This is the one I’ve been dreading because the first one is just what happened and a recount is something you can’t really get wrong. Also being the person I am and not wanting to stop because I want to let people know what is going on. So much to tell and so little energy! I will start with the first few nights in my new home away from home. It may be all over the shop as although I know this shouldn’t be a burden being the perfectionist I am I Want to get it written as quickly as possible so it is still fresh. This blog started after one of the many unsavoury moments I have had in here since the first night. Texting Beth which has also made me reminisce about when we first got together and couldn’t stop snap chatting even though we had nothing to say has made me realise even more that she is the most incredible person I know and I am so lucky to be able to have her in my life. I knew before I came in that I was an appreciative person for what my life contained and I will continue to do that with even more gusto moving forward. Ask Beth about how many times I used to say “This is great isn’t it!” And hopefully she will back me up.
Which brings me to the unsavoury part because that was all quite lovely. So there I was, sat up in the chair waiting for another rehab session potentially on the shoulder after some more squatting and walking from this morning before low and behold the great surge of I’m going to wee myself comes over me and my bottle work which has improved dramatically was too slow to react hence leaving me sat in my chair with wee dribbling everywhere (I have to add at this point I went for the bottle on the table and held it underneath the dripping chair). I had previously in the day tried being a hero and raising myself up enough with my good arm before pulling my Bideford shorts down enough to be able to get Roger the todger out and into the open cardboard bottle lid that resembles something like a cast for a dog’s damaged paw as my cousin Chris so eloquently put it – however in doing this I smashed back down into the chair and donked the bad elbow on the chair arm. A mini setback that is a recurring theme throughout the long days in here but they don’t get me down too much because I know that there is always a way around a problem like that. Photo below to provide more to the imagination not that anyone needs to be thinking about Roger anymore. So off I go into the shower which is a relief because it stops me smelling like an old man for at least half an hour.
So back to the first night, and for any of you film lovers out there many a minute was spent staring at my toe like Uma Thurman in the opening of Kill Bill shouting ‘wiggle your big toe’ in my brain. To snap me out of this, doctors and nurses were coming in to my cubicle with their COVID masks on meaning all I could do was stare into their eyes/soul. One of the first visits was to check my swallowing ability as, for the previous hour I had been sucking on a wet sponge stuck to the end of a lolly stick. In the test they offered me a banana which I proceeded to gobble up in no time at all. Mini victory… nil by mouth no more! What a relief after smelling the lunches waft through a few hours earlier.
Whirring around my brain throughout all of this was how potentially I could be at home if only I’d taken the medication suggested by the doctors. The reason I had stopped taking the aspirin I was prescribed was, initially, due to the fact I was bruising after every football game and then just because I got lazy and didn’t chase up my prescriptions. I was put on this medication about a year ago after having 3 TIAs in the space of a brief 15 minutes (mini strokes) and with subsequent testing, which lasted over a year, they found a hole in my heart – which had been there since birth. It was only a month ago I had arranged to have the surgery to close the gap done over the summer holidays (to avoid interfering with term time). I will never know whether this would have prevented the stroke however it is something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life – the uncertainty – which has been tough to come to terms with. However a small glimmer of hope was that the doctors said it may not have stopped the stroke from happening in the first place because it was so big.
Back to my cubicle and the fear of loneliness and dependency on others kicked in as my bowels started to rumble like on the morning of the event. People that know me will know this is a normal occurrence. Apologies to readers who may be squeamish with details of lavatorial events! Beckoning the nurse via the call button after my 1 banana meant the time had come again. However knowing my surroundings – I just couldn’t let it go. So they proceeded to bring in the bed pan of doom and hoist me onto it. Obviously the urge was not sufficient or it could have been my bony coccyx causing me unrivalled pain and preventing me from filling said pan. So an awkward discussion followed with one of the many undervalued and criminally understaffed nurses to lift me back off the pan and into my itchy bed (not itchy because of the sheets but my inability to wiggle and scratch – the privilege of any human on the planet pre stroke).
It was at this point, to add to the worry of not being able to empty my bowels, I realised a contraption on both my legs was pumping away squeezing my calves and quads. I would later find out that these were DVT leg pumps to increase circulation in my non-mobile legs. They would become an ongoing nuisance throughout the nights in hospital.
I’m not sure how to finish this one but here it goes. Credit to Bryan for the idea of a blog (who knew it would blow up like this). And finally to Beth for giving me some respite from typing as this blog post was finished at home in the comfort of my armchair. Don’t worry though there is a lot more hospital content to come over the next few blogs although I can’t promise it will involve less toilet humour.