By Kathy Martin…
Written July 2015
Greetings once again from the Random Rambler! My apologies for missing a week, but I am “şöyle böyle”, pronounced in English “Shirley Burley”! In fact I was (medically) more than “off-colour” or “so-so” I was hospitalised for four days, preceded by 2 half days, as an out-patient, with pneumonia!
At the Near East University clinic in Girne (a private clinic) I was poked, prodded and hummed and hawed over before being wheeled to the radiology room. There I was told to stand up and drape myself over a square block on a pole. The lighting flashed, turned green and an x-ray was transmitted to the radiologist’s lap-top. This x-ray showed that something like 33% of my left lung was filled with fluid! I had pneumonia!
However the radiologist, obviously a perfectionist, wanted a clearer “picture”, so I draped myself over the block once again. As the first time, the lights flashed, but the drums didn’t roll and the band didn’t play!
The camera took an x-ray, but it wasn’t transferred to the laptop! “Tut tut”, or something similar in Turkish commented the radiologist and proceeded to take another x-ray! Yet again the picture wasn’t transferred to the lap-top, so yet again I was asked to drape myself over the block and yet again an x-ray was taken! As before, the camera worked, but the image wasn’t transferred to the lap-top!
I think it was at this point that the radiologist noticed that I was emitting a fluorescent green light, and called for help! I don’t know if it was “bring your daughter to work day” or he simply phoned home, but a couple of minutes later a 12 year old girl (OK, she could have been as old as 14) appeared!
She listened to the radiologist for a while, and then looked at the equipment. She rolled her eyes skyward, and then proceeded to unplug everything, including the wall sockets. The young lady then re-connected all the equipment and left the room.
At last, the radiologist could transfer the x-rays to the lap-top! I don’t know if he did, but I do know that he insisted on taking one final x-ray of me, despite the fact that I was now glowing brilliant fluorescent green!
I walked out into the sunshine, expecting to be “zapped” by either (or both) the Turkish or Greek air forces as a “nuclear threat”! Fortunately, probably as it was lunchtime, I wasn’t spotted as a possible threat!
The following day (Wednesday) I went back to the clinic. There, after a couple hours of being pummelled, beaten and prodded I was told that, although my condition had improved, I needed treatment spread over 24 hour periods, which the clinic couldn’t provide. I had to be transferred to the Near East Hospital in Lefkoşa.
My lovely wife went home, packed a small suitcase with clothes, a kindle with literally dozens of books to read, a crossword book and various “goodies” such as bottles of watermelon tea and a couple of slabs of chocolate!
With my suitcase at the end of my arm I boarded an ambulance and was whisked off, siren blaring to the Near East Hospital in Lefkoşa!
More later, folks! At the moment I am still as weak as a kitten!
To continue from last week
After a very speedy drive in the ambulance I was somewhat confused and bewildered on arrival as I was man-handled, pushed and pulled onto a gurney/wheeled stretcher.
I was then questioned by about half a dozen doctors (?), or presumably, medical staff. Every reader who is familiar with televised news items showing various members of the press all shouting questions, but not being able to hear the answers, because someone else had asked a question when the reply was given, will know what I mean!
Then, as suddenly as it started, they all left, leaving me on the stretcher with an attendant! I asked him (hoping that he was fluent in English) if he knew what was going on. “Oh yes”, he said, “they haven’t been able to find out what is wrong with you, so they have gone to get your paperwork!” I didn’t know if he was being cynical, or telling the truth!
A few minutes later it became obvious that while he was being cynical, he was also telling the truth! Trotting across the floor came the medical “team” with one of the doctors waving a file! Then, followed a few minutes, while the two chief doctors wandered around the stretcher, harrumphing and muttering into their beards! Actually, the female doctor applied for, and was granted exemption from the “muttering into beards” bit!
I was then wheeled to the radiology laboratory, for yet more x-rays! It is a good thing that, in my late (ish) 60s, I have no desire to raise a family!
There I showed the Girne DVD to the radiologist, who gave it a cursory glance and insisted on taking yet another x-ray! If my hair starts to fall out in clumps, or bits fall off my body, I know who to blame! On the plus side, now that I am home, my wife and I can read in bed at night without having to put the light on!
I was now getting very tired, admittedly more emotionally than physically, but tired, nonetheless. Was I allowed to go to bed?
No! First I had to visit the Heart Doctor! Actually, (but don’t tell anyone in the hospital), this was a fascinating event and sight!
My heart and lungs were “scanned”, rather like the womb of a pregnant woman!
Then, and only then, I was wheeled into my private room, I couldn’t see the number, but the room across the corridor was 908, so when I ‘phoned my wife a little later, I was able to tell her where I (almost) was!
Thursday arrived, and in the middle of the morning, so did my wife! She had brought a “picnic” lunch for herself and we spent a happy day talking, and doing crosswords! I was able to tell my wife that, all being well, according to the doctors, I would be allowed home on Saturday 27th June.
Sure enough, at about ten in the morning the last two drips that I was on emptied and I was, for the first time since Tuesday, in the words of Patrick McGoohan in “The Prisoner”, “a free man!”
A short time later the doctor came in with my prescription and confirmed that I was, indeed a “free man”, providing, of course that I paid my bill! I paid my bill with my credit card, and also gained a 10 or 20% discount on many of the services and medicines by producing my BRS (British Residents Society) membership card.
I was asked where I was going to be picked up from, and, unfortunately, at this point (with hindsight) an understandable misunderstanding arose! I said that I wanted to be picked up from the ambulance bay, which was clearly signposted and had its own designated lane from what I thought was the main road. No doubt acting in my best interests, I was told that there was no seating in the area and that the air temperature was over 40c and that I would be far better sitting inside, in air-conditioned comfort, at the “main entrance” (to the building)!
Therefore, when I sent a text to my wife along with my prescription (it was Saturday and many chemists shut at midday) I also said that I was ready to be picked up at the “main entrance”. Our good friend, Roy, said that he would drive from Girne to Lefkoşa (a half-hour journey) to pick me up, which would allow my wife time to pick up my prescription.
A little over half an hour later, I got a text from Roy saying that he was at the “main entrance”, but couldn’t see me! This was understandable; I was inside the “main entrance” of the hospital building, which forms part of the Near East University complex that probable spread out over 10 square kilometres or so, while Roy was at the “main entrance” of the campus!
Eventually, after a number of mis-directions (over the phone) on my part, we met up and returned to Girne! I am not an alcoholic, (after tests confirmed my liver is in perfect working order!) but my first beer, for about 6 days, at Riaz’s “Happy Valley” tasted like nectar!
Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles
These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum”