The Battle of Shuttleworth

The brave lymph nodes infected by cancer cells were supposed to be removed last Thursday. Unfortunately, I ended up in the Shuttleworth ward of Bedford hospital fighting a cellulite infection caused by quite a bad seroma after the lumpectomy. Seroma is a collection of fluids under the wound where the lump and healthy tissue removed by the surgeon once were. Cellulite is a skin inflammation – red, hot patches on my poor boob…. it seemed as if something was boiling inside that tormented breast. Ironically, before the lumpectomy I had not felt any pain or abnormality in that breast and now, once the lump was removed, I seem to have physical symptoms of how nasty in nature the carcinoma is….

So, I was admitted to hospital in order to get IV antibiotics to help treat the cellulite before the scheduled axillary clearance. The ‘Shuttleworth Battle’ began on Tuesday. The most affected csualties of the battle were my arms – ten times stabbed with needles by a few different medical experts in effort to put a cannula in me…. One particular cannula in my right mid-fore arm must have punctured the vein as the antibiotics injection got into the tissue and set my arm on invisible fire…. The word ‘cannula’ is a swear word in my dictionary!!! I think I have developed a phobia of these divices while battling the battle in the Shuttleworth ward.


The boob inflamed with the cellulite infection got stabbed too. The surgeon decided it would help to drain some of that fluid, which he did – 3 syringes filled with blood like fluid deflated the swollen breast a bit. It didn’t really hurt as the swelling also caused numbness. 

When the tenth cannula started leaking, they decided to put me back on oral antibiotics. By then, it was clear, I wouldn’t have the surgery on Thursday. On that day, in the morning a consultant, a registrar and three junior surgeons came to see me and all agreed, the infection would spread should I have the surgery despite the cellulite….

The 5 days in the hospital were very educational. Not only did I learn a lot about the structure of nursing stuff and doctors, support workers, etc. etc., but I also was reminded how unpleasant old age might be. Most of the patients in the ward were elderly people suffering from various conditions and were completely reliant on the help of nurses and support workers…. I know, I don’t want to live so long to experience this kind of suffering. Also, seeing other people nearly completely bedridden puts my own condition, annoying as it is, in perspective. 

There were quite a few funny aspects of my stay in hospital – I had quite a few giggles with one of the patients and some of the stuff. A good sense of humour is a fantastic connection between people who possess this helpful feature. 🙂 I rested from many things in my daily life, as well, but was glad to be discharged on Saturday.


Time flies, eh? 😉 When you are in hospital where each day has a clear routine, you can almost see every minute flying by….

6.00 – lights switched on and a nurse martches in with meds

just when you managed to drift off again

6.30 – a support worker does rounds in the ward doing the obs for each patient

7:00 – student nurses and support workers start changing beds which means ‘bye bye sleep until further notice ;))

8.00 – house keeper comes with breakfast

9.00 – doctors start doing their rounds

10.00 – a nurse comes to do obs again

11.00 – a nurse comes back to do the meds

12.00 – lunch

13.00 – you think you can relax finally……. only to hear ‘have you had a wash yet?’ – ‘eh, no, no chance as yet…’ – ‘now, is your chance then! ;))’ – off I go to take my shower!!! 😀

14.00 – the first wave of visitors are coming… just when you thought you’d take a nap after the busy morning!

16:00 a nurse comes to do obs

17.00 a doctor comes round to check on me and a nurse is doing meds

18.00 dinner time

19.00 more visitors are coming

20.15 visitors are leaving and finally a bit of peace and quiet

22.00 a support worker is doing obs, a nurse is doing meds

22.30 lights out – I kaput, exhausted by the busy hospital routine!


One has to have a lot of energy to be ill and to be hopsitalized! ;)))

The check-up appointment on Friday and the op has been rescheduled for next months…..


The battle continues………


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