Friday 19 April 2024

Bed B, Side Room 4, Ward 22 (Part 1)

I was transferred to a bed in a side room of Ward 22 of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, at dinner time on Tuesday evening. There was another patient in the room, but I could not see him as the screen was pulled around his bed.

The room was very basic, but it was a great improvement on the CDU. The whole atmosphere was calm and there seemed to be more staff per patient. Once my bed was in place, I was asked if I needed anything like tea, coffee, painkillers etc., before being left to settle myself in and rest.

On my first day in Ward 22 I was fed the same breakfast as was available in the CRU, but was able to order my other meals from a daily menu … which was a distinct improvement! Throughout the day I had numerous visits by medical staff who checked on my blood pressure, the oxygen in my bloodstream, and my temperature. I was also visited by the medical consultant and her registrar, and they spent nearly twenty minutes examining and testing my left leg to see why it had collapsed, causing the right one to fracture. The diagnosis was as yet unclear, and it was decided that further tests - and the involvement of the Neurology Department - was the best way forward.

Sue managed to visit me during the afternoon, having had to wait at home until the furniture removers had arrived to make space in the conservatory for the bed and hoist that are to be installed so that I can go home. She left just before my evening meal arrived, and from then on I was pretty well left to my own devices, having discovered that my as-yet-unseen roommate speaks almost no English.

I did not have a very good night’s sleep after my first full day in Ward 22. However, despite being very hot at times, I certainly slept better than I had done in the CDU. I was awake by 6.00am, and by 7.00am I had been given a bed bath and the sheets on my bed had been changed. By 8.00am I had taken my daily medications and eaten a simple breakfast, after which I caught up on reading comments on my recent blog posts and Facebook postings.

The arrival of lunch coincided with a visit by a doctor from the medical team who oversee the ward I was in. After repeating everything I had said the previous day, they came to the same conclusion … that a neurologist needed to be consulted. After I ate my still-warm lunch, I dozed for a time before speaking to Sue using FaceTime. She was at home waiting for my bed and hoist to be delivered, and been in contact with the OT (Occupational Therapist), who was under the impression it should have been delivered.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading Roy Brook’s THE STORY OF ELTHAM PALACE. This was published in 1959 when the Royal Army Education Corps were headquartered there and before it was vacated and handed over the English Heritage. I also watched ACT OF KINDNESS on my iPad. This was the famous episode from the 1970s CALLAN series where he visits a wargame convention and takes part in a series of wargames. Very refreshing for a bed-bound wargamer!

Just before 4.00pm Sue appeared, and she had been with me for nearly an hour when a team from the Neurology Department arrived to see me. They examined my legs in great detail and decided that I needed an urgent MRI scan of my back, hips, legs, and ankles. Their initial diagnosis seemed to be that the cause of the weakness in my left leg may be due to nerve compression, possibly in my lower back, and that this might also be affecting my right leg.

The doctors left at 5.00pm and Sue followed them about thirty minutes later. I then sat reading until my dinner arrived at 6.05pm.

I spent the rest of the evening until 8.30pm watching various videos on YouTube, at which point I was transferred to a bed with an air mattress. This took three nurses and a special hydraulic hoist, and involved some intricate ballet-like movement of my old bed, my new bed, and the hoist in a space where the clearances were measured in millimetres! They did it … but only just!

They finished just after 9.15pm and I read until around 11.00pm, when I then tried to get some sleep.


  1. Bob, it sounds like you are getting the care you need - eventually!
    The NHS is capable of providing excellent care at times but always proceeds at glacial speed to do so!
    Keep your spirits up.

  2. Bob -
    All go at the Mouse Factory, then?

  3. After a slow start, looks like you're getting plenty of attention now. Hopefully the bed will turn up at home soon and you can avoid any more hospital food.

  4. Good to read that you're getting looked after Bob
    All the best

  5. Hello Bob: Sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Glad you're remaining patient and cheerful. Prayers arising for you and Sue.

  6. Bob - I have two vertebrae which have collapsed trapping the sciatic nerve on the right side. My right leg just gives way if I place weight on it and the leg is 'locked' straight. Which sounds similar. Good to see that it's being investigated, Not sure if you're seeing your emails; I've emailed direct.

  7. Good to hear things are improving, hope they can get to the bottom of it and you can go home soon.

  8. Hospital is a great place to catch up on reading and the modern addition of mobile phones and Ipads help.

  9. Hopefully things will get better Bob and you get to go home soon.

  10. Bob It’s a different world being in a hospital setting. We are glad the care has improved and you are getting rest. Hope you get well enough and can go home soon - Quinn

  11. Things have certainly improved … but being in hospital isn’t as good as being at home. Hopefully I’ll be back there soon, but until then I’ll try to write about what has been happening to me as and when I can.

    All the best,


  12. Quite the ordeal! I think you've earned "Very Stout Lad" status.

  13. BOB,
    Any news on when you will be allowed to return Home? Glad you are having the care needed there in Hospital. Best Wishes. KEV.


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