Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hello my dear blog watchers, if there are any of you still following me, and hello to all my friends on Face Book,

I hope you haven’t given up on me. Just over three weeks ago I suffered a terrible crack on the head when I fell onto our granite tiles whilst vacuuming the stairs. I also twisted my ankle which further incapacitated me. Well, I am now out of the pot, out of hospital, and out of my routine of music and writing. I am not quite out of the woods yet, though trying very hard to be positive. I have no enthusiasm for my cello, I certainly have no interest in housework, and sitting in front of the computer is a great strain on my eyes.

Bear with me therefore, if my reports start of slowly.

I think, however, that you may be interested to hear about my stay in hospital. Over the years the one question I am asked more than any other about life in Crete is, “What happens if you are ill?” I always used to say, “Don’t worry about being ill, better to enjoy being healthy.” By focusing on being ill, taking out health insurance, pandering to every health phase going; one minute eggs are bad for you, the next they are good, in my opinion, many people miss the joy of the moment.

So, this experience crept up on me, and suddenly I needed a doctor. As I lay on the floor, my leg twisted, and my head feeling like a cracked egg, I knew it was not just a graze on the knee to be rubbed better. David and friends picked me up and got me in the car and to Neapolis hospital very quickly, where my ankle was X-rayed and put into pot. After a second opinion at Agios Nikolaos hospital, I was given a CT scan of my scull plus other tests and admitted to the ward.

This is an account of my stay.

The first night was not good. After a thorough examination in ‘out patients’, which included a cardiogram, a CT scan, a chest X-ray and numerous other tests, the opinion of several doctors was that I should be admitted and see the Neurologist the next day. My head hurt, my eyes were not functioning correctly, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I had a constant resounding inside my scull which made me feel like a bell just after the clangor has struck. This effect however, did detach me slightly from the real world, which once I was more aware of, disturbed me greatly.

The first thing I noticed was the intravenous acceptors which had been inserted into my right arm on the inside of my elbow. Thankfully they were never used. The second thing I noticed was my companion in the ward, an elderly, bulky woman with shot white hair. An empty bed separated us, but it was not enough to muffle the sound of her moans: “Παναγεια, Παναγεια.” She called on the Virgin Mary for help as her family, three sons, two daughters, their spouses and a parcel of grandchildren gathered around her bed. When they left she was quiet.

A Bulgarian woman, employed by the family to watch over their mother during the night, (I later found out, for a price of 45 euro) made her comfortable. She remained peaceful until she needed the toilet. I was obviously dozing very lightly, because I was aware every time this happened. In between the toilet activity the Bulgarian woman lay on the spare bed which separated us. It was lucky for her that I had discarded my hospital blanket in favour of one which David had brought me from home, a blue cellular one which had been washed and put away for the winter in favour of our duvet. The Bulgarian woman was glad of the blanket as she tried to get some sleep too. I dare say she worked around the clock.

Of course there wasn’t much chance of sleep for any of us. Terrible pain induced cries were coming from the next ward, where a woman was obviously suffering. Her loud pleas of “Μανα μου, Μανα μου,” filled the night as she called for her mother. The man, whose bed was in the corridor just outside our ward, and in full view, was beyond crying for help. His death rattle seemed to last longer than it probably did. The silence of his departure was broken by voices and bedside activity. Our ward light was blindingly switched on at 5 a.m. when a hospital nurse descended on us to tae our blood pressure.
After that I slept soundly for two or three hours.

... that's it for now, more later. Love to all, and thank you for all your good wishes and energy.

Jane x

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