Welcome to the machine

Part One. The view from the bed


      Running a temperature of 40 degrees and feeling hideous it's down to the local Health Centre for the usual blood tests and then the command to go and see the orthopaedic registrar at the local hospital as an emergency appointment.
      An interminable wait followed by examinations, pulling, bending, probing then the dreaded examination where a chaperone is needed. A chaperone? My wife is here, the boss is sitting watching the spectacle unfold but a chaperone has to be found and finally a nurse arrives. It can happen.
      Surgical gloves snap on and the sound of a substance being squirted from a tube fills the air then it happens. The registrars finger is inserted in my bum for the internal examination, I swear, he must be in there up to his elbow. At least. Bad language follows immediately.
      The Consultant is called and the whole process starts all over again, minus the bum probe, thank goodness. I need an X Ray, the X Ray is checked and deemed to be not good enough, I need to be scanned. To make the scanning process happen more quickly I must be admitted. Right now.
      A Porter is called with a wheelchair because by now I cannot walk and that's it, I'm in the machine. I have a number and a barcode that contains all my details and before I know it I am in a bed in a side room. Then that phrase, 'just a little pinprick', and my blood is being sampled and run-off at an alarming rate for tests and two kinds of cultures, aerobic and anaerobic.
      Welcome to the the machine.

      To be continued.