A Royal Welcome

The Marsden, for those who’ve not been isn’t like any other hospital I’ve been in, it’s better apart from the welcome. So I turned up to the Marsden on Friday 20/2/15 with Dave waiting outside . I got to the ward managing to slowly walk up, only to be told actually I need to register as a patient. Apparently the ward clerk doesn’t do this, so went off to registration, walking past a very elegant grand piano. The office itselfs a bit like an immigration office but to check that you’ve got every right to be here and receive treatment.

Then went to the ward to be clerked. The process of medical clerking is necessary but having now been a patient does seem rather repetitive but each doctor needs to double check the history and examination and depending on speciality will have their own specifics they want to wield from the process. So a very nice SHO came to see me went through everything and I swear at the end she enquired about any secrets I had, in a nonchalant very tactful way so tactful I can’t quote it directly. This isn’t a line of questioning I’ve ever used.  So I started to think have I missed all these secrets my patients wanted to tell me about, did the lady with chest pain I saw in A&E actually want to talk about her swiss bank account? However I have a feeling it may have sussed out key information in the past so if you’re reading this carry on. The SHO (senior house officer 3rd in rank)  attempted to stop my having a further blood test that day by digging out my results from the wedge from Kingston, but I think this was quickly batted down from above. Doctors, especially those who don’t need to take them, love blood tests, even though daily ones are more like watching paint dry as abnormalities don’t always change that quickly. Nevertheless since being in here and eagerly asking for my own blood tests results every day to be printed out I have fallen into that trap.

The SpR (Specialist Registrar – 2nd in rank) quickly came in afterwards with a quick repeat of the history and a touch on abdomen, my liver was still very sore as the SHO just had a go too. Went through the plan she’d thought the Prof would make .At the end she asked if she had any questions, my brother Matt turned to her and said “well yes I’ve got ten”. Dave, Paul and Matt had done a very thorough literature review in the last few days. The SpR survived the viva thanks to her impressive knowledge on the subject.

During this time the “symptom control” doctor turned up, I quote as this is how she introduced herself, it did appear to me that she was trying to use her right arm to block her badge with the words “palliative care doctor”. In fairness even though rationally I’m aware that palliative care doctors are one of the best for symptom control, irrationally the words scared the shit out of me. As the pain control nurse had fuelled me up well that morning I was looking and feeling rather good then, therefore she changed quite a bit around to avoid having to many different drugs.

The Prof (1st in rank) came an hour or two later and met us in the day room, and thankfully got straight to the point without poking me in my liver about which treatments they could offer me and their plan, at this time my Dad was contending with the electric chair. The plan was to get fresh tissue for sampling and this will be from a liver biopsy on Monday and in the mean time start treatment if I deteriorate.

A quick word, sorry mostly in medical speak, about just how great the Marsden is, all the nurses can cannulate/ABG HCAs can take blood. Only seen one agency nurse in ten days. Everything works bed side lights etc. apart from my syringe driver! They offer reflexology too –> more on this later. Food is with 3 courses for lunch and dinner, the crumble is particularly good.


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