For the second night in a row, the pelvic problem flared up. This time the pain, or rather repetitive painful niggles, was too much.
The cancer ward runs a 24/7 hotline for patients having trouble. Last time I called I told them this pelvic tumour had returned. They said to take paracetamol and turn up for my next appointment the following week. I felt fobbed off.
This time was different. Welcoming questions. A quick decision to bring me into hospital at 2am. £12 on Uber. The driver even rang me to confirm. Two minutes later he’d vanished and I was being asked to score him. One out of five Muhammed. Despite my pain I decided to drive myself.
Blood pressure taken. A cup of tea brought. Blood extracted. And two hours later the doctor turned up. A few questions and then I’m admitted to a private room where it turned out I’d spend the next twelve hours.
I’m left alone. I lie down – pain. Turn over – pain. Sit up – pain. Walk around the room – minor relief. I conclude floating in a vacuum is about my only hope of being pain free.
Eventually I’m dosed up with blackcurrent flavoured morphine. The staff I speak to are amazed that my four line drug strategy hasn’t worked. It had been effective on holiday.
Half an hour later I’m groggy. I can’t say the pain has gone but I’m out of it. And my mind is wandering all over the place. Later on a couple of tramadols are delivered for my consumption. I get some sort of sleep in between letting people know where I am.
Eventually breakfast is delivered and the consultant turns up. “Looking at your medical notes I think you’re about the least likely candidate to have lung cancer” she beams. I take it well, but I suppose it could have upset me. We talk about Utah and she tells me I’ll be discharged later. I didn’t realise this meant another seven hours! The chat focuses on morphine. If the neat stuff works may GP should be able to prescribe a slow release morphine tablet to take twice a day.
I’m left alone. Update the kids. Snooze. Interruption by clattering staff entering my room and then leaving. Sometimes I’m barely aware that they’re there. Lunch comes. A watery Lancashire hot pot. Unusually, I’m attracted to the vegetables.
The afternoon continues with minimal medical help. Football kicks off. Oldham take the lead. I realise I’ve not taken my naproxen and decide not to until I can discuss it with the doctor. She doesn’t return so my pain levels rise.
In the end I’m discharged with two tramadol and a bottle of morphine. A half hour drive home, unpack my bag and collapse into bed. Oldham survive a late Portsmouth goal to win 2-1. I take my naproxen and paracetamol and eye up the morphine bottle. Definitely one for later. One to target the night pain with.
I am okay, the pain has reduced. My fear now is that it will return as the night rolls in. At least this time I have something I can take.