Anyone who has had to suffer a prolonged stay in hospital knows that a visit from the nearest and dearest is absolutely vital. One, to keep up the moral and two, to return you to a normal person after the onslaught of institutionalisation that comes with being ill and in the care of others. Today, although i’ve had visitors in the previous days, I’m inundated with those closest to me and it’s a godsend.
The passage of the day was difficult as everyone is emotional and as serious as my condition is I’m petrified of giving them more to worry about. So it’s a case of “putting a brave face on” and smiling. So when all the hubbub dies down the smile vanishes and the books they’ve bought me lie unread and I’m coming down hard. That descent is not made easier by the opening ceremony of the Euro championships which don’t include England. Thanks to the useless Steve McClaren. What all England fans will remember is the umberella and I’m trying to think of a metaphor for my condition but am struggling to find one.
The evening closes with me doing my exercises on my hand with frustration being the winner. My arm and hand stubbornly refuse to move and as I strain and strain the cramps in my leg begin. Eventually when I’m exhausted to the point of tears I give up.
I fall asleeep to await another day, and maybe another set of frustartions
In hospital everything is a routine and once you get your head around it you begin to realise what institutionalised means. My stomach began quite quickly to get a pattern around hospital meal-times. This was strange as I’ve always had a difficult relationship with food, and the rigidity was awful at first.
At 10 every day, it’s physio time. Today the aim is to stand up again and it’s so hard. My knee wont lock and its a struggle to keep my balance complicated by a light headedness that I’ve experienced since my stroke came. However after some time it begins to get easier and I whoop with delight as I rise from a standing position and stand up un-aided.
This joy is short lived as I realise how tired I am and that this effort must be paid for. It’s hard to explain but the mere fact of standing has exhausted me. I was an active guy so getting used to standing up and being exhausted is really dis-orientating, in addition to the fat that I still cannot move my arm or hand. However my chat to the Emma my physio is greeted with a “one day at a time” cliche and I’m taken back to my bed and I can rest while I wait for the tea trolly which appear at 11.00 am on the dot!!!!
As I gently nod off I begin to realise that for someone who used to be a social work manager, I’ve just been cheered by the revelation that I’ve just learnt how to stand up. My life is truely upside down.