Sunday, 29 March 2009

The morphine diaries...

An explanation for the late despatch of the last post is in order. Last Tuesday morning, having completed the last post in draft the previous evening, I set out to court fortified by bacon butty and infusion of coffee feeing perfectly content with life. The court is less than 5 minutes from chambers Birmingham office.

I break rules 1 (look where you are going) and 2 (pick up your feet) and do yer pavement tripping production, going over like a tree on to my left hip. A crowd of concerned people gather. I ask a couple of blokes if they would help me to my feet as I can't do it on my own. They sportingly oblige. I stand clinging to a lamp post and wobbling. Two of West Midlands finest thereupon appear. They take over and - rightly - insist I get off to A & E in an ambulance. I was still - just about - in mad bugger mode and ready to keep walking to court despite being - erm - unable to walk.

The ambulance people were great, as was everybody else I met that day and I trundle off to City Hospital Birmingham, strapped to a trolley. I know what's coming next: x-rays, that's what.

X-rays to elbow and wrist are fine. The registrar isn't sure about the x-ray of my left hip but concludes that the x-ray of my hip is fine too and I can go on a pair of crutches. I'm given crutches. I can barely walk on them.

Consultant is summoned. He concludes that I have fractured my hip and he's the man to put this right by insertion of screw and plate. Nothing more to eat or drink except 10mg oral morphine. This is still morning and I am admitted as inpatient and await surgery. The anaesthetist comes for a chat. General anaesthesia can loosen teeth he warns me. Any problem teeth? he asks. I indicate a couple. He didn't lie. They are not long for this world after the general anaesthetic. I am wheeled into whatever they call the anteroom to the operating theatre sometime early evening.

I already have two cannulae in my right hand. One for the saline drip and one for the anaesthesia I have a jokey little chat with the anaesthetist. Don't remember a thing after that...

I come round on the ward. The non-saline cannula will feed me intravenous morphine on demand. I make a discovery...

Intravenous morphine is rather nice.

I was on the intravenous morphie for the next two days, then I decided to ask them to switch it off. Although nice it makes you very woozy (not to mention constipated) and I needed to focus to get outta there. Just before going to sleep on the Thursday evening I treated myself to a great big toot of intravenous morphine and asked the nurse to disconnect it on the Friday morning, which she did.

Hospital is mostly boring. You just lie there. I read a 70-odd page novella called Water Source by a 11 year old called Will Goddard. It's very good and he deserves a big shout out, which he just got. I also started reading a Patricia Cornwell crime novel, which I may blog about sometime. Otherwise my new mate Pete - the seriously tattooed bloke in the next bed, he was in there after being bitten by an alsatian - brought me a paper in the morning as he was more mobile than me. I chatted to Pete and listened to Radio 4. That's about it...

Well there was the physiotherapy. I was the physiotherapist's teacher's pet - I got seriously stuck in because I really, really wanted outta there. I was released today (sounds like a prison sentence) and a good friend is putting me up for the next week or so while I recuperate.

Oh and every cloud has a silver lining. I stopped smoking and it was dead easy. I'd started smoking again during stresses and strains of last year as per posting below and it had developed into a serious hobby. No smoking in hospital of course and I had been told that smoking is a particularly bad idea after hip operation. Something to do with circulation of the blood.

I say it was dead easy. With all the morphine I couldn't have cared less about cigarettes. By the time I had stopped the morphine I was pretty much through the withdrawal stage. It's a pretty drastic way to stop smoking but it worked for me...

10 comments:

lawminx said...

O My GOD!!! I am shocked to my very core!! Are you mostly recovered and now at home?! ( what did the quacks do with your hip - a dynamic hip screw?) You really are putting us all through the ringer, rabbit, but I do hope you are well and remain ciggie free!

Jimmy Bastard said...

So much for the lucky rabbits foot bollix then huh?

It could have been much worse my friend. It could have been me.

Get better soon pal, you poor unlucky wee bastart.

simply wondered said...

you are having a dreadful time of it, rabbit! (tho you had probably noticed that, already)
i join my good wishes to those above and if i may be picky to one having less fun than he deserves, the phrase 'going over like a tree on to my left hip' does make me wonder what a trees left hip looks like.
get well soon.

DaisyDeadhead said...

(((WR))) (Sounds a bit like a JG Ballard novel!)

My best wishes and deadhead vibes go out to you, friend!!!!!

Barnsley Bill said...

Oh dear... Glad you can still type. I am now going to climb on the roof and launch my self hip first onto the patio. it would have to be a better way to stop smoking than those pills the doc gave me that made me hallucinate all night and suffer permanent tumescence all day.
FOR A WEEK.

white rabbit said...

Thanks to all for kind comments. Minx - it was definitely a screw. Didn't ask for further details. SW - Yes - the tree falling on its hip was dire. I plead morphine hangover. I was recently reproached for using 'hopefully' as a verb. HOPEFULLY IS NOT A VERB!!! I was told.
BB - All I can say is that it's the only thing that worked for me. So far...

Charon QC said...

White Rabbit... I've only just seen this. Sorry to hear this.. about the injury ... not the giving up smoking!

Get better... Anything I can do to assist... phone you up and sing?.. perhaps tell some really bad jokes?

Speak soon

Charon (Doctor)

Meatbe said...

Andrew- I am sorry to hear of your misfortune, and hope that you are doing well now.

By the way, you may be amused to know that you have once again taught me a new word: butty. I like it, and shall henceforth use it frequently. I have found that it is sometimes fun for me to use British words that cause people around here to ask me what I mean.

Take care!

mikeb302000 said...

Dear WR, I must have missed this post in my reader; I think that settles it I've got too many things in there if I can't keep up with them all.

Good luck with the recovery. I had a little mishap myself recently, cracked a rib and am still suffering from it three weeks later. Nothing like your thing, I realize.

Take care of yourself and good luck for a full recovery.

savannah said...

take care, sugar! i do so hope y'all are feeling better with each passing day! xoxoox