Drip Cycle

0000 can’t believe two hours have passed and the drip is finished. Finished reading Next (a gift from AfroM) and I now start reading this week’s Time. They can’t start a new drip because wrist is swollen where the vein has had enough. Note: Nurses seem more callous at night. Are they tired or more hardened to the calls of patients at midnight?
0012 Nurse disconnects drip – releasing me to go to the toilet. “Always carry your phone with you” – is something you are advised when you check in as phones tend to disappear, usually if you fall asleep during visiting hours. The toilet lights are off at night and there’s no switch but using my Nokia screen – there’s no need for a light.
0017 Back to bed. Not really sleepy and I don’t use the mosquito net
0028 Mosquito buzzes my face. There’s a myth that Nairobi mosquitoes don’t transmit malaria, but I don’t wish to complicate my recovery/treatment by proving this out and I clumsily put the net down to cover the upper half of the bed and fall asleep
0145 Doctor comes in with a nurse. They make a new cut in my left hand and insert a tube to attach a new drip. Drip in right hand is removed and sealed with a bandage.
0200 Another nurse comes and connects the drip bottle to the new tube. Back to sleep.
0530 Use toilet but this time I use the urinal – it’s a paper gourd that they bring round and is good for two flows. When on drip and drinking fluids throughout, one needs to go to bathroom a lot
0625 Nurse comes in to administer blood pressure, pulse, and temperature tests
0632 Get SMS from Couch Tato telling me when I might find a rare DVD I am looking for. (Does he ever sleep?)
0640 new jug of drinking water delivered by a waiter.
0800 Watching CNN news: I must find out what the differences are between Sunni’s and Shiite’s.
0821 Breakfast brought in. Even though I am supposed to be on a low-fat diet, they keep bringing some fatty foods. Take porridge, Weetabix, banana, and tea leaving aside the boiled egg and sausage.
0852 finish breakfast – takes longer to eat with the wrong hand
0937 finish reading Time magazine
0955 Take a shower, and get new gown & shorts as my bed is changed. I am not able to walk about because my doctor shows up. She examines me, is happy with progress but asks that a blood sample be taken tomorrow morning after which she’ll consider discharging me
1000 Back to bed. If I had my Celtel line I’d be able to make more daytime calls, but stuck with Safaricom and waiting for whoever calls. I get a call from the office
1005 Drip reconnected. Must finish my Lucozade bottle by tomorrow when I leave. Hate this stuff
1145 Finish reading a chapter of a manuscript and use paper toilet before visiting hours start
1150 Dietician brings suggested menu/foods for my recovery after I leave hospital and we discuss what is acceptable and what’s banned
1205 Have to use the toilet. This time I ask to be disconnected and walk to the bathroom. Getting sloppy, this is the first time I have left my phone behind. I rush back to find its still there
1210 – 1215 first visitors of the day – and one brings another bottle of Lucozade
1220 Itch on my right hand and realise it’s a mosquito bite from last night – I hope it drank saline instead of my blood.
1222 Lunch arrives
1225 More visitors. My sister is first and I send her downstairs to buy the newspapers (perks of being in the hospital) and a Safaricom airtime card. They’re here as I eat lunch. Have a wide discussion about the poor state of roads, book publishing.

1405 Back to the toilet. As I am washing hands, I drop my phone in the sink. I scoop it up and take paper towels back with me where I strip, dry, and clean the phone which seems to be intact.
1440 Still reading a newspaper but no drip running. I go to the nurses’ station to ask to be reconnected to drip.
1500 Still no one. I ring my buzzer and when nurse responds, ask again to be reconnected to drip. There seems to be a slacking of work as nursing shift ends and another begins as those going off have to prepare extensive reports.
1520 – 1530 New nurse comes and attached new drip bottle
1540 Start reading Foul about corruption in the soccer administration world. It’s a great and someone should give a copy to our sports minister who’ trying to sort out Kenyan soccer. Other countries like Antigua and Jamaica have gone though what Kenya is going through (interim committees, normalization committees, suspension, and threats) FIFA does not appear to like government interference and prefers to deal with local sports administrators however corrupt they are.
1550 Waiter comes round but I decline afternoon tea. Other patients are asleep and I ask him to turn off TV, which is now showing an (annoying) kids variety show.
1650 Still reading Foul when first evening visitors arrive. Some visitors are interesting, others are tiring. For many, I have too repeat the story of who I ended up here. I engage some visitors in constructive talk; get advice on recovery while others have nothing to say. Still pick up some tips – I may get my full allocation of Stanbic IPO shares, and while this hospital has no internet for patients (am told), Kenyatta National Hospital (of all places) is a wireless hot spot
1830 I get a late visitor. Near the end of visiting time, guards don’t let in more visitors (except VIP’s) but my buddy assures me she can get past any time as she has a stethoscope in her car she wears.
1850 My boss visits. He’s on leave, but working on other projects. He advises me to enjoy the enforced rest and avoid dealing with office matters
1900-1920 Watch the 7 PM news as I eat dinner. Chicken again though not as fatty this time.
1945 Go to bathroom again
2000 Drip is reconnected. Lie back and drift in and out of sleep. TV still on with Spanish soaps with bad accents, and later the 9PM news. I try and remember the name of the movie where Wesley Snipes or Steven Seagal’s characters’ rip drip tubes from their arms, fight people sent to kill them and flee from hospital in a wheelchair.

0015 Wake again TV still on. Busta & Diddy’s “Pass the Courvesoir” video is on but not as interesting to watch three years later.

35 thoughts on “Drip Cycle

  1. Komi

    Hope you are well now.
    Hospital stuff grips me. Can identify with the swollen wrists…had my experience in Dec where the capulas kept dislodging and my wrists swelling as a result. Got more than six changes (10 pricks coz the nurses couldn’t do it right!) in four days. Forced the NBM sign down so I could sip my fluids.

  2. Mashatall

    Hey banks,
    Wish you speedy recovery, i was just to ask if you were OK since its been a while since you posted anything online, and thats unlike you.Pole sana and hope all works out for you.If i was in Nairobi i would have brought you a thermos full of muteta soup, and some marubaini, herbs work you know.Cheers buddy, and just rest knowing that if you bought enough stanbic shares, then you might be a millionaire in UG shillings !!!!

  3. Mitzy

    Pole sana Banks. Hospitals and drips are no fun at all and the wrists hurt for a number of days once you get discharged. Best wishes for a quick recovery. I too hope the mosquito drank either the saline or lucozade!

  4. mwasjd

    Get well soon. Is it East African fever ama what? But your post is killer (Safaricom gprs?), especially the mingi trips to the gents…

  5. Kim

    Pole sana Banks. I began reading your blogs in Dec and got hooked. I was actually wondering what happened and then I recalled that you wanted to establish some kiosk. I hope you get well soon. Next time I visit someone in the hospital, I’ll try to be interesting and not boring.!!

  6. Benin "Mwangi"

    Pole, hope you get well soon. Would you believe that I actually know what you are going through( to a smaller extent)?

    The time that I spent in Kenya, something in the water made me very sick. My wife made me go to the hospital and they connected a drip to me, it was only for 3 or 4 days, though. The hospital was very, very nice too…

    But, still I empathize with you , it’s difficult not being able to do the things that we normally do while on the “outside”, so I really hope you get better soon! But I hope that while you are there, you allow your body to heal by just letting the hustle and bustle of the world outside of your four walls, take care of itself. When you get better it will still be there for you

  7. AK

    Pole` and get well soon Banks!

    Your reference to Lucozade gave me a laugh. Seems it’s still the no.1 energy/hospital drink in Kenya. I wonder if Redbull would compare.

  8. jke

    Pole sana, Banks. How come you were forced to stay in hospital? Hope you’re getting well soon!

    The positive side of course is that you might have been able to save some money 🙂

    Seriously, makes me think of buying a few 100$ laptops once they become available and renting them out to intellectual patients in hospitals who need to stay online.

    “I must find out what the differences are between Sunni’s and Shiite’s.”
    Oh, i guess we’re together on this one.

  9. ciiku

    Pole Banks! I hope your recovery is fast. I hate hospitals and luckily I have been able to avoid an overnight stay in one (knock on wood!)

    U have been missed:-)

  10. teej

    haiya! what happened to u that u r in hosi? So sorry, and I hope you get well soon. I haven’t read ur blog in a minutes so let me go back…maybe I missed some’n.

  11. DMX

    Sorry to hear that you have been unwell. Just like everyone else I was wondering what happened to my favourite blogger.

    Get well soon.

  12. Anonymous

    Wish you quick recovery! Whatever ails you rise above it!!! We need you “The Pursuit Of HappYness” stock market survey 🙂 cheers

  13. propaganda

    Good to hear you’re back up, Banks. (I’m ashamed to admit I’m feeling the kind of relief a junkie feels on hearing his dealer is fresh out of jail.) Run slow, no point busting stuff you’ll need later.

  14. Odegle

    i have never heard someone give such a hilarious account to being hospitalized! thank God you are out. i think that part of remembering movies. cheers man

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