Pauline Read’s North Cyprus Hospital Review

WITHOUT  PREJUDICE

Just when you are feeling virtuous, having just started to feel better after a small setback, something comes along to bring you down to earth with a bang.

That is what happened to me on Saturday afternoon.  I had just finished my daily 100 lengths of the pool, got out of the pool and foolishly walked across the tiles with wet feet and no shoes.  I cannot leave my shoes at the edge of the pool because Tamarly, next door’s dog is a frequent visitor and a shoe bandit.  We think she buries them because we can never find them and she frequently has soil on her nose. The inevitable happened and in an attempt to avoid falling on to the water pump, I compounded the severity of the fall, flipped back down a step,  caught the wall with my shoulder and landed up on my beloved felicia plant.  Agile assures me this is what happened because I had the blue petals all over my back.

My first thought was ‘get me out of the sun’.   By crawling and being half lifted, Agile managed to get me on to the carpet in the living room.  The pain in my right shoulder and upper arm was excruciating and the angle of my arm and shoulder looked all wrong. I thought I had either broken it or dislocated my shoulder.  So there I was lying on the carpet, soaking wet with pool water and perspiration wondering how I am going to get into the shower, dried, dressed and to the hospital.

Agile tried to help me out of my bathing suit but moving my upper body was so painful he decided he would have to cut it off me.  Is there no end to this man’s talents, avoider of speeding vehicles, emergency plumber and now chief cutter offerer of bathing suits.  I  am not sure how we managed to get me into the shower, washed and dressed, but we did.

Being driven to Girne Hospital was a very painful experience but we arrived with me a whimpering specimen and went into Accident and Emergency.  Never having been there as a patient, another patient explained to us that we needed to sign in, and were asked for 30 lira

Having completed this we then realised there was a small queue.  By now the pain had become unbearable and I think I am about to pass out, but how can you put your head down to avoid this happening when the smallest of movement is agony?  Thankfully it was obvious to the staff just how much pain I was in and I was ‘fast tracked’ in to see the Doctor.

The Doctor sent me to X ray which was done quickly and efficiently, although the radiographer was trying to get me to assume positions that were impossible for me to comply with.

Back we went to the Doctor who confirmed I had indeed dislocated my shoulder.   He said he was going to fix it, his words “you help me and I will help you”.  I promise, I did try to help but for anyone who has never had an attempt to manually manipulate a shoulder back to where it is naturally supposed to be, then you cannot even begin to imagine how painful it is.  Bearing in mind it is already painful, my arm was first put into a sort of sling  and pulled, then I was sat on chair sideways with the affected arm on a pad over the back and more manipulation attempted.

By this time I was screaming and calling on God to stop the pain. Another attempt with a sheet sling did produce a loud click, but unfortunately it was not my shoulder going back.  The Doctor and the other three helping him kept telling me to relax, oh dear, I would love to have been able to comply.

The decision was then taken to get more x rays, two more in fact. The dislocation was severe and it was decided I would need  general anaesthetic for the manipulation.  I was put on an ECG and it was decided that I should be admitted. My shoulder was immobilised and I was taken upstairs to a ward.

This is where I got a real surprise, in the next bed was a former neighbour and fellow litigant from Kulaksiz 5, I think it was just as well the Bank were not aware of this. It seems she too had taken a fall and as result needed a hip replacement.  Now what are the odds against this?  Two Akfinans Bank Limited victims side by side in the same ward.   You Could Not make It Up.

Agile went home with the intentions of returning the next day, to wait for me to be ‘dealt’ with and then take me home.  That is what we thought the plan was but not so.

I cannot say exactly what  time it was but Agile did not leave until after 8.30 pm. I had been given a pain relieving injection and so it must have been close to 10.00 pm when a nurse came and told me she was taking me to the theatre, no, not to see a show, the other sort.  I was taken to the theatre, the anaesthetist arrived in her party frock, the same Doctor arrived and asked me if I was ready to fly, I didn’t like to say it would be difficult because one of my wings didn’t work.  Next thing I knew, I was being told to wake up.

I have no recollection of the journey back to the ward, I was vaguely aware of my surroundings but I was no longer in pain.   I was aware that the shoulder was again immobilised but it was not until the morning I became aware that sticking plaster and my long vest top were combined to make very effective sling.   Agile was surprised that instead of having to wait for me to be treated, he was  able to take me home.

We had to pay a further 263 lira for my treatment, the one thing that did spoil the extremely good service was the fact that we had to be seen to have paid before they would remove the final insert from my arm.

The medical care at Girne Hospital was exemplary.  The staff were wonderful and each and every person was caring and efficient.  The Doctor was an angel and so patient with me.

I am still very sore and my movements much restricted.  I know it will take a while for the pain to totally subside and my full range of movement to return.  I was struck by how many times I was asked if this was the first time I had had a dislocation.  To anyone it does happen to regularly, I extend my sympathy.  I pray this is my first and only one.

When I was admitted to the ward my blood pressure was 130/80, the following morning when I was more relaxed it was 110/70, not bad for an old lady.  So Akfinans Bank, I may be down, but I am not out.  I live to fight another  day.

This has been typed using me left hand only, so please Mr Editor, it will need extra checking.

(Ed: almost perfect!

Never give in, never give up

Pauline Ann Read

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