Today I remembered another incident from the panoply of horrors that made up my stay at the CHUV.
Having agreed to get a pacemaker implanted (so that I could finally leave the hell of the “Soins continus” or Continuous care ward), I was sent to surgery 8 days after the open-heart operation. The pacemaker implantation surgery is no big deal: you have a local anaesthetic only, and the team carried out their job perfectly. (Admittedly, I have a quibble about why the pacemaker was placed so high in my chest, and another quibble about why no one saw fit to explain to me BEFORE the operation how big and visible the damn thing would be …)
Later in the day, the surgeon who had done the OH surgery (not the PM surgery) came by for a nanosecond and said I could leave the hospital the very next day – my dearest wish! I knew my heart was fucked beyond help and I was reliant on the pacemaker, but I was elated.
After the PM implantation, I had been taken to a “normal” ward – not the dreaded Soins continus. In the normal ward, the nursing staff were not expecting me, and had no idea what to do about the numerous cables and other shit I was still attached to. Later in the evening of that same day, I established that the drip to which I was still attached via a port in my hand was not even functioning. So I removed the port. That was a relief. Those things can hurt, being connected directly to a vein.
The next day, I mentioned to the nurse looking after me that I would be leaving that day. It was the first she had heard of it! Foolishly, I had assumed my exit was planned for the morning, as nothing much happens in the afternoons. Later, I was able to speak to a young doctor that I’d seen before – a very pleasant and personable young man. He too was surprised that my departure had been promised – to say the least.
To their eternal credit, the nurse and the young doctor believed me, in spite of the fact that the Higher-Ups had not informed them. I am so grateful to my nurse, who missed her lunch in order to prepare the dressings on my multiple wounds – a vital part of the exit procedure, which no one had warned her about beforehand. I am as grateful to the young doctor (who explained to me that the surgeons typically promise any old thing and then don’t bother to set in motion the procedures necessary to ensure the patient actually DOES leave the hospital when promised). As a special favour, he arranged for his colleague in the radiology department to perform my final echography without any advance notice. I will always be so grateful to these two doctors. I do not name them here because they would undoubtedly get all sorts of shit from the Stars of Surgery for being better human beings than the Stars.
It was after 5pm when the surgeon finally showed up to okay my departure. I was once again in tears [Note: I am normally someone who cries about once every seven years. I have had a hard life and not much can make me sob in despair. The CHUV's "care" had me sobbing like a baby 3 times in 8 days.] As a result, I got a bollocking from the surgeon.
When I said he had given me his word about the deadline, and that in the world of IT this is taken with deadly seriousness, he started ranting about how a hospital was not the CFF (Swiss national railway system) – not that I have ever worked for the Swiss national railways in my entire life, but this is clearly what he associates IT with – and that in a hospital he has human beings to deal with. (Oh really! Human beings, eh? I had not noticed much humanity in my treatment during my 8-day stay with them.) He rounded up by saying that he had people who had been in the hospital for weeks and did not cause as much trouble as I did.
What a prince.
I will never, ever set foot in that hospital again as an inpatient – although I have been obliged to return several times for follow-up appointments, because of complications I have suffered from the surgery.