The Hospital Bed


Have you shit in your bed recently? No? Believe me, then you really are, ‘Living The Dream’. In between oncology and cardiac care, I wondered if the patient before me watched the same fractals of sunlight pour though the blinds across this bed as they lay dying. The room felt like death the moment I arrived and even when I dowsed myself and the entire ward in Creed cologne, death still lingered. I could not place exactly where death was lurking, but that fucker was there alright. I checked the cupboards for black robes, the shower, the recently bleached drains. I even checked under the bed for a newly sharpened scythe. Nothing.

When I gave up and lay down without dying, death was nuzzling into my neck like a lover you want to leave even though you know you’ll never be free from them in your heart. Fuck off, death. Find someone else. Please, sleep with someone else from work or find another purpose in life. We’re not even compatible. We need space away from each other. I need more time to think, you’re crowding me.

I was agitated until three in the morning. I was angry with my sheets and that’s when I knew. Death wasn’t going anywhere. Death had already taken a massive, toxic shit in the bed. I shifted my body weight again, tentatively, to be sure. Oh yes. The sheets were perfectly crisp and white and clean but any friction between fabric and mattress disturbed the death. I asked the nurse who had died in this bed and she said,

‘No, she didn’t die. She went home’

‘Yes, but she shat in the bed before she went home though, didn’t she?’

The other nurse laughed.

‘In fact, this shit doesn’t even smell human. It’s as if the Grimm Reaper himself lay down in this very bed and took a dump. It’s unworldly.’

‘Is it the mattress?’

‘Fuck yes, it’s the mattress!’

‘Are you sure? They are supposed to be waterproof’

‘Smell it if you like. The groin region’

‘No, it’s okay’

‘You need to burn it.’

‘And all the sheets now too’

The nurses joyfully packed away the sheets in brown plastic bags.

‘Now I know why those bags are brown. Every time I see one of those down the corridor, I’ll know there’s shit in it’

‘Yes, there is a lot of shit here’

‘And puke. You can hear them all retching behind closed doors. How do you cope with the stench?’

‘You get used to it’

‘Are you sure she didn’t die in the bed?’

‘No, she definitely went home’

‘But then she died, right?’

‘Yes, they wanted to put her in the hospice but she wanted to go home’

‘So now I’m sleeping on a dead woman’s excrement, in a pandemic, who was also a former patient of Dr C——?’

There was nothing left in the world for any of us but for everyone to laugh.

One of the nurses confessed that the patient did indeed shit the bed. She had been imprisoned and poisoned alone in this room for five months. Five months of agony, vomiting and shitting her way though toxic and futile chemotherapy administered by someone who liked to play god. After two prior consultations with the oncologist she was under, I realised he was a demeaning, lying, corrupt, greedy little prick. Everyone knew about his lies. Everybody. Nobody stood up to him but me. I also declined the offer to fund his own personal research by paying over £3000 upfront for a serum test that is void from meaningful medical interpretation and the results of which could actually harm the patient.

As I lay awake in his dead patient’s shit, I thought of him sleeping soundly, completely alone, in his detached palatial house in one of the most affluent suburbs in London. A house no doubt paid for by all the deceased patients who had endured expensive and needless chemotherapy as he bullshitted false hope to loved ones and cooed his lullaby lies throughout their harrowing and undignified suffering. I am one of the lucky ones, for now, and I am also currently under the care of a kind, decent, and moral oncologist.

The mattress moved past me as if it was were walking away by itself.

‘I hope the incinerator is big enough for that’

The mattress laughed.

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41 comments on “The Hospital Bed”

  1. This is really powerful. I feel your words. Are you better now? In remission, I hope?

    Sometimes I feel like death is flirting with me, but in a different way. I arrive just in time, out of the blue, to hold a person’s hand before they suddenly die. “You’re not alone.” I say. If I’m fast enough, sometimes I snatch them back and the Grim Reaper’s got to go off empty-handed. I wonder if it pisses him off when I do that.

  2. Best medical text of the year
    Write the full book-best seller for sure -we know who he is – love it

  3. Haha, thanks 🙏 🤗. I think it would have to be classed as ‘fiction’ as no one would believe the unsavoury truths 👍❤️

  4. Thank you for taking the time to comment ❤️🙏. Unfortunately yes, it certainly makes you re-evaluate your place in the world and reconsider what truly matters in life among so many obscured parallel realities 🤗

  5. Thank you for such a beautifully written and poignant response. Yes, thank you, I am in remission thanks to an excellent surgeon.

    Unfortunately, like so many others during this pandemic, I didn’t receive standard oncology care and so the future for us is even more uncertain.

    I have only just been discharged again having been monitored on a new oral chemo drug/endocrine therapy. I have a rare neuro-metabolic disease that causes hypoglycaemia, disturbs my electrolytes and major organs, and can certainly make taking medication somewhat interesting. We are still searching for the pathological pathways and in a way, the intrusive testing and unknowing is almost worse than the cancer. Hopefully there will be a positive breakthrough soon.

    I absolutely love how you are so utterly compassionate and courageous in the face of death. May you long continue to piss off the Grimm Reaper! We need more people like you in this world. You are golden ⭐️❤️

  6. True, but that is what makes valuing the positives in our lives so important, imperative even. Whenever you post those delicious recipes of yours, you are fully engaged within your own sensory experience while generously sharing that pure love and joy, and that is truly living. We appreciate you ❤️🙏

  7. A powerful piece of medicine and myths, of healers and hoaxers in a time of plague. I hope healing is going well.

  8. I will follow your journey and hope that you get the answers you need! It’s all well and good to be “special” in other people’s eyes most of the time, until you end up a medical anomaly and then being “special” sucks! I have a few medical anomalies myself. Do you have an issue with retaining salt? I have hypothyroidism and the last five times I’ve had bloodwork my sodium levels continue to be just below acceptable levels. I’m trying to add more salt, but my personality is saltier than my diet. 😉

  9. Thank you so much ❤️. Ha, there’s nothing wrong with your personality. Has your doctor ever ordered a 24 hour urine collection? This is pretty much the only way to way to determine true electrolyte readings along with serum test at end of 24hrs. I was diagnosed with a salt losing tubulopathy in regards to potassium and calcium but it’s not definitive and that Dr disappeared when I didn’t give him £60k for his charity. I am finding it close to impossible to trust or respect doctors anymore. Most of them are evil. What I do know is that you should trust your own body and keep trying to find a doctor who isn’t a complete knob and will bother to help you. What about adrenals? If you’re symptomatic with low sodium definitely make them investigate. I really hope it gets resolved and let me know! 👍🤗

  10. I’m still stuck at you searching for death in that room, I can picture the seem and imagine the stench in detail. Sorry about that experience and glad you are better now. It’s the same case with doctors in my country. They are corrupt and thrive on taking advantage. Especially when they discover a patient is in their last phases. Some hospitals have already graduated to ‘lodgings or hotels’ since they focus on profit maximization on beds rather than treatment. We as a society are to blame for the rot and need to wake up from this nightmare. Keep beating the grim and all the best.

  11. Wow, that’s an incredibly astute, honest and moving response. It’s shameful how society operates, however there are good doctors out there – but they are unfortunately few and far between. I agree with you though and can totally relate. Keep writing your wise, beautiful, and insightful posts and thanks so much for taking the time to respond to mine in such a human way ❤️👍

  12. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and for the kind comment. I’m glad you derived something positive and knew where to laugh 😆 ❤️👍

  13. just from your words, I love your spirit, hope you are doing well…

    …and thanks for visiting my blog!!!

  14. Thanks so much for such a kind and thoughtful comment. You have some excellent and well sourced articles on your blog. I just read the one on, ‘free will – an illusion?’, and it’s set me up well for a day of pondering 🤔👍❤️🤗

  15. So true. In as much as some aspects in society have taken a downward spiral, there’s still a lot of good out here. I’m humbled by your kind words, thank you so much for your appreciation and encouraging words. I’m glad I did, welcome and May peace, wellness and prosperity follow you.

  16. The way you describe this particular hell is so wonderfully written and hilarious. But this is also all kinds of vivid awful. I wish you healing, good health, no medical bureaucracy or bullshit (figurative and literal) and I hope you leave that hospital soon in good health!!

  17. Wow! This was brilliantly written and yet horrifying to read. I’m crying. You see my cancer has returned and I’m back in chemo having miserable side affects. So it was difficult to read, yet I couldn’t stop myself.
    And all I can say is “fuck off death” .
    “Fuck off cancer”.

  18. I wrote the comment above but I show up as anonymous not as Lesleykluchin. I’m not sure why.

  19. I’m really sorry to hear ❤️. If you have a good caring oncologist that you trust then that is one of the most crucial factors of your journey. They should be managing your side effects and making you as comfortable as you can be, despite how horrendous you currently feel. It is absolutely possible to prolong life with chemo and you must keep this in mind. Everybody is different. And I’m 100 percent with you – fuck off cancer and fuck off death indeed. You’ve still got some living to do and I wish you a much easier ride ❤️👍

  20. It looks like you’ve got a great oncologist – am glad to hear this. I know someone who has been on a type of chemo for 20 years and still going strong 💪🏼. Hope you feel immensely better soon ❤️

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