Friday 8th July 2005
So begins my temporary incarceration. I'm bed bound and even have difficulty getting out of the bed and into a chair that is beside me. This is because I only have the use of one good arm and one good leg. I'm given a single crutch by the PT team and am shown how to balance and hop. I feel decidedly unsure of this manoeuvre because I feel like I've had a major skinful of booze when standing up - everything just spins. This is probably because I haven't stood up since the accident and have spent the last two weeks flat on my back. It is a weird and not very nice feeling.
So now the PT team have started on me with avengeance. OMG - these people have a fearsome reputation for inflicting pain on very vulnerable people and they SMILE while they twist, pull and prod and they only stop talking when you interrupt them with your own screams, whimpers and crying lol. Their reputation precedes them and after each torture session, I think to myself that the reputation is well earnt.
I'm lucky in one sense in that I have a good range of movement in my busted leg and pain wise it's not giving me major problems which is one thing to be relieved about. Another bonus is that the PT exercises I'm given to strengthen the leg are fairly easy for me to carry out. All those years of karate training and leg stretches have obviously helped me here lol.
The shoulder, however, is in a different league altogether, and each PT session puts me on a one way journey to Pain Central. Even with the painkillers, the pain in my shoulder is so intense that the initial gentle PT exercises (and they ARE gentle - I don't really mean what I said about the PT people, they do a fantastic job) pretty much make me cry without fail.
No gain without pain as the old saying goes.
So I settle into a cycle of eating, sleeping (hah! that's a joke), reading, watching tv, popping pills, making phone calls and having injections in the pin cushion that is called my tummy (heparin which is an anti-coagulant as I'm bed bound). The best part of the day is getting washed and changed in the morning. Ok, so the nurses are doing it for me, but the refreshed feeling after washing is fantastic.
My discharge date from hospital is delayed because of the fact that I can't get about reliably. My OS is unhappy to let me go until I can get about on the one leg and crutch reasonably well. There's also the problem that I cannot do stairs which is a big problem as my bedroom is upstairs at home. Nearer to my discharge date, I have to hurriedly make arrangements to buy a new bed and mattress and my parents then have to convert the dining room downstairs into a makeshift bedroom which will be where I spend virtually all my time when I get home.
I end up spending nearly 3 weeks in hospital and with the one week I spent in Ashford, makes a total of 1 month in hospital. It seems difficult to grasp, especially as the time ticks by so slowly. Literally.
So with the added issue of spending so much time by myself, I alternate between feeling optimistic and calm, and then hitting rock bottom and crying uncontrollably. The nursing staff are wonderful and sympathetic and some of them come in to see me just to talk even when I don't need anything doing. One of the nurses even offers to take me outside in a wheelchair so that I can get some fresh air. It is the most amazing thing that I have experienced, just being outside in the fresh warm air of a lovely summers day. Like all good things, tho, it doesn't last long as I have my leg down which starts to hum and throb after about 10-15 minutes.
I'm given a discharge date of the 20th July 2005 and then immediately turn my attention to worrying about how I will cope at home which now seems like a army assault course compared to the safety and comfort of the hospital. I decide that I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it as I have enough to worry about with my injuries.