4 days on Ward 12

My 4 days on ward 12 was an odd experience. I had become the watch woman of Karen’s pain and sick bag. I was administered the wrong drugs, discovered the power of water, understood the word hero and wet myself, so I’ll explain each one in turn.

One night the drugs trolley appeared but unusually there was only one nurse on the trolley. Karen was always first for drugs and as trolley went round I was quiet looking forward to my turn as I needed my strong painkillers that had been prescribed for me. The nurse looked at my name and gave me two lots of drugs, an antibiotic and laxatives, I told her I wasn’t on either of those drugs but she assured me that I was and should have been taking them already from earlier that day. We kept having the same conversation like Groundhog Day but she assured me I should take them, so I took the antibiotic first, she then decided to check my NHS number and was horrified that she had given me the wrong drugs, she asked me not to tell anyone and she was sorry but there was another Wendy in another ward. Thank god I hadn’t taken the laxatives. My face started to go numb and the nurse monitored me throughout the night, I texted Steve so there was evidence if I died of what had happened to me. I never got my strong painkillers.

The power of water – Not sure what day it was but I was told I was having a shower. Wash bag collected I sat naked in a hospital chair whilst this wonderful nurse showered me. Water, just simple water, I can still remember how beautiful it felt to feel clean to smell girly again and wash away the stains on my skin of the operation and to finally see my plasters. Two thirds of the worlds population don’t have access to running water and oh how we take this for granted.

Hero’s – One night the old lady next to me had obviously shit herself or broken her bag, the smell was awful, it filled the room and wouldn’t leave. I tried to cover my mouth to block out the stench but I couldn’t, no one could have. Behind the curtain a nurse was sorting the poor old lady out, she was comforting, kind and compassionate. We talk about our serviceman and woman as being hero’s and they are but I tell you what to clean up smelly shit from someone else in the wee hours in the morning and still be kind whilst your just on above the minimum wage is someone who is a true hero to me.

Wetting myself – There was a young male nurse on ward 12 who was our bit of eye candy, he was Italian, bless him. He was sent round to remove the catheters from us, now a nurse is a nurse but there was a limit! This young man was fiddling around in my fanny and the towel (still unused) was still wedged between my legs, oh the shame. He removed the catheter and left, probably traumatised by my aging bits. I sat on my bed and after sometime I was aware that I was wetting myself. I didn’t move or try to stop it I just announced to Karen that I was wetting myself and laughed.

Sick bag monitor – Karen still wasn’t well and every night I sat keeping an eye on her, watching episodes of Silent Witness on Steve’s Ipad and puffing on my E cigarette under the covers hoping not to get caught. Anything but sleep for me. One night Karen was very ill and I’m shouting at her to call for help but she can’t find her buzzer thing so I get mine and ask the lady next to Karen to also press for help. The nurses came quickly thankfully and the curtain was pulled around Karen again.

On Friday Mr Mullerat told me that I needed to go home, he knew I wasn’t sleeping and I had to get out but I didn’t want to go home, how could I cope? I was scared and who would look out for Karen? I agreed to go home on the Saturday morning to start my recovery at home and hope that Karen would be okay.

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

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