Tag Archives: Hospital

Life is slow from a hospital bed (FD +3)

I’d never really thought about the pace at which I live my life.  The heart attack has forced me to think about everything I do.  I guess I’ve been “flat out” or “dead stop”:

  • Up and out in the morning.  I rush around the office, walking a little bit faster than everyone else.  Juggling balls as I go.  I’ve even realised that I shower and clean my teeth fast, hard, with vigour.
  • When I’m not working, I’ve tried to do nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Resting from the exertions of work.

Life is slow from a hospital bed.  I’ve only been here three days, but it seems like for ever.

I guess things will take time to feel normal.  At the moment it’s not possible to walk (shuffle) around without worrying about something going wrong.  Every twinge is a possible emergency (and there are a lot of twinges!).  Showers are a deliberate affair.  Tooth cleaning delicate.  The vigour is gone… for the time being at least.

Even just lying peacefully I can feel every heart beat.  A constant reminder.

Modern TechnologyMy final hours in hospital are spent watching the cricket.

Apparently, up until recently, TV was “not allowed” for the first week after a heart attack.  After “Saving Private Ryan”, I have some sympathy with this view.  I am fortunate however that the cricket isn’t too much of a contest, the South Africans kindly capitulate removing any tension.

Then it’s goodbye… and home!


My days are becoming increasingly structured around the comings and goings of a busy hospital ward…

Wake up.



Making the all important selections from the menu.

Looking forward to the tasty, but slightly non-descript soup… Green Pea, Broth, Lentil, all bearing remarkable similarities to their culinary relatives.  Hearty and wholesome.

After lunch, a snooze.

Visiting time.



Visiting time.


A nice cup of tea

It’s lovely to have visitors, but nothing quite beats the peace on the ward when visiting hours are finished.

The quiet anticipation of the tea round… a lovely cuppa!

I’ve managed to resist the biscuits… another step towards the slippery slope.

Everything runs like clockwork.  The faces change (and the quality of the tea!), but the routine remains the same.

Safe.  Comfortable.  Normal.

Sleep (FD +2, Early Hours)

Both of the wards that I called home were in a recently developed part of the hospital.  They were both clean and well maintained, housing state of the art technology.  Being cardiac wards, there was activity at all hours of the day and night – I could hardly complain given the time of my own admission!

InstitutionalisedIt did appear however that while a lot of care and attention had been paid to the medical aspects of the facility, some of the finer details of the joinery had been overlooked.  As a result, the doors were noisy.

Very noisy!

So noisy in fact, that I could have sworn that they had been specifically designed to be entered into the European Door Slamming Championships.

Given the doors were in use to provide access and / or privacy during normal waking hours, practice for the Championships appeared to be restricted to the early hours of the morning.

Practice makes perfect I guess.  I have high hopes of a medal for Scotland!


One of the few benefits of being hooked up to a heart monitor is that you can be monitored untitled (2)from afar.  As I was now “free”, it was necessary to “physically observe” me during the night to make sure I was still breathing.

Given the shock caused by the door banging, this sounded like a prudent approach to me.  The routine was a simple one… as soon as I had drifted off, a nurse would shine a small torch, three times brighter than the sun into my face.  I would jump, sitting upright in my bed. “What the #*%£!!!”.  And the nurse would leave, satisfied.


Let me sleep!  PLEASE!

Changing Rooms (FD +1)

My time was up!  I was freed from the heart monitor.  Able to make my own way to the bathroom.  To lie on my side.  To move without getting tangled.  Result!

This also meant it was time to move to the Cardiac Ward, a more general ward for heart patients (consider it “Business Class” in comparison to the “First Class” CCU).  I had only been in hospital for 36 hours, but I had got comfortable with my surroundings, the nurses, the comings and goings.

The move up one floor felt like a big deal.  Practically, it just meant that I had less pillows (I’m sure I could have asked for more) and that I had to pay for my TV*, but psychologically it meant more.  Change is difficult!

Despite this, I still knew I was lucky.  I was becoming increasingly aware that I was in better shape than most people on the ward.  There were few physical signs of my condition, and I was feeling better all the time.  I was beginning to feel a little bit of a fraud.

TV* I say “Pay for the TV” however the Trust were kind enough to provide it free between 10-2 every day.  It says it’s for a limited period, but in my opinion, removal of this basic human right could cause unrest… all those quality programmes that would be denied to the residents!

Long Day (FD +0)

Sunday was a day of shock and discomfort.  My first experience of hospitalisation.  Given my extensive experience of “House” I was hoping I was well prepared.

I was rigged up to a heart monitor and therefore unable to leave my bed.  Every movement, every distraction effected my heartbeat… 80, 75, 90, 100…  I became keenly aware of it, resting with one eye open to check the positive impact on the rate.  A single palpitation sent it shooting up… alarms and flashing red lights brought the doctors running to my side… it quickly reverted back to normal… to be expected apparently.

Tired.  Not the best night’s sleep.

Not feeling great.  Silly to say perhaps given I’d just had a heart attack, but it felt like I’d been beaten up from the inside… a gentle / moderate ache I guess (still not good at translating to a pain scale of 1 to 10), but certainly not comfortable.  Again, to be expected.

My head was spinning.  So many thoughts running through my head… I was certainly not in control.  I had no real idea about what the future might hold.  Louise was there to support me, but equally, if not more, in a spin.

The nurses were fantastic, seen it all before, able to answer my questions and provide comparisons.  For them it was a normal day.  I’m glad it was for someone!

Don’t think about work.  Relax.  Take it easy. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about work.

I could only hope that a couple of hours of Champions Trophy Cricket and the US Open Golf would help me to chill out.  Fingers crossed!