A diary of one man's utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and poverty, starting in August 1947
Chapter 36 - Twenty feet below Prince Charles
Yes, there I was, lying in a bed in the busy Ward E19 in the Queens Medical Centre, just after having had surgery, to repair a hernia, and treat prostate cancer.
On the floor directly above the ward, was the ward where that Prince Charles had to himself, and two nurses, and a Sister in attendance 24 hours a day, to have his tennis elbow looked at.
I was lying in extreme physical stress below, pressing the button for twenty minutes to get a bedpan!
The talk of the ward was the imminent arrival of Princess Diana to visit the Prince.
As I lay painfully awaiting another bedpan, the staff and patients were more interested in seeing 'Lady Di'.
A student nurse, nervously informed me she had come to remove one of the tubes, the drainage tube from my little used, lesser endowed lonely lower regions.
She set about trying to release the valve to drain it, she was so nervous (not her fault) the more she shook the pain increased - I was about to say something about this, when a great whoops and shouts of "Look it's Princess Die" came from those who were looking out of the window down to the ground level outside, and there was a massive surge of staff and mobile patients to the East windows - indeed I feared the building might topple!
Unfortunately, and unforgettably my student nurse was amongst those Royalists so keen to see her, and as she ran to the window to join the others, she took the tube with her, leaving me in great pain, and covered in blood!
Afterwards, when she realised what she'd done, the poor thing burst into tears, and begged to be forgiven. Some 'fully trained nurses appeared, and sent for a doctor, who arranged for me to have some X-rays, and I was transported to the radiology department, where I spent a good two hours in a draughty corridor waiting to be seen to.
When I was eventually returned to the ward, I'd missed the meal, and still wanted to use the bedpan!
I remember thinking at the time:
"I did so hope that Prince Charles's tennis elbow would getting better, and he enjoyed his wife's visit!"