Tuesday, Shumen Oncology centre
After consultation with a Gastroenterologist , today's appt was made for a 4 day stay to investigate my condition which was long spells of no bowel movement during this time my intestines were fizzing as they created gas and caused immense pain and discomfort. The staff here work like a well oil watch, it was a long painful wait for the second consultancy but it was worthwhile as the consultant decided that a stay in hospital was necessary and would be 4 days minimum.
This hospital looked brand new and had everything working and in excellent order, most notable were the rest areas positioned in front of massive panoramic windows, the couches were very expensive leather four seater's the style and comfort Id never experienced before.
The wards were set up as in Sofia with three beds (less than 5 years old at a guess) and plenty of cupboard space, with me installed in the last bed available in that ward, the guy on my left was getting ready to leave, he looked in a bad way and was travelling by ambulance somewhere .
Settled in and cannula'd up I was on saline solution and some mystery concoction, noting how comfortable the beds were and the free to view TV on the cupboards to while away the boring hours.
My roomy was an amiable chap but to say the least he was difficult to communicate with, imagine if you will the sound of water going down a recently unblocked drain, add a little Balkan flair and thats what I was hearing. My less than perfect yet translated straight from a Bulgarian language book seemed to be met with confusion, my guess is his accent was akin to listening to a turnip cruncher for the first time, this wasn't helped later on when the vacant bed was filled with a guy who sounded more understandable but the longer he spoke the more he picked up the other guys accent, making me feel rather less included, that said, the first thing he did for me was to cover me up with my sheet and bade me rest well.
One of the many mysteries in Bulgarian medicine is when the ask you to go shopping for sundries with no explanation, some of which are obvious others not so much, case in point, buy 3.5 litres of water, ok guess Ill be drinking a lot of water? Nah 3 litres was mixed with a potion which gives you the trots and you have to drink it all in 4 hours!! The taste reminded me of my Granny, lavender, rosemary, possibly Zoflora disinfectant and tasted like a concoction of them all with aftertaste to leave you nauseous. Well I managed 1 3/4 litres hell broke loose in shits and farts after 30 mins and didn't stop for about 4 hours, an experience so awful I contemplated asking for the previous hose up the bum treatment instead. Sleep was poor and bitty but just bearable.
6am roll call, drips temps and pressures taken, 8am Chief doctor calls with much smaller posse of students , seems to be a more tight knit group with lots of interest in patients problems. For me it was the day of investigation by MRI scanner and endoscopy so nothing related to me was said as they knew nothing much about my condition yet.
About 8:30 I was called by an orderly for my scan , seeing how I was struggling to walk she told me to wait and got a wheelchair and off we went off to the scan room. The scan took a while as I seemed to be too tall and too short for some of the scans they wanted to do but it was soon mission accomplished and back to my ward. Half an hours rest and it was the colonoscopy, I thought I read that the small intestine was 27 foot long, notwithstanding somehow her colonoscope was long enough to find last weeks dinner. They took tissue samples for analysis and the umms and ahhs seemed to suggest nothing untoward was found.
After the procedure I was asked about documentation from Sofia All we had brought with us was all we had, they suggested there was a lot of papers missing regarding the mechanics of the surgery to remove my kidney etc Anyhow it was time to eat and drink after 36 hours of fresh air and poop juice. Tracey like a shining star brought with her sustenance and additional "je ne cest quoi" to make my stay more filled full and less boring, the next 2 days were just monitoring and the occasional drip.
1 PM got the results in short form which was bowel problem easily cured, the carcinoma on my lung less so.
How do I feel? Remote and numb
Trying to sleep with the TV on vol 8 and 2 broadly accented Bulgarians lying either side of me, speaking at vol 11 , when they deemed it was time to sleep, the room was filled with gutteral yosking and farting , I'm so glad I made it through the night, Coffee drunk and most things packed I waited for the final paperwork and Tracey to arrive yet again to take me back to paradise.