Heffy waves to the ENT ward and little Alma.

white rose.

So here we are again, in a new shiny ward where they specialise in kicking unwanted entities like Heffy in the butt and out on his own fat non distinguishable neck. The staff are young but well trained and so diligent in everything they do. There is a lot of education that has to be passed on to new patients and their visitors regarding hygiene etc, and the fact that this ward is full of patients who have very toxic skin and body losses thanks to the good old chemo they are having. Protection regulations are strictly adhered to.

The best news was that only 2 people can visit by the bedside at any one time, and no children at all under the age of 8 in the ward. There is a lounge and balcony somewhere … haven’t found it yet….for patients and visitors to use and their kids can be there. I love kids but when one isn’t feeling the best other people’s noisy kids are far from welcome in my view.

Well yesterday I had a sonocardiology test done. All good news as apparently my heart is in excellent condition which frankly is a relief, as the strain of all the neck weight etc and perhaps the future chemo doses could play havoc with weaker hearts. As I said to the sonographer who was telling me about her 3 children and how she was really enjoying her time alone in hospital after the birth of her last child until her in laws crapped it up by arriving with all their kids in tow and spent the day playing pass the parcel with her new baby. …..we can remember how big and heavy and uncomfortable carrying a baby at around 8 and 9 months can feel…in the uturus…but just transfer that discomfort with the same weight to carry to the neck. That is how this thing feels at the moment. Like a pregnant neck. Could be a new story line for an Alien movie perhaps.

Chest X Rays were all good too so it was decided the chemo could begin. I was all ready to go pronto but there is lots of information to be given first, then consent etc and then the pre-chemo treatment to make it all a bit less problematic. Eventually it was hooked up and there were no problems at all to report. I slept an hour at a time and at one stage thought it was going to take forever for the night to pass, but by about 3am the sleep naps were extending to a couple of hours.

This morning my back and neck were throbbing a bit just from the pressure and weight and having to sleep sitting up, and I was hungry…..I could hear the breakfasts being delivered and looked forward to something nice.

The food here is a disappointment I have to say. In all the wisdom of the wonderful dietitians employed by the hospital, they have worked out the calories/carbs/sugars/potassium blah blah blah that each patient needs depending on what the complaint and suffering levels are….all good on paper. The food isn’t cooked or prepared in house. It’s brought in by caterers and honestly it’s the worst I have ever tasted. I reckon even the sandwiches on the industrial sites yuck trucks would be tastier and possibly fresher too.

Cereals haven’t been in my diet for years, and I do like a yoghurt but it has to be a good one not one of those small containers of sugary milky goo. So far the breakfast tray has failed miserably, so I look at the bread bun. What would an Aussie be doing with a bread bun at breakfast? Curious choice, but due to hunger I pulled it apart to find the colour inside was a pale coffee shade….the margarine and apricot jam not really desired, so that was breakfast. I won’t go on blow by blow but to put it bluntly, in my opinion we are in Queensland where the fruit and vegetables are of a high quality when fresh and I cannot see any excuse other than the horrific cost cutting by the State Government, for not preparing these foods on site for a better result in nutrition for the patients. When this is all done with for me, I might get on the campaign trail and give the Premier and PM a few things to think about.

So I am to have a PICC line inserted this afternoon for the chemo. The brand of chemo has been changed and the intensity is higher due to the fact there are little bits of Heffy all round the body but not in the organs which is a blessing. Dr Morris (who would make an excellent car salesman) wants to get right on with blasting this thing to smithereens. As I do too. I guess the next 6 days may be a little more rocky than I had first been led to anticipate.

One last thing about the hospital stuff because it’s probably boring you all, but I feel I need to document it here for my later reference as to where I have been etc….the Social Worker assigned to me and my family, Justine, is an angel. She is so comforting, full of knowledge and help and she gets things done. Thankfully, she has looked at both sides and has been in touch with Tim too. It’s all very well to be there for the patient, but the spouse is sometimes left in the dark wondering what the hell is going on.

Last word on Alma the little dementia lady. As I posted on Facebook last night, her talking in her sleep was amusing but the best bit was when she obviously felt fed up with listening to Mr Ignoramus snore and called him Tom. Perhaps her husband’s name. She gave him a good roasting about snoring and I could have hugged her. He woke up and went to the loo and all was quiet for the rest of the night. He later apologised to me for the noise he had made in the ward with his TV/radio and snoring during his stay. So that was something.

Poor Little Alma had an appointment with the eye specialists, and when her daughter and son-in-law arrived, the daughter went off with Alma and a nurse to the clinic leaving the guy to snooze in her bedside chair. It took some time and on their arrival back to the ward, clothes had to be sorted, packed etc for Alma and she needed to change into her sweet little 1960s suit to return home. During this time the daughter went to Pharmacy to fill the scripts to save a little time, and the son-in-law complained bitterly to Alma about the time factor of his morning’s visit which meant more parking fees with each passing hour. Alma was clearly distressed with this news and tried to hurry and of course got more confused and muddled with her dressing as he kept blabbing on.

His wife appeared and it was all too much for Alma. She cried and said she had peed her pants and of course wrecked the skirt of her lovely little Audrey Hepburn type suit…it could have been Chanel for all I know. The daughter was exasperated but knew who to lay the blame with and berated her husband instantly on badgering her mother. It was all sorted out in a short time and Alma left looking as elegant as ever, the son-in-law looking a tad ashamed. Why do people have to be so darned thoughtless?

adage don't give up

As a footnote to this blog which is not great shakes today, my transfer to this ward was swift and pleasant, but my beautiful flowers sent over from Perth family and friends, were not allowed in with me. Due to the hygienic restrictions fresh flowers and plants are not allowed…no visa…no entry.

I asked Kellie the nurse who had accompanied the wards man and me from the old ward to take them to Amber, a young girl who is in for the long haul up there due to smashing up her right side in a car v tree accident a month ago. She is the sweetest kid and will enjoy the flowers at least, so they were not a total loss. So if trying to send flowers to people in hospitals it’s best not really because they may not be allowed to have them for a medical reason.

I’m now waiting to see what happens with this PICC line thing…it should alleviate some of the bruising with trying to take blood. I am black and blue with bruises…not a pretty sight for anyone.

My face is still very puffy and huge and doesn’t look like me at all. I mentioned to Justine this morning (the Social Worker girl) that when I look in the mirror in the bathroom, my first reaction is ‘Who the hell are you?’ You would not recognise me. I hope my old face returns one day, or maybe I’ll get a new and improved one with tighter cheeks and smoother brow and less eyelids…you know like the genes that provided all this for Olivia Newton-John when she had her cancer scare a few years ago….I wish I knew her cosmetic surgeon and that he was all part of the free deal though. You gotta laugh.

bright side



4 thoughts on “Heffy waves to the ENT ward and little Alma.

  1. doreendal May 24, 2016 at 7:08 am Reply

    Hi Jo, please keep writing. The inside story of your life in hospital as you go through your treatment is important therapy for you and for us too. It reminds me to have a deep sense of gratitude and to appreciate life, for it can so easily spin us around in a heartbeat and have us facing in a completely new direction. And not our preferred choice neither. Sorry to know hospital food is so bad. What are those dieticians doing at the hospital. Can’t just be about money. Would they eat it I wonder. Maybe you need to have another hissy fit with the person in charge of catering choices. Please keep writing your personal journey. Your honesty, resilience, determination and sense of humour are a shining light and a shining example for all of us to learn from. Looking toward to your next reflective writings. Thinking of you sending you love light, hugs and healing Dxxxxx

    • joskehan May 24, 2016 at 7:47 am Reply

      Thank you Doreen, I can’t promise that every blog will be upbeat but I will be honest at least. Love and hugs. xx

  2. Gerri Bowen May 24, 2016 at 9:42 pm Reply

    I’m sorry little Alma is gone. Kind of a bright spot in the ward. Sorry for all you’re going through, but it sounds like they know exactly how to deal with huffy. I do hope you soon get something to eat that tastes good. You need to eat. Keep sparkling, Jo!

  3. joskehan May 25, 2016 at 3:55 am Reply

    She was a lovely lady and I do hope her family takes good care of her. She was aware of her ‘forgetfulness’ and being as she said ‘all a dither’ most of the day, so she was trying to counteract that too much and of course having little accidents and anxiety. I hope the son in law got a good telling off by his wife. xxxx

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