M.E.A.U

Mobile Emergency Assessment Unit (M.E.A.U) for short was my location for 5 days from Thursday to Monday.

It’s a holding bay where patients are kept and treated whilst awaiting transfer to the main wards.I was needing to be transferred up to the Haematology Ward but there were no spaces so I was treated in M.E.A.U whilst we waited.

M.E.A.U is a busy ward, I arrived at about 10pm which is peak time – lots of patients transferring in from A&E – fewer leaving to head off to specialist wards.

I pulled the curtains round and got into bed as the noise continued. Almost chaotic, even so organised. Not as calm as Nairobin had been, but there was work to be done!

The nurses here are extremely busy – they work 13 hour shifts and work non-stop it seems. They have to be multi-talented here – there are many different complaints and issues to deal with. Not all of my fellow patients were mentally stable most were much much older than I.

It’s difficult to sleep in a place like this – there’s always so much happening but eventually I did.

I had access to my phone and computer and a TV radio which helped time pass – especially when I was finally able to make contact with Anita on the Friday.

It was good to catch up with friends and family (an old school friend who was in Lincoln for the weekend, my brother and wife who travelled all the way back to Lincoln for the third time in a week!) it was also good to make contact online from around the world with friends in Tanzania,Kenya, USA, Canada, Uganda, To he Far East and Centrsl America as well as various parts of the UK.

During this time I had a full body X-ray, A second ultrasound of my kidneys and numerous blood extractions. For me the blood is the worst thing – never keen on blood I am haemophobic so the extraction of blood three times a day had been a chore.

My fellow ‘inmates’ changed on a daily basis and in the end I had been there the longest by far,

These included two men with severe special needs one who could only groan; two men who obviously suffered from form of dementia and kept trying to escape; a man with bowel  cancer who was in almost constant agony, a youth handcuffed between police officers drugged up and having swallowed bleach; a guy with a heart attack who died on the ward at 8am on Saturday; a younger bloke with a lung problem who kept nipping out for a fag and an alcoholic bloke who would join him. A drunken woman at 2 am who shouted around the M.E.A.U. for an hour or so.

The nurses just got on with their jobs and took the flack, treated patients with great patience.

During this time it began to emerge that a lot of things were going to have to change for me. The reality was that life is never going to be the same from this point forward.

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