I can’t seem to get enough of the Heath, for the second time in three weeks I’m back in what can only be described as a monstrosity of a hospital.
Before you all ask who knows what’s gone wrong this time but I’ve obviously got an infection and my Stoma is going hell for leather due to the amount of fluid they’re trying to pump into me.
Moving from NHS England to Wales has not been without its complications.
For a start my medical history has somehow got stuck in the system somewhere between Chester and Cardiff – no doubt because my file is so heavy you could kill a grown man with it.
My surgeon, family and friends are hours away, so much so it can sometimes feel like I’m abroad, I’m lucky to have a boyfriend who tries to keep me positive even when it hurts to make me laugh.
People who swan along into hospitals thinking they are going into a five star hotel are always going to have a punch in the face when they get there – and being admitted into the Heath would knock them out cold.
Note to everyone hopsitals are not a spa or a holiday – they are never nice.
The Heath is the big ugly sister of them. It is so large it feels like it’s got it’s own microclimate, stretching as far as the eye can see. The walls are splattered and peeling and in desperate need of a paint, the shower tiny and cramped and the windows are so filthy you can hardly see out of them.
Going for a scan here is an eye opening experience, you’re whisked into an industrial style metal lift, with bits of graffiti scribbled in the exposed beams inside the door, down into the bowels of the hospital.
Being zipped along the dark tunnels in your nightgown is like something out of a horror movie. You half expect to see a cloaked figure lurking in the gunnels, and it would be terrifying to be down there alone.
To put it into context this part of the hospital – where doped up patients are wheeled through on a daily basis – is deemed so scary that it has been used for scenes involving daleks in Dr Who.
Obviously seeing a sink plunger monster would be the thing to tip me over the edge if I was on morphine.
As with all hospitals they have done up the parts most people can see, with a shiny Starbucks in the concourse and painted corridors, but you have to be an inpatient to see this place needs a desperate lick of paint.
The problem is when, surely they would have to close wards to renovate them.
But is this any different to England; is this the nightmarish descent into dispair that the Daily Mail seem fixated on; and is there a line between life and death as David Cameron has repeatedly said.
I’m really not sure, but that description does seem extreme to say the least.
But for all my years of long serving experience in the English NHS with treatment in Salford, Manchester, Chester and Newcastle, I cannot hand on heart say the Welsh NHS is any worse from what I’ve seen so far.
I’ve had some terrible and incredible experiences as an inpatient in English hospitals (and they have on many occasions pretty much saved my life) and now I’m having experiences in Wales. Both are understaffed, downtrodden, suffer stretched resources, and struggle like hell with my lactose intolerance.
But at the end of the day, for all my moaning as all the patients wait around all day for a scan or to see a doctor who always comes when we are in the loo, they are working damn hard to try and find out what is wrong with me.
They are even now on the phone to England to find out my history and to see what they think. Which tickles me, and reminds me of a song but in my drugged up state in can’t recall which one.
Yes I’ve probably not been treated in enough Welsh hospitals to really compare, and hope never to be, but at the end of the day a hospital is not a holiday, I don’t even think it’s really about getting well (that’s for when you get home) it’s about finding out what’s wrong and being in the right place if the worse happens.
For now I just want to get home, rest and more than anything in the world eat some toast.