I'll tell you what. They don't mess about at the Largs Medical Centre. Casualty, eat your heart out.

There I was, in an appointment with a nurse to take blood samples, and the next thing I knew I was heading for a ward at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Jings, crivens, help ma boab, as Oor Wullie used to say. OK, so I wasn't in an ambulance with blue flashing lights and sirens. However, I hadn't been in a hospital bed since I was a boy with a plaster on my leg (no keyhole surgery in ancient times).

Apparently, my 'ketones' were giving my nurse palpitations, and she consulted a doctor about my osmotics. (In lay language, the fluid coming out of my cells was more than what was going in...as I understand it.)

A combination of these medical terms, a complication of a diabetic condition where you burn fat and waste muscle (I know, madam, too much information), resulted in Emergency Ward 10 in Greenock.

I used to think that the A&E department was where you went to fix the alphabet but, despite having a letter from the doctor, there I was in the waiting area, just waiting.

Eventually I was taken to a room where needles were stuck into me willy-nilly. In fact, by the time I left hospital I felt like a human pin cushion. A jab well done.

There was then more waiting in A&E until a bed was found for me, and up we went in the Inverclyde elevator to a ward. Now, I know I don't look compos mentis sometimes, but it's obviously an age thing when a young nurse insisted that I tell her the name of the months backwards!  And yes, sir, I managed...eventually.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Inverclyde Royal HospitalInverclyde Royal Hospital

More waiting till a real live doctor appeared and, as I lay on the bed, she prodded me, asked me if I drank (silly question) and announced that I would be kept in overnight for more tests.

"Can you describe the symptoms?" she asked. I replied that Marge has blue hair and Homer is fat and bald. "No, your symptoms."

However, in a twist to the plot, a wheelchair was summoned and I was whisked away downwards to the X-ray department. I'm no spring chicken but, as a keen walking footballer and geriatric jogger, I could have made my way down in the lift. Apparently, though, that's not allowed for an old fogey such as me.

The hospital porter, who wasn't keen to engage in conversation, left me, in my wheelchair, outside the X-ray department where I waited, and waited some more. This was a bit annoying as the X-ray department was deathly quiet. Perhaps they had a skeleton staff (joke). Anyway, they saw right through me (another joke).

And, yes, I was left waiting again in a corridor, with not another soul in sight, until I asked a passing 'porter' to take me back to the upstairs ward. The same doctor took a sound scan of my chest and other internal parts.

You'll be impressed to hear that I spent the next hour lying on the bed, writing this column. Again, I had to ask one of the numerous nurses what was happening.

Eventually, the female doctor, who was about to finish her shift, came back to say she had spoken to a consultant and I wasn't getting a bed after all. I was given an anti-diabetic drug and a prescription.

Incidentally, I am not complaining, as I reckoned I was given a medical MOT in the five hours in hospital. It's a pity that my good lady, who had driven back to Largs two hours before, had to make another return trip to pick me up from a, by now, deserted hospital ground floor, where I was, that's right, waiting some more.

Decades of bags of jelly babies and chocolate bars - surely not the red wine - have caught up with me.

But as for the waiting....is that why we're called patients?

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Thought for the Week: Understand that you own nothing; everything that surrounds you is temporary. Only the love in your heart will last forever.

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As recently as a decade ago, if someone had suggested that the top of the island of Cumbrae would be covered in solar panels, you would have dismissed the notion as a sci-fi scenario.

But despite opposition from islanders, and a rejection of the plan by North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish SNP-Green government has given the ultra-high-tech firm Comsol permission for its solar farm on Wee Minnemoer after independent Reporter Stephen Hall accepted "the extensive environmental information" provided by the company.

It is further proof that in the mad rush to unattainable net zero emissions, anything that smacks of green energy is almost certain to be given the stamp of approval. 

In the run-up to the General Election, both Conservative and Labour are now stepping back from the 2050 target and colossal green budgets. Whether it be electric cars, heat pumps or oil and gas reductions, the cheap political promises are already proving too expensive to put into practice.