Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No 48, 57, 99 and special fried rice

Wok Fried Rice - June 2006

Wok Bar, Dee Why - June 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fred aged 5 months

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Human Bite

I’ve just spent the last week sharing a room with an 80 year old Chinamen from Papua New Guinea, a large security guard from Western Samoa and a dear old lady who had no idea where she was. Incidentally by some random coincidence the Samoan and the Chinamen are called Francis and Joe (my brothers names). So how did I come to be in this situation?

Wind back a week and picture me tearing around a football pitch looking for my third goal and my first hat-trick. The football lands in between me and a young lad that looked like Steven Gerard on the opposite team. He came tearing in and my plan was to dink the ball between his legs just as he reaches it. His two footed sliding tackle came thundering in and with my out stretched leg I had to jump over Stevey before he broke both my legs. Unfortunately for him my knee was left trailing low enough to catch him in the gob and remove his two front teeth. I played on with a scratch to the knee and he left the field in urgent need of a good dentist.

After the match my team sang a song “Two great goals, two front teeth.” So where do my three room companions come into it? Well you see triumphant I may have been at the time I was unaware of what was going on in the cut on my knee. Everyone worries when a dog bites them and immediately think of rabies and all sorts of other filthy diseases that the pooh sniffing, bum licking creatures may have. But it is the Human Bite which is the foulest of the two bites! Gerard’s teeth managed to leave a nasty infection cultivating in my wound. With a swollen knee, an inability to walk and after several trips to the crumbling decrepit Manly Hospital I decided get a second opinion from Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

Before I knew it I was being wheeled into the operating theatre to have my knee opened up and examined. First stop on my wheelie bed was the anaesthetist who kindly dosed me up with a very amusing drug to calm my nerves. Within seconds I felt half cut and ready for anything. It was one in one out at the operating theatre and once they were finished with the patient in front I was wheeled in still feeling pissed from the shot in the arm. I then remember being put on a yellow slab and things go blank…..

….eyes half open….eyes very heavy and close again….they squint open again….a nurse walks by…bright lights….closed again…open again….this time I notice the oxygen mask on my face…. I breath in the air…..start to hear sounds…. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. my heart beat is being monitored…I’m being wheeled to another room, this time the room is much darker, it has windows but its dark outside. Another nurse approaches me.

“Something for pain relief. I’m going to give you a double shot of morphine.”

She pulls down the covers and jabs a needle into my thigh. I feel the morphine slowly circulate round my body, my thoughts go from sub conscious to warm and cosy. I feel like I’m sinking into the bed and literally have no care in the world. I’m in a state of complete happiness, an absolute state of bliss, a euphoric high! This lasted some time and soon changed to strange unrepeatable dreams and me drifting in and out of conscience states. Who said that the drugs don’t work?

When I came round I was surrounded by all these old guys that were waiting for angiograms. This requires their balls being shaven and a nurse was busy buzzing around them under the sheets with an electric shaver. After their Brazilians they are wheeled off for the examination.

My permanent room for the week was with Joe and Francis though. Joe, was described to me by his little old hunched over Chinese wife. “He thinks he’s18 but he’s 80. Climbing ladders at his age!” With a leg broken in two places he went through a fair bit of painhe also had endless visitors, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers and sisters, they all paid him a visit most days. He was like the old father of the family, respected by the men and nagged by the women. As stubborn as an ox he refused all offers of brining him magazines or paying for the TV to be switched on. Retired for the last 33 years the ex Papua New Guinean general store owner lay in his bed coming to terms with his age and angry at himself for the ladder fall.

Francis a very large Samoan came round after two days of inactivity in his bed. A young guy he had a long 17 hour operation to fix the nerves in his shoulder, nerves that were damaged in serious car accident with a large truck. His size saved him according to the doctors. On the outside he worked in security in kings cross, a job he loves. Not far the violence but just the strange behaviour he gets to witness and laugh at. He had me in stitches with his infectious laugh as he told me about the two guys that were beating off in McDonalds in front of some lesbians making out in the restaurant. Francis was meant to chuck the wankers out but told me he was crying with laughter and unable to react all that quick!

The last bed was first taken by a very large lady with out of control flatulence. Although this wasn’t why she was in hospital. After she left she was replaced by Irene. A demented old lady with severe Alzheimer’s disease. She literally would start a nonsensical sentence and forget what she just said. Her family and in particular her seemingly long suffering husband Frank would sit with her most of the day loyal and caring. She would hurl abuse threatening to kill Frank, she would ask “Who’s that?” when her son walks in and talk general gobbledygook. Feeling threatened, frightened and lost she once attacked a nurse attempting to bite her arm. Once the family had left and she was alone Irene would call out “Is there any one there?..... Please help me?... I just want to get out of here…” I’d call out to Irene and tell her its ok or I’d call the nurse or Francis would try and comfort her by letting her know someone was coming.

My week’s over and I’m now back at home. I was quite sad to say good bye. I felt like Id been a part of these peoples lives for a week, not as a participant but just as a comrade and an observer. They are stories that I shall probably never know the end of.