I didn’t get out of that bed for several days and so I was required to use a bedpan for a cardboard bottle for urination and a bedpan for poop. I did not poop a single time when I was confined to that bed.
The man in the bed opposite me was also confined to his bed. Every so often the curtains would be drawn and he would attempt a toilet break. On one occasion there was the sound of something cracking from behind the curtains. I presumed that, in climbing aboard the ceramic bedpan, it had been unable to support his weight. I hoped he hadn’t got round to actually going in it.
When I was finally able to leave my bed and go to the toilet, I produced something that was approximately 1 metre in length. I didn’t know they made toilets that big.
The dressings on my arm were changed frequently by a posse of nurses. Removing the dressing from my wounds was excruciatingly painful and I may have cried a bit. The nurses advised me to think of something funny. Like Mickey Mouse…
Seriously, Mickey Mouse! They might as well have said Charlie Chaplin, or Les Dennis, or Mrs Browns’ Boys (sorry, I know lots of people apparently find this hilarious, but even in the early nineties and doped up on morphine I couldn’t see the appeal)
The kind nurses also told me that I looked much better in the photograph on my faculty ID card, before I grew the beard.
Ah, my beautiful beard. A beard that I had been planning to grow ever since I was a small child and two people who I looked up to enormously were blessed with beards.
(On a side issue, I just typed 'Rubbish Beard' into Google - that image above if from my 'Amish Beard' search. On the first page of results there are 6 results directly relating to Doctor Who - including these two...
This beard was a colossal disappointment to me but I clung on to it for months and months convinced that at some point it would become a real beard. It did not. Eventually after several months I went into the university dining room and asked if I should shave it off.
I went back to my room and immediately started hacking at it with scissors until it got to a point where my razor could get through it. One day the beard shall come back. Yes! It shall come back. Until then there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties.
But it will probably only come back when I am too infirm or lazy to continue shaving. It looked bloody awful.