Tick followed tock followed tick followed tock

T-0 - Delhi

My bandages were fresh, discharge set for 2PM and we waited. At 3 my consultant bade us au revoir and we were free but for the small matter of a large bill. A bill that in it's compilation took longer than The Domesday Book. First it was a two hour wait (incredulity) then another hour (incensement), wars have lasted less time. Indian efficiency and mindless, box-ticking beadledom was set to 11 and suddenly an extra hour on top of the 700ish already spent in the Apollo Hospital, Delhi seemed intolerable. We threatened (and nearly effected) a walkout which, credit to Indian resolve, speeded the process not one bit. I feel in hindsight and looking at the 37 page document that eventually arrived that the problem lay partially with the communication of the complexities of the task. How on earth the hospital accounted for 955 individual items on that bill I shall never know. From the syringe (7.7 rupees) and it's needle (3.1 rupees) to it's contents and the gloves the Doctor wore to do the injection, everything was here. It might have been easier to charge me for bandages by the mile. This gargantuan compendium could have been readied for the discharge time and the staff's intonations of "protocol, protocol" merely served to goad us further. But I am glad I can flick through it now with faint curiosity rather than mounting horror as I read the final page and it's total of 1,112,017.00 rupees (or about 15 grand in Britisher monies). I have also been issued with reams of documentation and X-rays (a hypochondriac's dream) done during my stay. Illuminating reading that reminded me of the (minor) brain haemorrhage I suffered during the fall and apprised me of the fact I have Spina Bifida in my S1 vertebrate, ho hum.
Suddenly I found myself sitting in a hotel bar wearing normal clothes and drinking a cold beer. My great, white swaddled leg allowed no fancy that the past month had all been a dream but certainly my world had altered once again. It was all taken in one's initial stride though and it is only later, now, at this ungodly hour of the morning that I contemplate my....unsettledness. No sleep has been had, the air con is too cold, too noisy, the pillows too soft, too different. Everything is too different and I am trying not to loathe it. One month in a hospital and I am institutionalised, oh dear. Suddenly I feel more invalided than I ever did at the hospital and am playing quite the mewling infant it appears. The outside world seems to leak in through every gap in the door and every chink in the curtains. Only now when everything sleeps do I feel buffeted by it and unprotected from it's uncaring bustle. I need rest really, my thoughts are piqued and contorted. These sleep-deprived entries never want for hyperbole though they do, I fear, for lucidity. Yes rest perhaps before I start screaming 'put me back!'

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