Visitors tell me that outside, in the real world, the country is gearing itself up for an election. No doubt the NHS will be somewhere on the agenda. And Patient Choice, whatever that is. This week, the only significant choice I’ve exercised is between Horlicks and Ovaltine (and that was only when stocks of Horlicks had finally been replenished). I don’t think it’s choice I want. It’s reassurance that everyone knows what they are doing and, equally importantly, what everyone else is doing.
Me: Excuse me. The consultant said he’d ask the wound specialist to look at my stump
Nurse: I don’t know anything about that
Me: He said it on his ward round yesterday
Nurse: I wasn’t on yesterday. Maybe it’s in your notes
Me: Do you think you could check?
Nurse: Well, anyway, it’s Saturday today. No one will come over the weekend. I’m sure you will be fine
It’s after conversations like these that I feel my resolve to remain positive slipping and I get a glimpse of just how near the surface lurks despair.
Another election topic will, no doubt, be immigration. If it wasn’t for immigration I wouldn’t have any cups of tea, food, clean sheets, monitoring, drugs or the chance to fantasize with Laxmi, one of the healthcare assistants, about making a run for it to her family home in Chennai. She’ll push the wheelchair, she says.