Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Welcome to E14
Admission was always going to be unsettling. Clare and I entered Ward E14 with bags and, for me at least, that now familiar note of fear.
Clare sat on the chair next to the bed and I lay on the bed in civilian clothes. Trying to hang on to my identity until I have to relinquish it. Waves of anxiety break around me, but because Clare is there, and because I have recently been in a similar ward in the same hospital even this small familiarity is a comfort.
I have noticed, in the last year, that each different ward has its own mini culture. This one has a feeling of being on the front line, much more than the last one I was in. There is more meticulous checking, questioning, and note taking.
Because I have come in early for a blood transfusion before the operation, it becomes clear that I'm going to have to get into my pyjamas. I reluctantly get changed and emerge in the unmistakable uniform of a patient.
The time for Clare's inevitable leaving came and I hugged her goodbye. I was left to contemplate my new surroundings - E14
The area I'm in is the red area. There are 6 beds, each is provided with a privacy curtain. The design of this curtain is made from various Nottingham locations of note.
I am in bed Red 1.
Red 2 is occupied by a man called Frank, an older man, sporting tight green socks.
Red 3 is obscured by his curtain and sounds a bit like radio 4
Red 4 is a man called Steven who is also obscured by his curtain, and spends a lot of time shouting.
Red 5 is a Russian man who seems to have trouble with his legs and likes to clown about, although in repose his face looks quite un-funny.
Red 6 is an older man with long flowing hair and a London accent.
So here we all are in our strange little worlds of pain and flesh. I am really tired and I have to stop now. Tomorrow is the big day, and if I think about I will crumble.
Tomorrow my colon really will come to a fullstop.