So, I was in hospital again if you didn’t already know! I had an infection where my hickman line is, but not in my line thank god. So I had some antibiotics and after a week I was free to go back home. I’m still on my number one choice of drug, Flucloxacillin, for about another 7 days. I mean, the infection is all cleared up, but I NEED to make sure it really is so I’m taking it for another week.

Whilst I was in there I wrote a personal diary entry which I’m going to share as it was pretty good, I hope.

Irony is an aspect of my life I can never quite seem to escape. I’m a lover of sarcasm, treating it like sugar in my tea and equally attracted to those around me who use it. So, that’s ironic when events in my life work out to be just a big sarcastic joke on me. I had rejoiced on my website when it became apparent that it had been over a year since I was last admitted into hospital. It wasn’t down to hard work and a healthy lifestyle, at least I dont think. Sure I’m on a sporadic dose of vitamins and a knuckle-crackingly good physio regime, but it was just luck that I happened to go exactly 54 weeks without an overnight stay on the ward.

Now the counter is reset, I’m here in the corner of a four-bed room receiving treatment for a relatively life-threatening infection. Sure it sounds drastic but technically all infections are life-threatening if untreated, just in my case this is more so given my poor immune system.

It’s been 72 hours since becoming an inpatient and I’m cautiously optimistic of my recovery. I think that whatever the outcome I will at least be more able to come to terms with the diagnosis than I was 3 days ago.

3 days ago I did sob when it emerged I may have to have my third hickman line removed, but I didn’t cry, nor did I accept the pity of my family and friends. I wanted to be a responsible adult in handling the situation. Hell, I’d have been embarrassed if I hadn’t have handled the news well, there’s something stupidly satisfying about being five weeks away from turning twenty, and all of the recent activities have only served as justification to this theory of mine.

Before, I didn’t think twenty was going to be any different to nineteen. Despite fearing it and constantly being reminded about it, twenty just seemed to me to be another year to spend umming and erring about my future. But after succumbing to an infection and being told the decision of what to do was up to me (which is a first in itself, making it apparent that it has been far more than a year since I have had an illness which had the liberty of requiring a
decision to decide what to do next) I now have realised, all too irritatingly, that twenty is different to nineteen, but only because I can make it different.

Being twenty opens up lots of different doors, all of which I can walk through at my leisure. I dont have to make choices to please others and I dont have to fear messing up if the choices I make are not right. Of course I will, and writing this down makes no difference whatsoever, but it’s just the realisation of this that is calming, something which I didnt have before.

So that’s why I consider it ironic that of all the places to have a ‘stupidly satisfying’ realisation, it ends up being next to a drip-stand in a hospital bed on a ward. That something ultimately life-threatening can turn out to be life-changing. Realising that is scary, but realising that I have the opportunity to control it fills me with a giddy sense of power. Of course this could all be a wonderful, drug-induced rant, in which case nothing has changed and the following has just been an excuse to exercise my expanding vocabulary, mwhahahahaha!

Maybe a little bit overly dramatic but I guess that’s how I really felt in there. The Gallery has had a few new photos added to it from my trip to London.


About tomsbrain

The central hub of all things Thomas McNab - a 33-year-old Yorkshire-born writer and filmmaker, living with a disability, and medicating himself with obscene amounts of films, television, and amateur wordplay. Find out more at

Posted on May 2, 2006, in Hospital, Old Posts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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