Bed 17

  • On the men’s ward, the toilet seat is generally left in the upright position, unless the previous person pooped.
  • More soapies are watched on the men’s ward than on the women’s ward, but less gossipping occurs.
  • During the day, the three roommates of Dementia Dude sing him happy traditional Maltese songs to cheer him up.
  • A female Maltese nurse and a female Indian nurse have become Work Wives. They call each other “dear” and clutch each other’s arms while twittering about who’s doing which jobs. They are identical in size, pretty and petite as sparrows.
  • Everything smells like pee.
  • A man dressed in white robes came ’round, pinging a little bell and handing out crackers. I was not given any, not a one. Shun… Shun the unbeliever…
  • I understood my wardmate who said in Maltese that it’s weird to have a woman on the ward, but at least I’m beautiful.
  • A diet of plain rice and boiled carrots grows tiresome real quick.
  • Thrombosis injections are not as painful as all the gym bros claim.
  • I’m too shy to shower so I use wet wipes under the covers on my bed.
  • Drip stands were designed by sadists.
  • Every nurse should be sainted.
  • I’m scared I will die young like my mother.
  • What’s wrong with me?

Now that I’ve had my theatrics

let me explain about Bed 17… I’ve been battling a tummy virus since October and what a formidable foe it has been… We’re now in mid-December.

I wound up calling an ambulance to take me to the ER last night because I was shaking like a leaf and when I stood I started swaying and stumbling like an adolescent after their first beer.

Turns out I was severely dehydrated, with shockingly low sodium and stupidly high blood pressure. Well done me for recognising when my condition was beyond my ability to care for myself.

So now I wait, with a rehydrating drip in my arm, a Dementia Dude across the hall and a soapie-obsessed neighbour for company, while my blood cortisol levels are tested and my body slowly regains its strength, wondering if maybe this time we’ll figure out why I feel so shit all the time despite my lack of drinking, smoking, late nights and junk food eating.

I surrender. The Maltese medical system has me at their mercy. All I can do is pray that this time it’ll be merciful and produce some answers as to why I have so many ailments.

I’m only 39 and I take good care of myself. What’s with this high blood pressure bullshit now?