Uber luxe. NHS style.

26th November 2020, The Lister Hospital, Hertfordshire, England.

I had another brilliant’s night sleep. It’s probably down to hearing the tragic news that Diego Maradona had died. *That’s tragic in the sense that it’s taken so long, and didn’t happen in 1985.

I missed the morning facetime with the kids, I just slept straight through it. Edie’s doing her Christmas play at school today, I’m so proud of the girl she’s becoming, and the courage she’s growing to express herself.

Sam is the opposite, he’s such an alpha male. He will soak up every ounce of attention and adoration from every room he ever walks into. I guess he gets that from his mother.

The medics in the acute unit have decided that enough is enough. They don’t want a urology patient in one of their luxury bungalows anymore, so have transferred me to another ward.

I walk through the sprawling complex, in and out of old and new blocks of the hospital. The crisp, cold air sparkles in my lungs. It’s the first real taste of morning I have felt since Monday.

We’re making a huge investment in hospitals across England, and it shows. The new style wards at The Lister are just like private hospitals, albeit with a little utilitarian NHS twist. The politburo would be very pleased to stay here.

I have a desk, equipped with a sunny outlook and a view of traditional 1950’s social housing blocks. The soundtrack of local endeavour hums along in the background.

My observations continue to produce normal results and my temperature is back down to 35.5c, where I expect it. I can’t see any reasonable excuse not to send me home today, so I hope they won’t find one.

Managing risks

A permanent future on a low dose of antibiotics looks likely. Regular checks for infection markers, and preventative medicine to deal with it.

It’s deeply frustrating for me. Everything was returning to normal, and from nowhere, this infection has set me back. The damage to my lymphatic system could take weeks to repair, and if I get another infection in that time, it could be permanent.

I don’t think we talk about infection enough in relation to cancer treatment. Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy get all the headlines, but it’s the risk of infection that really blights my daily life. Without ever having sepsis, I would be back to normal now.

If I ever get out of here, I’m getting scanned at St George’s later. I called to cancel it weeks ago, but it didn’t happen. As far as I’m concerned, the more surveillance the better so I’m going.

I just stood on the scales for the first time in ages. I’m 6’6″, exactly 20 stone and I’m in really good shape. For the international audience, that’s 2 metres tall, and 280lbs.

The urology team comes to see me at 10:38. They’re pleased with my progress and discharge me back into the world. I’m waiting a couple of hours for my drugs, so I’ll sit, write and book an appointment to see the professor. I feel like I need to see him.

Freedom feels great, but it will feel so much better when that scrotal edema settles down.

view from the window of the Lister hospital, Stevenage
View from The Lister Hospital, Stevenage
private room at the lister hospital, stevenage
Private room at The Lister Hospital, Stevenage