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A few weeks back I posted in Hangar Chat about being rushed into hospital. So I figured I'd update you all on how I am, and tell you an amusing tale in the process... So, you may recall I initially thought I had 'man flu' and was putting up with being very ill, in an attempt 'not to be a pussy' about feeling ill. Eventually however, it got so bad that I staggered into the local hospital's casualty department, and within five mins of seeing a triage nurse, I was on a trolley with blood samples being taken and IV drips going in my arm and the very obvious indication that I would not be going home later that day lol. After a lot of tests, it was determined that I had a streptococcus infection, pneumonia, a collapsed lung, and a few other bits and bobs too (as if all that wasn't enough). After around four of five days in a ward where they were shoving antibiotics into me IV and testing blood pressure etc every hour, I was transferred to another hospital with a more specialised ward for what was wrong with me. This led to me having a lung drain put on me (quite a painful op) and three days of that hauling the infection off my collapsed lung. Now, here is where the fun starts... Far be it for me to slag off doctors and nurses, but sometimes the way they are managed can leave a bit to be desired, so when something is wrong, I've always felt it is incumbent on us to not stand by and say nothing about it, for if we do, then things will not change for the better. It didn't take me long when on that new ward in that new hospital to realise that something was definitely amiss in terms of overall care. In fact there were a lot of things which could have been better, and talking to my fellow patients on the ward only served to confirm that. However, everyone seemed too reserved to complain about it (typical Brits). But you guessed it, not me, I've always been a bolshy sod lol. Chief among complaints was that the staff rarely communicated with the patients to let them know exactly where they were in terms of care and progress, and being that some people on the ward (myself included) were in a fairly serious and potentially life-threatening condition, I found this unacceptable, other more trivial but nonetheless important overall matters included very poor food, which was in fact so bad that most patients were resorting to buying additional food and having relatives bring stuff in. Suffice to say that I ended up with a laundry list of complaints and some phone video evidence of what needed improving. With all that gathered, I demanded to see the healthcare trust's manager, or someone of equivalent status, so that I could make these concerns known. Now, you've never seen hospital staff get a rocket lit under their arses so quickly when you say something like that to them lol. Within about half an hour, I had some head honcho at my bedside, where I explained to them that the real problem was that care and healing comprises two things: physical care, and mental care, i.e an holistic approach to getting people well. One is no good without the other, and I told them in no uncertain terms that whilst they might be fulfilling the physical care side of the bargain, this would be for nothing if people were not kept informed of their progress and what was to occur next in their care plan, and to be kept in the dark with regard to such matters would in fact be detrimental, and I and others were experiencing just exactly that. To round it off, I challenged said head honcho to eat one of the meals which would be coming around that day, and asked them if they would happily give it to their dog, let alone eat it themselves lol. Because I certainly wouldn't have given it to my dogs. To illustrate: By the time I came out of that hospital, I weighed less than 70 kg because of the poor dietary provisions, I was so thin and weak that I literally looked like I'd come from a refugee camp rather than a modern hospital. Not good when one needs to build strength. Anyway, the upshot was, following me expressing my grievances and those on behalf of my fellow ward members, things changed quite a bit in there, with much more communication going on, and within a day and a half, I was out of there, this at my insistence because I felt I would be better off out there and managing my own medication. Although one suspects they were glad to see such an unruly patient go lol. That was about a week and a half ago. I'm currently at home, gradually coming off the medications, and getting stronger. To help with my mental healing, I'm indulging in something I haven't done for a long time - building a model aeroplane, since to do so requires a bit of mental exercise, what with all the research into detailing, markings etc, this again being the two stage healing process, helping your mind as well as your body after having sat doing so little in hospital to challenge one's mind. So, the time came to pick which aeroplane to model: Well, given my bolshy pain in the butt actions against the authority of the hospital (not without good reason), there really could only be one choice couldn't there? Good old Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington's F4U-1 Vought Corsair of VMF-214, aka the Black Sheep Squadron lol. I know that a lot of the 'tale' of Boyington and VMF-214 is sometimes more a case of shrewd US Navy propaganda for a hungry press back in the States during the dark times of the war in the Pacific than much of the reality, but as with most legends, they're usually based on some truth, so I figured it was a fitting choice. Here she is so far...