Tuesday, 3 July 2007


anticant writes:

I returned home yesterday after a week as an inpatient in my local Marie Curie Hospice. I went there because the previous week I had an investigative ‘procedure’ at the nearby hospital which left me with a bladder infection – so much for the vaunted NHS clean-up of hospital bugs! I felt so poorly and washed out the following weekend that I knew I needed a few days’ nursing care. So I phoned the hospice – whIch I visit most weeks as a day patient – and asked whether they could take me in. Within the hour, they replied saying “yes – come along”. So I have spent the last week being dosed with antibiotics and recovering from my painful condition in unexpectedly pleasant surroundings.

Not having been an inpatient before, I was unsure as to how the hospice would compare with the several hospitals where I have been a patient over the past couple of years. I need not have worried – there is no comparison. The hospice is staffed by highly skilled and genuinely friendly staff, and equipped to a standard that you don’t find in most other medical establishments. It’s like a hotel with nursing; there are comfortable sitting rooms for patients who can walk about and their families, and a [highly alcoholic] free drinks trolley, provided by the Friends of the hospice, comes around most days – so I was able to celebrate the departure of the ghastly Blair with a large brandy!

Routine and discipline are at a minimum, and necessary tasks such as washing and the administration of medicines are carried out in a friendly, informal way. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, who are dedicated to making life as comfortable as possible for patients however ill they are. Of course, there is a sad side in that many of the patients are extremely ill and indeed dying – there was at least one death while I was there. But I cannot imagine a more supportive, friendly, and indeed cheerful, place in which to be terminally ill and to die, and I hope that it will be my last port of call in due course.

Marie Curie Cancer Care is a charity heavily dependent on voluntary funding, and I earnestly commend it to all my blogging friends who want to donate to a charity that they can be assured will use their money wisely and well.

I’m pleased to say that after my week’s ‘rest’ I feel much better and ready to resume the threads of what’s left of my life. I also feel much more secure about the future.


trousers said...

So nice to see you back anticant. I'm glad you feel better although in some ways this post wasn't the easiest to read.

Jose said...

Well, Anticant, I bet your hull and engine are still seaworthy for many journeys to come, a snag in the gears is something we are exposed to every day. What you say about the treatment in the hospice backs my idea that there still exist places where being humane has not been forgotten.

Happy you are back to fight the high seas.

lavenderblue said...

Welcome back !
I must say I am quite taken with the highly alcoholic drinks trolley...xx

Merkin said...

Good to see you back.
Still, I do wonder where you really were?
Hospices are hotbeds of intrigue at the moment.
Only one week in seclusion and we already have a National Police Force.

Anonymous said...

'...and a [highly alcoholic] free drinks trolley...'
Where do I sign, exactly?.

Emmett said...

WE Have here in the land of the round doorknobs some very nice hospices, too -- but, alas, access is random and uncertain in lieu of any common basis for health-care in this homeland of the terminally individualistic & the Republican f-cked-and-far-from home!

BOOZE In the solarium, eh? I'll be right over -- and, I am glad you are back, Aunty!

Richard W. Symonds said...

Welcome back, AC - missed you.

anticant said...

Thanks for the welcome home, everybody. Yes, the free drinks trolley made the hospice nearly as friendly as the Snug. I hope Ben kept you all well topped up while I was away.

zola a social thing said...

Anticant : You are a sentimental old bugger but we like you.
Good to see you back.

anticant said...

Sentimental? I'm strictly pragmatic about my impending demise, Zola - as we all should be.