Tales from a hospital bed 4

There has been much occurring in my hospital bed. And even though it has involved drugs, vomiting, and shooting it has been a little less edgy than Trainspotting.

A couple of days ago I was attached to the feed line and still had two canulas in for intravenous drugs. These all have gone. But there is a tale, of course there is a tale and if the first paragraph hasn’t put you off – read on.

Yesterday morning I was taken off the feed, but they left the line in – just in case. My first food was hospital food, so don’t expect me to wax lyrical about fabulous taste sensations. Turkey Cottage Pie can only do so much. What I didn’t expect was that eating would be so difficult. A week off solids and chewing has left me unaccustomed to the experience.

The biggest problem was that in eating with a Trachi and Stent in I seem to take in a lot of air when I swallow. This then led to feelings of nausea and fullness. I found out that if I got up and moved about I belched, lots, and that helped immensely. Still the whole eating experience was a disappointment. Perhaps the patient new to eating again should have a special meal of their choosing – like the condemned man, but in reverse!

I went to bed with a full stomach and the nurses keeping a close eye on my insulin, as I was moving from one system back to my usual regime. At 2.30am I was tested for my blood sugar and recorded a 4.9. Anything under 4 is too low and dangerous, so it was recommended that I ate or drank something just to give it a little boost.

After an Orange juice (as high in sugar as a Coke) I was still low. The lemon cake brought in by friends earlier came into its own. After consuming a reasonably sized piece (well reasonable for 3am and no alcohol in sight) I felt full and a little nauseous. Then a piece seemed to irritate. Become stuck. I wretched and then urgently signalled I was going to be sick. The patient and caring nurse immediately passed the ‘sick bowl’. And I puked, hard. Cake and juice returned. Plus a bonus. I managed to puke up my feed tube from my stomach!

Now my feed tube was due to be removed tomorrow. It appearing earlier and in this manner was extremely unpleasant. Trying to stop puking when you have a plastic tube in your throat and mouth is not fun. With calming encouragement I slowly settled. The nurse then removed the tube through my nose, which may sound unpleasant but was nothing compared to its earlier appearance. And then I was free.

This morning I feel a lot better. I have had a normal hospital breakfast; porridge and bread slices laden with marmite. I am still craving savoury food. They have also removed all other canulas, so all drugs are now taken orally and that is going well. I do feel a lot better. Less belching and more settled. All I need now is a bowel movement! No more now. I know.

And so I enter the second week. I am told that this week will be boring. No real change. Just rest, allowing the body to settle and heal. I am well equipped for that with loads of books, downloaded Netflix stuff, enumerable podcasts and of course the blog to write and illustrate with my photos.

It is true that creating interesting photos in this environment is a challenge. The header image, repeated below, was created after my cousin Gordon reminded me about multiple exposure, something I have explored before. I thought I would challenge myself to create an image or two that tried to reflect my experience and feelings. Today’s image is meant to evoke feeling a little better, but that there is still danger in the process of healing, that I have fear of things not working out. Focussed, present and aware there is fear lurking about.

Healing Man


Pleasant weather over central and east London


Free from wires!


8 replies
  1. Kathryn Stallard
    Kathryn Stallard says:

    I empathise, I spent 28 days in hospital after having my son. Tied up and looped up, nil by mouth and totally bewildered, my misery compounded because I was a new Mum not allowed to hold my baby!
    As I started to get well and was able to nurse my son the levels of hunger I felt were palpable, enter my mum. Armed with roast beef sandwiches, gorgonzola cheese, McDonald’s fillet of fish, every day something different, salty and savoury.
    I completely understand the needs of your taste buds……
    Your selfie photo is reassuring, well done!

    • leeaspland
      leeaspland says:

      Thanks Kathryn. Your mum must have been like an angel descending! My gf is bring nice food on the Thursday. I’ve chosen veggie options today

      • Kathryn Stallard
        Kathryn Stallard says:

        During that hospital stay I learned (not intentionally) the art of projectile vomiting! A skill I’ve never lost – much to my husband’s amazement and amusement when he’s witnessed it! Not often
        Fingers crossed for the vegetarian option, a phrase that never fails to worry me xxx

  2. Jan Jones
    Jan Jones says:

    Hi Lee
    Thanks for your courage and congruence in your writing…as a mindfulness practitioner? it seems you are greeting all your challenges with equanimity or so it comes over in your words! Are you able to meditate? Respect! Take good care.

    • leeaspland
      leeaspland says:

      Thanks for your kind comments Jan. I started back meditating yesterday. More today hopefully. But it’s a busy place.

  3. Deryl
    Deryl says:

    Hi Lee
    Your experience sounds gruesome but I am glad to know you are on the road to recovery. Hoping things get better and better from here on.
    Sending all good wishes.


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