James and Grace at the launch of 'Jane's Journey'
Saturday morning, nice and early, came the call from the QE hospital - a bed was available for me to go in and have the blood transfusion I needed. Brilliant - plenty of time to get 3 units in and be home by late afternoon. Martin dropped me off at 9.30am and then carried on to his golf competition which was due to finish at around 4pm, so perfect timing. Or so I thought.
The first sign that things may not go according to plan was when I arrived on the ward to be told that, yet again, I had been assigned to a bed on the 'Young Persons Unit'. Not that it really bothered me, a bed is a bed, but there is nothing guaranteed to make you feel old than to be surrounded by a load of teenagers....playing 'Guitar Hero'.
I had some blood taken for x match and a very competent young doctor got a cannula in a vein in my hand, first time too - so we were all set by 10.30am. Just had to wait for the blood to come from the blood bank. And wait. And wait.....
Lunch came - which was absolutely horrible. It was apparently fish pie but I'm sure nothing that ever came out of the sea was in it. Followed by semolina. No wonder the kids on the ward were sending out for MacDonalds.
Finally, at 2pm, my blood arrived and the first unit was put up. I did a quick calculation and realised that, at 2 hours per unit plus a bit to flush each through, I would be lucky to get out this evening. And that was if nothing went wrong. Which of course it did. This is me we are talking about after all !
I settled down for a nice doze and was just dropping off to sleep when I was shaken awake by the Mum of another patient - I was lying in a pool of blood on my bed. The connection between the line and the cannula hadn't been tightened properly and instead of the blood going into my vein it was pouring out on to the bed - and all over me !!
Fortunately this was quickly sorted out by a nurse, me and the bed were cleaned up, and the transfusion was started again. All went well after that until supper time when I was subjected to the awful food again. I was absolutely starving by now and would have eaten almost anything but even I couldn't face the unidentifiable gloop on my plate.
My third unit finally finished at 10pm and it was with a huge sigh of relief that I headed home - and straight to the fridge !!