in the first 2 weeks. All elderly. I think everyone in this HDU ward were people who had just had surgery.

There was one old man in my ward who had no strength at all. Couldn’t walk or even sit up in bed. He’d get bed bathes and even spoon fed. He had an adult nappy for his bodily waste. He was sometimes wheeled in and out of bed with this huge machine they’d occasionally bring in. I guess to change his bed sheets or something. He was as quiet as a mouse. Never heard a peep out of him apart from when asked questions. He would sleep about 20 hours a day.

Then, for some reason he was put on a strong painkiller and something funny started happening. He’d talk in his sleep. I say talk, but it was more singing. What were the lyrics to these songs you ask?

“What… the… fuck” he’d gently sing.
“Fuck… the… what” in a rhythmic way.
“What… the… fuck”
“Fuck… the… what”

Occasionally he’d raise or lower the tone, change the volume, or leave a longer or lesser gap between each line, mixing it up a little. I was in stitches! This quiet, gentle, polite, old man! Saying such rebellious things! He did this for two nights.

Part 6 - Bollocks Man


During my stay in hospital, I was continually suffering from severe intestinal muscle spasms. It was so painful!! They couldn’t do much for it apart from a muscle relaxant called Buscopan which only worked for an hour or two before the pain returned. Minimum waiting time between each dose was six bloody hours.

There was one night where it was particularly bad that I was shouting/screaming a bit. And they couldn’t do anything to help apart from the Buscopan. I was writhing and lightly shouting in pain all night, getting no sleep. During this time, I didn’t drink many fluids, which was very important for me at the time. I managed to get 1 or 2 hours sleep, woke for a loo break, felt much better, so went back to bed for a proper sleep.

I woke a couple of hours later feeling not so good. Dizzy. Weak. Sleepy. Dehydrated. I tried to get up for another loo break, but couldn’t stand, so I used one of those wee bottles they give, and asked the nurse if she can attach a hydrating drip as I was unable to drink much to rehydrate myself due to me getting bloated and vomiting.

She brushed me off and declined, saying as long as I am able to drink even small amounts, I don’t need a drip. Bitch didn’t even check my state of health. I was so weak that I thought “fuck it” and tried to get back to sleep.

I awoke feeling even worse, barely able to talk. My family soon came for their daily visit who then ordered the nurse to sort me out. A different nurse. She checked my vitals and found my heart rate was a whopping 165 and had probably been like this for a few hours. She immediately called a couple of doctors in who done their checks, asking questions to assess my level of consciousness, which was pretty high.

They measured my blood pressure, but it was so low it wouldn’t register on the machine. They tried the old-skool manual way with the pump and stethoscope but still couldn’t measure it. They gave up.

Doctors did an ECG (electro cardiogram which measures the electrical impulses from the heart which gives an idea of the health of the heart). It came back normal, so I’d probably avoid a heart failure.

They injected a drug to lower my heart rate with two different doses unsuccessfully before trying beta-blockers which take longer to work, but at least it was working. It gradually lowered to normal over the next several hours. They added a drip to rehydrate me and something called jello to increase my blood pressure. A felt a big improvement in an hour or two. I was able to talk again, though not loudly.

For the next 3 days, I was unable to get out of bed while I recovered from this episode. My body was left extremely weak. Didn’t even brush my teeth for 2 days. The day I had those bad spasms and the day after with the heart episode were the two toughest days of my life. It might have been avoided if that stupid nurse had checked my vitals when I first summoned her.

Its been about 2 months since then, and my blood pressure is still higher than my normal BP, although still within the normal range. And I’m still taking beta-blocker medication to keep it within range, although not for too much longer.

Part 5 - WTF


I hope I’ve not been too depressing and boring so far. Stick around, I’ve got more interesting happeninings.

I’ve never written such big posts before. It’s difficult to structure everything. I have so much more to wrote, but I don’t know how to structure it all to keep it interesting. To keep it interesting, I think I’ll alternative between something about my health, and then something more light hearted.

Let’s start with the latter. Beeps. Beep beep. Beep beep beep. Are you finding this annoying? BEEP BEEP BEEP! LOTS OF BEEPS. I certainly found it annoying each night in the HDU (high dependency uni) when I’m trying to sleep, and all I hear are various beeps every few seconds. Occasionally, there’d be a special extra long, loud beep. When an action needs to be taken, like replace the drip bag.

Although, to be honest, if you press the morphine button a couple of times, the beeps can become rather enjoyable. A bit like trance music. You find yourself tapping your fingers to the beep.

Let me tell you about one of the main culprits of the beeps. A lovely old lady named June Rose. Or Rose June. I’m not sure which way it went, she seemed to change it each time a nurse asked her. I’ll call her Rose here because I prefer names based on flowers rather than months.

She arrived into the ward a few days after me, into the space to my left. I had a wonderful window slot by the way. Lots of natural light. There was a wonderful children’s garden outside.

Anyway, Rose. She had had some type of surgery, heart if I remember correctly, and was on the epidural for first 2 days, like me.

When it was her time to come off of it, she complained of being unable to feel one side of her body and was quite panicked about it. The doctors couldn’t really do much for her apart from reassure her and wait to see how things develop. It may have been a temporary thing. They attached lots of monitoring equipment which was the culprit of most of the beeps in the ward.

Over the next few days, confusion began to creep in. She’d talk to herself. She’d answer questions with answers that didn’t make sense. There was one day where anything you asked her, there was a 90% chance she’d reply with “not very often no”. On this day she was asked a lot of questions by the nurses and doctors to assess her mental state.

“What is your name?”
“Not very often no”

“Rose, do you know where you are?”
“Umm, not very often no”

“You are in hospital”
“I know!!”
“Do you know why you are here?”
“Do you know why you are here?”
“Rose, do you know why you are here?”
“Not very often no”

Was quite sad to hear. She was going mental or something. And forgetting everything told to her.

After some tests and scans, they found she had had a stroke during the operation.

Ok maybe this story wasn’t so light hearted. How about a joke instead?

Police are investigating a street in Birmingham where they have already removed 62 Asians for living in the UK illegally.

They're raiding a second house tomorrow.

Ha? Or how about this. Saw this bag on my hospital bed.

Unfortunate bag fold

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I awoke in the high dependency ward as expected. Can't really remember too much about that first week due to the morphine given through the epidural. Initially there wasn't much pain, but was increasing by the hour. The anaesthetist arrived to adjust the level of drugs given through the epidural which reduced the pain. Much more comfortable now. I was given small amount of soft food straight away and i tolerated it well.

Two days later they replaced the epidural with morphine. A small amount is constantly going into your blood stream. But you're also given a button which gives a little boost of morphine in times of pain.

Unfortunately, it's computer controlled (a PCA - patient controlled analgesia) with a timer and everything which only lets you administer the boost after a certain period which the anaesthetist sets. Mine was set at about every 8 mins. Bastard thing. I tried to hack it.

The morphine was soon replaced by oxycodone as it seemed to work better on me than morphine for some reason. For the next week i was hiiiiiigghhhhhh as a kite. It felt great. But it does give very vivid dreams. Sometimes bad dreams. And what you don't want are vivid bad dreams.

During the night, i would drift in and out of sleep. My mind would take what the eyes last saw before they closed, and continue it with its own messed up version. When i woke, the dream would somehow morph into what my opened eyes now see. It was almost seamless. Trippy!

At this point, the Dr's were saying i should be discharged in a few days as i was recovering as expected.

But, probably the third day now, i started to bloat very easily. It got worse as i started to vomit green puke (green due to the bile, which indicates vomit coming from an area past the stomach) and severely bloated, so they stopped me from eating which ended up being 2 weeks of no food and a drop of weight to 6st 7lbs! That's 43kg for you imperialists.

A few times I actually puked close to a litre of vomit in one go! They ended up placing an NG tube up my nose and down into my stomach so that if i were to feel blaoted and nauseus, i could suck the vomit out through the tube before actually puking to reduce the stress of it all.

I'm guessing you're dying to see photos. So here they are. First pic is me with the NG tube up my nose which goes right down to the bottom of my stomach. It can suck up any liquidy stuff in there. See the green vomit in the 2nd pic? Good. Remember that image next time you have a meal. Next time you have anything green :)

I remember when the two nurses came in to insert it. They warned me its a very uncomfortable one minute or so. And at the time i was nauseous. Can you guess what happened?

I heaved several times, followed by a projectile vomit! Mostly on the bed, but some on the nurses! 100 POINTS TO ME!

Part 3

Monday, June 15, 2009

SURGERY - PART 1 - Pre-surgery

I haven't written a blog post in years! I thought i'd give this another go. I certainly have enough to write about now. A lot of things have happened in the last few months.

Lets start with the main event. In March, I spent a month in hospital and came out weighing a mere 6 and a half stones (43kg / 95 pounds).

Before I start, let me get the boring details out of the way. I've had a condition called crohns & ulcerative colitis since 2000, which causes inflammation of the colon due to an overreaction by the immune system.

Until now, I've been keeping it under control with a bucket load of medications including immune suppressants such as azathioprine, and corticosteroids such as prednisolone. They all have their side-effects, but you tolerate them if they manage to control the condition. There are also tons and tons of food intolerances. All types of beans, anything high fibre, dairy products, as well as vegetables and fruits.

But in the last few years these medications have become less effective in controlling the inflammation, so i went for the surgery, where they cut out the affected part of the bowel. In my case, that's all of it.

The op is done in two stages with me using an external ostomy bag (a poo bag) in-between.

They called me in to hospital the day before surgery so they can monitor my health pre-surgery to make sure you're fit enough. They told me to get in to the hospital gown and wear the stockings that prevent deep vein thrombosis. Along with flip flops, its quite a sexy combination.

I didn't feel much nerves for some reason. Probably because i was looking forward to the benefits of the surgery. No more pills and my diet opening up again to all foods! Being able to be a normal weight, size and strength for once in my life.

They informed me about the anaesthetic used during the procedure. An epidural! They use that shit for women giving birth! Anaesthetic straight into the spine!

Next day came around, and i had to wait til 3pm for my surgery slot. Bit i didn't mind. I was calm, mostly browsing the net on my phone, being the addict i am.

They sat me down in a wheelchair and wheeled me into the anaesthetic room where the anaesthetist, some foreign-sounding dude, was in rather good spirits. He looked through a window into the next room where the surgeries takes place to check if they were ready for me.

"Whoa, what a mess" he said.
"Is there blood all over the place??" I replied jokingly, with a smile.
Seeing as it was where bowel op's were taking place, he replied...
"No. Shit actually".

Jokingly of course. I laughed hard. Half cos he made such a dodgy joke, and probably half cos the nerves were starting.

He inserted something into my spine close to the neck area and asked me for feedback on how i felt. All of a sudden i felt the most excruciating pain ever across my chest and arms! NERVE PAIN! "ARGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH" I lightly screamed.

He pulled the thing out and tried again, this time more successfully. Once that was in, he administered the drug to knock me out. I love this bit. You feel it take effect in a few seconds. It's an amazing feeling. I've never taken heroin, but i imagine it would feel something like that. I was probably awake for another 20 or 30 wonderful seconds, and then i was out.......

Part 2 - Pre-surgery

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Naked Bike Ride (NSFW)

Went to this last weekend. Naked bike ride through London. It was hilarious.

Here was the setting. Trafalgar Square. Lots of people there, like there are everyday. Lovely sunny day. Tourists. Families with kids. Passer-by's just enjoying the fountain.

Many of them had no idea what was about to happen...

All of a sudden, a few police cars arrive and block a few roads. Over a thousand naked people on bicycles whoosh past! A good 15 mins of nakedness.

That day, a few innocent people lost their innocense after what they saw.

The whole thing was a passive protest about the world's dependence on natural resources like oil. It's a worldwide event that tours different countries.

The cyclists were loving it! Most were creative, with some form of body paint. Some people put a twist to it by doing it on skates, a unicycle, two ppl on one cycle or dancing on the cycle. Some just keeping it simple and running naked. Bits bobbing up and down.

Saw this one dude who was very fat. I couldn't even see the seat! It was halfway up his bum cheeks!

Also entertaining were the bible bashers shouting abuse at them.

"You are animals! Nothing but beasts!"
"You will end up in hell fire!"

Yeah okay then. Anyway, this post is nothing without photos, so here are my faves (not my photos, taken from Click on them for bigger images...

Some more photos on