As I write this (offline. I don’t know when I’ll actually post this), it’s ten o’clock on a Thursday evening, my third day in Scarborough Hospital. The reason I think of it as my Agrajag moment is that, once again my oral cavity has decided to behave in a way that may described as somewhat perverse, though more accurately as really, truly, fucking annoying.
For various reasons (in my own head, not strictly connected to the pathology) I have developed yet another quinsy. From a point a month ago to now, where the antibiotics may actually, finally be starting to work, I reckon I have enjoyed fewer than a handful of days where my throat has been neither been sore nor blown up like a lurid, pus-filled hot-air balloon.
This has had lots of effects: the poor buggers I’m teaching this year have been messed around like no one’s business so far as a result of my illness and it’s likely to get worse because at least the next two lectures are out for me. There is an aside to this to which I will return later. My parents have been travelling through to see me each day, though I tell them they don’t have to; my time with Katie this weekend looks, frankly, doomed. And of course I have work to complete for PGCHE. I also have an exam to finish writing, but now that their lecture plan is wrecked, God alone knows what I’m going to do about that.
However, one thing that has annoyed a wired, geeky dude such as I is that trying to use the Internet in Scarborough Hospital generates a reaction not far form ‘burn the heretic’. I am using a laptop on the ward, but I had to check first. And just forget a mobile phone. Fair enough with sensitive equipment around, but then I had to take the phone out of the ward into wing’s public reception and hope I could send the stuff I needed. Yeah, like that was ever going to happen. After an hour of trying to send a mail containing a PowerPoint presentation that I’d started for tomorrow’s extra session I kind of hope one got through, though there’s no evidence that it did. The university’s email system isn’t exactly helpful in this regard. I have a horrible suspicion that MS Exchange has detected a PowerPoint attachment and decided that, because it’s a piece of Microsoft software, must clearly constitute a piece of spam which will be left to fester somewhere invisible so no one ever knew that it had been sent. It’s also interesting that there doesn’t seem to be a public wi-fi point anywhere, otherwise I would have just hitched the laptop up and done the job. I know it hardly life or death but it is faintly irritating that you can’t really do something like that.
Haviong said all of that, I contrast my stay to that when I was admitted to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough about two years ago for the same thing. I have no complaint with the medical care either way. Both sets have been professional, though this time no one has seen fit to hack at my mouth with a scalpel or a syringe. This is something for which I am eternally grateful. The nurses here have been better I must say: a great lot, especially the night crews; and Tracy, who was great (and let me have extra toast at breakfast time). The food is fifty million tiomes better too: it’s actually better than edible and tastes good. My first solid food in three days turned up last night in the form of a really good vegetable curry and tonight I had a vegetable pie. The best you could say for James Cook was that it wasn’t actually emetic. I’m now starting to sound like an no-budget NHS version of Egon Ronay, though I can’t say I so enamoured of the idea. Still, within about 4 or 5 months I’ll be getting another chance when they might remove my tonsils here; at least that’s the plan if I agree to it.
At this stage I have no clue when I’m going back to work. I don’t want to come back simply to be knocked down again by the swirling torrent of disease that snakes around university campuses, especially this year for some reason. This might have been why I had a relapse this time around. I do hope to be taking Katie to Newcastle next weekend but even that seems a long way off now.
Ok, update a little. This bit is around 11pm on Friday, but all part of the same post really. To my slight surprise they let me out late this afternoon. Well, it turned out to be late after I’d sat around on the ward for about 4 hours waiting for the pharmacy to get their act together. To cap off my wondrous week, when I go home and turned the TV on it didn’t nothing happened. Not a sausage. Nada. So I had to go and buy a new TV; thank God for the Co-op. Anyway, the specialist has told me that I need to stay off work for another week while my mouth and its environs, ‘settle down’. This means I can get some stuff done at least, but the principal thing is that I will get some rest.