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If you are remotely interested, the past few weeks of Iain Robertson’s life have been intriguing at very least. Point-by-point, he shares with you his experiences.


  1. COVID JAB – Obtaining the first of the Astra-Zeneca inoculations seems to be root of my recent maladies…I was ‘fine’ prior.
  2. NASTY ‘PIMPLE’ – That is what it felt like. However being in the acnestis (no, you look it up!), I could do nothing about it. It ‘spread’.
  3. SHOULDER BLADES – The ‘infected’ area.
  4. EMERGENCY ADMISSION – I was given no time to pack and informed by GP that I was to be admitted. Johnny (friend) whisked me to the infirmary.
  5. 12-HOUR WAIT – Processing took half a day. I could and should have packed more than three underpants and three socks.
  6. SIX DAYS – Blood tests, discomfort and ill-fitting (inadequate cover) gowns gave no solution. However, the therapists felt that I needed a walking stick…or two (one of which got nicked, while I was in the operating theatre!).
  7. DIABETIQUE – As a disease virgin (28 days and counting), I was surprised that the diagnosis was so long in coming. I thought that I had dodged the bullet.
  8. FIRST OP. – Seven days incarcerated and I was trollied to the operating theatre. Carried out under a local anaesthetic, I could feel every finger inserted beneath my skin and the tissue layers on my upper back (left). I did request about the right side…
  9. WARD CHUMS – A very thin tissue of ‘friendship’ grows between fellow victims. I bought a Chinese take-away one evening for the ward…bugger the diabetes.
  10. SECOND OP. – Informed that the first one was carried out ‘in error’, I endured three days of NBM (nil by mouth), while the surgical senior registrar tried to slip me into her list for reparative surgery. Jeez! I was famished. The second was carried out under a general…far less painful.
  11. INS AND OUTS – On a regular as clockwork diabetic diet, my intake was measured by regular output.
  12. DIGNITY DESERTED – The first toilet visit revealed that my legs could not power me from the seat. As to the art of arse-wiping, aroused by the red cord pull, a nurse carried out the task most thoroughly, a ‘first’ of a few since I was less than three years of age.
  13. NURSING WHOAHS – Not all nurses are nice. Not all nurses care. One little Hitler made my life hell. Several did not give a fig.
  14. DRAINAGE – I have a plastic gutter in my back that drains the cellulitis ingeniously into a stoma bag. I was issuing 250ml of ‘fluids’ at the start, which is now reduced to around 50ml in a 24-hour period.
  15. STOMA WOES – Shoulders move a lot. Stoma adhesive fails a lot. I soiled the bed every night. Yuck! It has continued at home. I have run out of sheets.
  16. CONSULTANT ADMISSION – Bedside visit by the specialist was accompanied by an announcement of the first op. mistake. Even with ‘hospital head’, I could taste money.
  17. FOOD FAMILIARITY – After three weeks, I was enjoying hospital food.
  18. ESCAPE – Having been told I could go home, to be informed an hour later that I could not for a further two days was disgruntling. Helped by a staff nurse, I managed to engineer my escape…within two hours, lame, befuddled and in discomfort.
  19. THE DNs – One morning and one evening district nurse domestic visits gave me confidence in self-injecting insulin twice daily and taking my own twice-daily blood-glucose tests. I do not like the lancets.
  20. PALS – Through the patient-liaison service, I made a smattering of complaints against ‘Hitler’, the consultant and one really nasty DN. No money, better than making another lawyer rich, but heaps of satisfaction.
  21. TESCO – Unable to make the online grocery system work (I am not aged 12!), in a blue funk I drove and ‘sticked’ it into the superstore, only to almost collapse. One day ‘out’ it was too soon clearly! One of the store managers sympathised and offered me the use of a red electric mobility buggy. I was horrified but grateful. Harrison was my personal shopper. Great lad. Tesco escalated in my estimation, from a bunch of money-grabbing profiteers to superstore superstars. It repeated the service one week later.
  22. FLARE-UP – Having asked one of the DNs about the itch on the right upper side of my back, to be told that the skin was ‘hot’ and the tissue ‘firm’ was disheartening. Why did the so-called specialists not deal with it, when asked, when I was in the hospital?
  23. NO RETURN! – I have already refused to return to the infirmary. I am on sleep-inducing, even stronger antibiotics.
  24. RECTAL TRAINING – Having ‘enjoyed’ regularity of toilet habits in hospital, I have been forced to retrain my peristalsis, in order to return to regularity at home.
  25. BETTER DAY – Since the DNs washed their hands of me, my GP (Dr Lane) informs me that I am healing well and that the inflammation on the right upper side of my back is much reduced. It must be the punchy new antibiotics.


That is the story so far. I shall keep you posted on developments. Thank you for your patients (f’nah, f’nah!).


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