We all tend to take good health for granted. Yet we’re all just a heartbeat away from ending up in the Emergency Room, if truth be told. And it’s only when nature pulls the rug from under our feet, that we tend to remember this sobering thought. In July 2010, Steve Rudd, middle-aged, nondescript, writer, publisher and digital print specialist, fell seriously, suddenly ill, and was admitted to his local hospital for surgery to correct a perforated bowel. Despite nearly dying, he recovered, to spend the next six months in hospital, struggling to regain the ability to walk, and ending up by finding out something nasty about his genetic makeup that he would probably rather not have known. In that time, he also faced a different struggle, to continue to try and make ends meet from his hospital bed, stop his own business disintegrating around his ears, and fulfil the commercial promises and obligations he’d made to various people before he keeled over.
This book chronicles that struggle, in all its undignified, minute, day-by day detail; the bowels are probably one of the most unromantic and seldom-acknowledged areas of the human body, yet they are as vital to your continued well-being as your heart, your lungs, your brain or your liver.
"Some people would say that some of the things I have written are probably `too much information’”, says Steve, "But there’s an important point here; when it comes to your health, is there ever really such a thing as `too much’ information? I hope that by writing this book it might demonstrate to other people in the same situation what might happen to them, and help them keep a humorous perspective on things. I also wrote it to pay tribute, in my own weird way, to the NHS,which, for all its supposed faults, was there for me when it counted, and which saved my life. Maybe by chronicling some of the stuff that people working in hospitals have to put up with, while they strive to perform daily miracles, it might help to make discussion on the NHS, and our attitude to it, a little more informed.”
In this funny, brave, candid, unflinching, warts-and-all account, Steve Rudd describes what it is like to be taken seriously ill, (though not taken seriously!) and to go through the NHS machinery, from admission to surgery to recovery to physiotherapy and rehab. At a time when the NHS is at the forefront of the political agenda in the UK, one man’s experience, while not necessarily typical, might yet throw some new light on the debate about what we expect from a universal health service, free to all.
This title is also available in e-pub format direct from Lulu.com at £3.99, by following the link below