22/02/14

The dam has taken a very long time to break. I finally have permission to raise purchase orders for replacement of the IT kit at work. About £78K. If we can get the dreadful work processes to cough up, it should start very soon. I have an example PC. It is a Lenovo tiny desktop, about the size of a CD drive. It is Windows 8.1. It does not make sense buying anything earlier if it is going to last. The servers will be 2 virtualised HP servers which mirror each other. Backup is a big hard disk.

I have been very worried about all this. I don’t think I am really qualified to specify, but with some support I seem to be as able as anyone else.  

I live in the Thames flooding corridor. My aunt, who lives nearby, had to evacuate. I had no problems. My loo is on the ground floor. If the drains back up, I get it first, but there hasn’t been a problem. I gather my part of the village has not flooded since 1956, the year of my birth. 

I had last week off, using up my holiday. It did not work out as expected. I was very tired on the 15th. I adjourned to bed with a bottle of wine, Radio 4 and a book. Not quite Omar Kyam, but good enough. I woke in the early hours with severe pains in the left of my lower abdomen . They came in waves, which made me think it was gastric. I slept (with frequent interruptions) until late, hopeing it would go away. It didn’t. At about 14:00 I tried 111. They suggested I try pain killers, which I did not have, and to go to casualty, which I couldn’t. The conclusion was I should call 999.

Charlotte, the quick response driver, turned up very fast and made sure my heart was working OK. We had decided she would take me to the hospital. Then I coughed and nearly passed out. She helped me back to sitting position and called the ambulance.

The ambulance staff were Ken and possibly Kelly. Excuse me if I forgot a name, I was a bit stressed.  At one point the 2 women were prodding my belly. Not unpleasant. My fat gut is surprisingly solid. They said it was like a 6 pack. I’ve been looking at why it might be like this. Could be IBS, which I’ve had for years 

I sat up in the ambulance as changeing position hurt. I had a few bad moments. I was admitted for 2 nights.

I was in A&E for ages. After answering the same questions lots of times, I was X-Rayed. They suggested I had a couple of broken ribs, but I might have a variety of other things that explained my distended gut, including pancreatitus. I was a bit concerned as cancer of the spleen, or other internal organs could look the same.

I was given me some IV painkillers and I was floating a bit. I waited a very long time. Finally they took me to a ward. Same questions, more drugs.. On Sunday at 06:00 I was moved again. More questions, more drugs. I was pretty disorientated by this time. The pain spasms were less though. Eventually, a specialist came to see me, with a covy of students/juniors. He talked to them about pain relief. He gave me cocodamol alternated with ibruprofen. His main concern was lung infection as I wasn’t breathing fully. He decided to give me a CT scan to see if there was anything wrong internally.

By now a very large bruise was forming on the left side of my back. Just on the lower ribs. I didn’t seem to be able convince anyone I had not drunk more than usual and didn’t know what had happened. No other bruises, which would be odd for a fall. I had sneezed very hard and painfully on the friday.

I waited most of the day and finally got scanned. Then waited again and was kept in. On Sunday morning they gave me a different ion pump inhibitor from my usual one. I thought just once would be OK, but no. By the evening my skin was itching all over – which is why I had switched drug before. Also I was given oral morphine from saturday and was very constipated. A very uncomfortable night, but I had been dozing a lot, so I wasn’t too bad in the morning. I persuaded them to let me take a shower.

Late afternoon Monday, one of the students/juniors came to see me. The CT scan had found nothing significant. My liver is slightly enlarged. I have a couple of spots on my kidneys, but neither of these are unusual for a man of 57. They didn’t find a fracture. Then I had to wait some hours for my prescription of painkillers.

I managed to leave at about 17:30, walking rather carefully to the station. I stayed in bed and took the tablets for most of the rest of the week. I am much better now, but when I breathe deeply something goes crunch in a rather sickening way, so I think there may be a fracture after all.

In general, the staff were really nice to me and I got good treatment, though communication wasn’t great and everything was terribly slow. Of course, I wasn’t at death’s door and others were, but I did use rather a lot of NHS bed time.  

I had a nice night at the local on Weds . I was off  work on Thurs. The work progress was worth celebrating.

Unusually, today at work was not difficult. Tonight I went to the local. I saw lots of friends. One friend is a chef at a fairly serious place. His name is Aaron. Lots of his staff were there and it was nice to meet them. Aaron’s right arm is paralysed after a motorcycle accident. We grossed out some of the youngsters. You know the Woody Allen joke about sitting on your hand until you can’t tell if it is yours? He has his own version.

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