Eventually, I found myself on ward. The staff there were second to none. They were brilliant! Nothing was an issue. Us patients were spoiled with seconds when it came to meals. Above the head of the bed a board fixed to the wall had the name of the surgeon I was assigned to, along with the names of the head nurses and information pertaining to me. Most importantly, my name was written. Interestingly, the nurse who wrote the details asked my name. I said that I’m known as Wizard Steve. So that’s what he wrote.
I was asked about any medication that I was prescribed. I told the doctor that I was on 1800mg of gabapentin. “You what?” She exclaimed, “Who prescribed that amount?”
“My doctor.” I said.
I told her about the lack of cartilage, etc. “Ow!” She sympathised, “Fair enough.”
It couldn’t have been much more than 24 hours later when I struggled from the chair alongside the bed and collapsed clutching my chest. I managed to hit the emergency button. A nurse turned, spotted me and hit her own emergency button as she came rushing to my aid. Within moments doctors and nurses appeared as though from within the walls. The curtains were quickly closed around me as I was attended to. Another heart attack!
The episode had an affect on my fellow inmates. My nearest neighbour even said that they had thought that I “was a goner”.
The next day, Hairy Rich turned up. He had turned up at the ward and asked at the nurses station, “Which bed is Steve in?”
The nurse there of course, asked, “Steve who?”
Rich said, “I don’t know. I just call him Druid.”
The nurse laughed and said, “Ah, you must mean Wizard.” and directed him to my location.
I gave him the key to my caravan and a list of things that I wanted, giving him directions where to find everything.
I eventually had surgery. Two stents were inserted into my left ventricle. That was an interesting experience. The operating room is lead-lined. There were only three people in the room; the surgeon, a nurse and me. Both the nurse and surgeon were wearing lead and I was covered in lead plates. The bed on which the operation took place also moved.
I had to keep my left arm laid wrist up. The surgeon then inserted a microscopic probe into the vein. I watched on the x-ray monitor as the probe travelled up my arm. The bed moved in unison with the direction of the probe as it continued en route to my heart. Eventually, the probe reached a blockage. On screen, the dark line was a magnified live x-ray image of my veins. The moving white line was the probe. The image of my veins was about an inch thick. At the point of the blockage, the image was significantly thinner. I watched as the thin image gradually grew to match the size of the line up to the point of the blockage. What I was seeing was a stent being inserted. The surgeon then continued with the probe, stopping again at a second blockage. Again, I watched as a second stent was inserted. The surgeon continued on. No more stents were needed. He then whipped the probe out. I was not best pleased with his rush. I was in agony all that night with bruised veins!
A couple of days later I was discharged with a carrier bagful of drugs.
There were some follow-up appointments. One of which gave me a full list of what each drug was prescribed for. I also saw my doctor. The first thing she said was, “That was close, wasn’t it?”
“Just a bit!”
A few weeks later, I had to ‘phone for another ambulance. I was gulping for breath. In the hospital, I was sent back up to the same ward that I had been previously. There, it was discovered that I was one drug short in my carrier bag! One of the prescribed drugs’ side effect was a build-up of fluid, which drained into my lungs. I was literally drowning! I was given something to drain the fluid from my lungs and a supply of those hospital piss bottles. Within minutes, I was draining more fluid than I had thought possible. Every time I emptied my bladder, within a few minutes, I was full again. I lost count as to how many bottles I filled! Eventually, the ordeal was over. I was released with a supply of the missing drug.
I quickly found the herbs that I needed. I continued the pharmaceutical drugs until I felt that the time was right. I began to reduce them as I started Nature’s medicine. I have long since abandoned the carrier bagful of drugs and live on herbs. I have an infusion of Nettles, Lime flowers, Lily of the Valley, Broom and of course, Hawthorn every morning and evening. I eat Hawthorn leaves direct from the tree whenever I pass one and eat the berries when they are fruiting.
One day, I was pottering about as usual. All of a sudden, I felt my legs go. I staggered.
I was found collapsed in front of my caravan by D, a bloke who lived in one of the mobile homes on the ‘round’. He was trying to help when Cheddar Nick happened by. He immediately called an ambulance.
I regained consciousness an estimated 19 hours later somewhat bemused. At the time, I had no idea what had happened or how I came to wake up in hospital.
I suspected a powerful painkiller that I had taken. I saw a specialist, who thought that I might’ve had a stroke. He amended the list of drugs. As I had a specialist in front of me, I asked him for his truthful advice regarding recreational drug use. He immediately stated that Cocaine was definitely ‘off the menu’. I said that I wasn’t a fan of that stuff, anyway. I mentioned MDMA. He said that he’d rather I didn’t. He had no objection to LSD, though, crucially.
*Photograph courtesy of cornishstuff.com