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Well here we are back home after Paul has had his op in London. He now looks good, no skull deformity and is feeling good. I have to say that all the years of paying health premiums have paid off. I am ashamed to have not stayed with the NHS, which I support,and believe in passionately, but the care he got privately was really superb.
He has been given the go ahead to fly by end of January, so his ski holiday is on. The Walton skull plate was synthetic, but the London plate is titanium, will he set off airport security scanners and how will we explain? This could be fun. Watch this space!
We also got to experience NHS A&E in a large south London hospital. Will never grumble about Nobles, ever again.
On the day of Paul's discharge he collapsed and became unconscious 3 times, once in the car on the way back to the hotel, once at the hotel and the third time, again in the car just as I arrived at the hospital doors to have him re admitted (at the suggestion of his consultant, with whom I had spoken).
I had parked, on double yellows, outside the private patient entrance, went in and asked for assistance. They had no porters specifically on duty, the ambulance men in the ambulances next to my car told me it was not their job to get Paul out of the car and into A&E as he had not arrived in an ambulance. One even suggested I should not have brought him in but should have dialled 999. I went to A&E 100 yards down the road, queued for 5 minutes to get to the desk, receptionist tannoyed a porter, but none arrived. Eventually she found a wheel chair and a hospital worker who pushed it to the car but told me it was not his job to help me get Paul, who was still unconscious, out of the car, into the chair or wheel him into A&E.
Eventually I prevailed on two ambulance men to assist in the car to chair transfer, then I was on my own, and was being harassed by the Hosp ital parking attendant to move my car. I had been on the yellow lines for 20 minutes and was blocking no traffic, so after wheeling Paul, who was just coming round, into A&E, I had to abandon him and find parking.
10 minutes later back in A&E Paul had disappeared. I found him in triage. I noticed that next to the triage station was a police office and outside was an armed police officer. Paul was wheeled into the A&E cubicle area. 50 cubicles, all full, nowhere to go. Paul was pushed into a suture room with two beds.
That is where and when we noticed the cameras, 5 of them, and the rifle mikes, four of them! Channel 4 were making a documentary on Kings A&E. A large Jamaican, bleeding profusely was then admitted to the room with a nurse, his partner, a junior doctor and a camera man, sound man and gofer, who had filming consent forms. (no we did not sign up!) The Jamaican had the broadest patois I have ever heard, and whilst being stitched related to the film crew how he had been "rolled by four niggah bruthas" for his wallet. I suppose it may make good TV.
After a scan, because the main worry was that Paul had started another hemorrhage, there were no cubicles or rooms, no NHS ward beds available, and private wing were trying to rearrange beds, it was a 3 hour wait in a corridor on the gurney.
Eventually a bed was found, but again no porters so Paul had to walk the half mile to the ward.
I will never again criticise Nobles, as long as I live.
Anyway, Paul had another two nights in and has been fine ever since. No bleed, the collapses were put down to wrong medicine prescription at discharge, low blood sugar, he had not eaten the night before or that morning before discharge, and peri operative risk. In other words he had been discharged too early!
I stayed at a boutique hotel on Camberwell Church Street, a 10 minute walk from Kings College Hospital on Denmark Hill. The area was fascinating. The ethnic mix was extreme. It was vibrant and for a manxie, quite exciting and certainly an eye opener.
Within the 400 yards from the hotel to Camberwell Green there were 12 different nationalities represented in the shops, restaurants and bars. Spanish Hotel and tapas restaurant, Lebanese kebab shop, Jamaican pattie and jerk take away, Vietnamese restaurant, Chinese restaurant, Bangladeshi restaurant, Thai restaurant, English Fish & Chip shop and two pubs, three banks and two estate agents, 5 Nigerian hairdressers all offering "easing" and money changing facilities behind windows filled with neon lights, a Polish delicatessen, an Indian corner shop and hardware store, a Jewish bagel shop. Other shops, cafés etc were clearly not English owned or run, but what they were did not matter.