Penang 8th February 0838 Local 0038 UTC
The care I have received here in Malaysia has been excellent. I am sure we in
Scotland could learn a lot from this hospital. Sadly our NHS will will be
tinkered with again but in fact I'm sure it needs fundamental re structuring
as it has become a monster which can barely function effectively now.
Though there are many differences in how the hospital functions
many things are also still the same.
As always nurses and front line staff are excellent and I have enjoyed
the banter with them as well as their strict no nonsense attitude to some
aspects of getting their job done.
The nurses are mostly Indian but there are many Malays and also Chinese.
They are tickled pink when I thank them or wish them good morning in
Bahasa, Tamil or Cantonese. They proudly tell a new staff member that I
was walking the first day after my operation.
Good morning Mistah Steward! theyvsay and burst into fits of giggles when I
reciprocate in their language. One or two basic words have even prompted
some to ask if I have been living here for a long time! It's all hilarious but they
have a job to do also and won't be deflected by any of my nonsense.
They are in regularly to clean, change the bed, take blood pressure etc.
The past few nights I have tried to run down the amount of painkiller in
my system to see what lies behind their comforting protection. The
answer has been pain. Not excruciating but extremely uncomfortable
and of course as we have all experienced, this always seems worse
when one can't sleep through the middle of the night.
I have woken the previous two nights at 0300 and 0400 and due to a broken
bell (which was fixed immediately once I mentioned it) I could not
attract the attention of the nurses as I was in a private room.
The intervening hour or so felt like a lifetime. But it was brought to
an end when the regular blood pressure and temperature check
would be carried out at about 0500.
These two nights I appreciated the nurses bursting into my room
switching on the interrogation lights while chitter chatting about the
latest goss on the ward and singing out "Morning Mistah Steward".
With no pleasantries one thrusts a temperature guage in my ear
while the other wraps my arm in the inflatable constraint to take my
blood pressure. This is fine while I had been lying awake as it gave
me a chance to request a painkiller.
Having got these painkillers I eventually would dose off, it would seem
Like only minutes before the Gestapo arrived storming the room to get
me up at 0745 to have the bed changed!
However last night I had a plan and took the painkiller just after
midnight which should help me sleep through to the morning.
This meant that at 0500 I was floating around in a cotton wool
lined state of slumber.
This peaceful and desirable state of affairs was brought to an
abrupt and alarming end by the door being kicked in and the lights
being switched on and through a gaggle of chatter and
"Good mornings" (no doubt expecting a jolly response "wanna kum"
good morning in Tamil from me) I felt a temperature guage thrust
into the side of my head gouging me a new ear canal. This was swiftly
followed by the circulation being cut off from my right hand by 250psi of
pressure being applied to the blood pressure testing tournaquet.
Off they jollilly went leaving me not only with an inner ear, middle ear, an
outer ear and a finally a new front-ear as well as three digits less on my
right hand due to lack of circulation. And wide awake ....
"Nandri" - thank you - I said sarcastically. You're welcome they responded
sincerely! Painkillers now subsiding I was left swimming between the waves
of pain searching for a little pool of tranquility in which I could rediscover the
peace of slumber.
That unfortunately did not happen so when the bed change Gestapo
decided to make a dawn raid and storm the room at 0715 today I was
ready for them. I had my best pleading and negotiating demeanor already
in place and successfully negotiated that they come back at 0800 so I could
possibly grab a few precious minutes sleep.
Worse than a bloody night watch in the Malacca Straits.
It was not to be. Breakfast of Chinese noodle soup arrived with painkiller for
dessert and a follow up visit five minutes later to humiliate me to verticality.
Tough love but good solid old fashioned care.
Trish and Rhiann Marie covered 50 - 60 miles north yesterday after a delayed
start. They had a pleasant sail up and today will make a cruise out of the trip
and try to stop at anchor for lunch perhaps not entering the Yacht Haven until
I hope to fly up tomorrow if I can get my steelwork through airport security.
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