2018-08-05 12:23:56 UTC
down even though my stomach must have been emptied many times.
Perfectly flat sea - so it must be food poisoning, probably the small
bits of lobster with the escargots.
Silhouette was mooring in Rostock and later in the day we were going to
see the Molli (the local steam railway; Rostock is pretty boring).
Anyway about 8am just as the medical centre was due to open the centre
of my chest burst into acute pain. I mean it really hurt (see later for
the female viewpoint).
Jackie gets me down to the medical centre (how she did that I don't know
- she was refusing to let people in the lift and all sorts) and some
bloods are taken and after what seemed like an infinite period of time
the doctor hooked me up to saline drip, then started a flow of morphine,
plus something to stop the muscles trying to be sick and something else
to calm the stomach down. ECG, blood tests. Anyway the pain eventually
started to ease and the doctor felt that I needed a scan (not available)
and confirmation from land based authorities that I was fit to travel.
Jackie rushes back to the cabin and grabs a few essentials - our helpful
cabin dolly Nicol found me some clothes and insisted Jackie take all the
different power chargers! Jackie claims she could not fund her way to
the medical centre and it had moved.
Ambulance turns up - they want €150 before moving, Jackie heads up to
the ATM and it disgorges cash. Then apparently they moved the medical
centre again and it took Jackie a while to find it. A rough 30 minute
transit to Rostock hospital. Why have tram tracks in the middle of the
road - they really shake you up! Why have the hospital so far from the
Some obviously dedicated and hard working medical people in Germany
decided that more pain relief was a good idea (I am not arguing) plus a
second bag of saline are administered. Wonderful German ECG machine -
like cow milking machine the heads are not "taped" on but use suction
and just drop off at the end of the process - no pain at all. I suppose
they cost more! I think we are in some form of emergency dept and the
lady doctor looks about 20 (I know). She went through the normal
questions now I was feeling human and went away. Then she came back -
the first time to ask if I still had my gall bladder and the second time
for an extra blood sample. Now it is time for an abdominal scan which
was why we came in the first case. (In all of this much time could be
saved if doctors felt that could rely on each other).
A good hour then upstairs and Jackie could see the screen - nothing
unusual except a couple of gallstones, one a centimetre long. The scan
people reckon that an operation later today or sometime tomorrow should
sort me out.
Back downstairs and nice "young" doctor has to write a report (c 1 hour)
and arrange transport to another department (which confusingly we are
told is A&E but was probably more of surgical assessment unit. 1 hour
waiting transport - it is the same hospital but a good five minutes,
stretcher transfer and they refuse to allow me to walk (did I mention it
was very hot outside - indeed it was pretty hot everywhere).
White coated surgeon read the papers carefully (but little Miss Hitler
made Jackie sit in the waiting room). Once again excellent spoken
English. He felt that getting me home would be good and prescribed pain
killers (yes yes) and some pretty strong wide spectrum antibiotics and
fit to travel certificate. (During the waits Jackie and I had discussed
her returning home, me staying and coming back by myself. Did you know
you can leave Rostock at 9am (local time) and be at St Pancras
International by 9pm the same day - you do now!).
Taxi back to the ship and Thursday was spent mostly asleep and Friday
(both sea days) taken very gently. Off the ship by 7:45 I was in
Frimley Park at about 9am. I escaped about 6pm. More antibiotics,
surgeon visit on 13/8 and a date to be fixed for the operation and I
must be careful it does not flare up in the meantime. Jackie went home
to do four loads of washing and ironing and sorting out things I could
eat and drink in the near future.
In terms of the two medical teams (here and in Germany) there was little
difference, although I was surprised how well the Germans spoke English.
The UK was let down by systems in getting from Emergency Dept (Frimley
does not have Accidents), then into SAU and then to xray and to the
scan. In this day and age a porter to be given a handwritten note to
"collect" me and "deliver" me to an xray technician is wrong (and
Frimley Park it is really silly to spend money on a "sign" apologising
for the poor direction signing - spend the same amount on good signing).
I believe that using systems efficiently would have moved me through
Frimley Park some 4 hours faster than was achieved. I can even tell you
how it would work off the existing database - but you would need to fix
the wifi first (please).
On the ship a fellow traveller had experienced both gall bladder pain
and childbirth and the world will no doubt be relieved to know that
childbirth is worse. Katie says kidney stones are worse than
childbirth, so you have been warned.
So hopefully by the end of September all will be well again.
K Richard W