Following the fantastic and unpredictable course that is life, I have had a lovely couple of days. It started when A took the afternoon off work on Thursday, meaning that I went to sleep Wednesday night knowing Thursday would just be better. The morning was quite tough as I was in a lot of pain and had trouble getting on top of it, but once we got the right dose of morphine I was comfortable enough to go down for Xray, and it showed that with suction back on the lung is nice and inflatey again. Consequently, and due to bad behaviour the minute anyone’s back is turned, naughty lung remains on suction over the weekend – the medical equivalent of being placed on the naughty step for an extended “time out”.
Whilst he was here I spent a good deal of the time conked out dozing (he is such a patient man) but I was just so much more relaxed and it was lovely to spend a decent length of time together. I don’t tend to be soppy on this blog so I will simply say I would gladly swap my lifetime supply of sweetiebobbles, glitz, and all things pink to get back to our little house. At least I am constantly reminded of just how amazingly lucky and happy I am in my home situation as too often it is easy to take these things (and people) for granted.
Yesterday I had one of my favourite hospital pastimes, which is having my hair washed. Obviously depending on how well I am alters how this is done, and some of the methods are most ingenious, an example being the one employed at present due to chest drain restricting movement quite severely. They have the most marvelous and high-tech contraption here which is essentially a plastic bowl with a bit U shaped lip on a stand, so you can raise it to fit round your neck, then there is a hole in the bottom with a nice piece of elephant tubing which feeds into a sharps bin (ah, resourceful). This hair-o-matic2000 (or whatever they may call it) is superb for someone like me who is currently restricted to about 3 ft from my bedside therefore reaching a shower head is out of the question.
I am a very physical and tactile person, when I was at my most unwell and couldn’t really talk or move much I would gesture to have someone just rubbing my feet or stroking my hair, and apparently you could see the physiological changes in elements such as my heart and respiratory rate. I think this may stem slightly from the amazing care I had when I was in hospital at birth; I had an operation at one day old and on the special baby unit, timetabled in amongst the feeds and antibiotics and so on was “cuddles” – an actual prescribed and time allotted activity. Most important for thriving I am sure anyone would agree, although consequently I have remained highly cuddly and needy ever since. Living in a very affectionate family at home this is not an issue. When you are in hospital not only is it rare (due to it probably being against hospital policy for a doctor to come in and throw their arms around you) but impractical, as chest drains and various other implements do not take kindly to being squished by my mothers overenthusiastic hugs. So something as simple as this salon style experience (and let’s face it girls who doesn’t like having their hair washed for them!) becomes a highly relaxing, therapeutic and luxurious one, and I would strongly argue for any case study which looks into the benefits of some such complimentary treatment (head massage, reflexology or similar) being beneficial to inpatients. The whole hair washing experience was great fun; at one point I had three people in here assisting me, Diva to the extreme as surely even Mariah Carey herself doesn’t have that privilege.
I also had my first appointment with the psychologist here, who I found very friendly and am confident that she is going to be most helpful. The best sign being she wanted to listen to what I want to say and also what I want to do about it - sometimes I think professionals aren’t that keen on the fact I have a plan of action (there may be slight control freak traits here, stop those unsurprised and naughty faces you in the back who know me too well) in mind already as they feel their job is being done somewhat but she seemed eager to simply expand and work on this. This blog is already far too long so I shall expand on attempted retention of marbles at a later date. That afternoon of examining huge questions about life, existence and inner fears was nicely topped off when - feeling somewhat philosophical and learned - I discovered another one of life’s all important lessons; that balancing a plastic cup on the bed whilst pouring from your black water jug one-handedly (which are amusingly heavy seeing as they are designed for weak hospital persons like myself) inevitably ends up in an ice cold and surprising disaster. How much there is to learn in the world.
This morning brought another episode of excitement when I discovered that the private patient room down the corridor which has a balcony (well ok, bit of fire escape that you can fit a chair on, your idea of balcony may vary from ours) is not occupied this weekend. Putting on my best pleady face, I asked if I could go and sit in the sunshine just for a bit, because as mother would say, the fresh air and change of scenery would do me the world of good. Lovely helpful staff quickly assembled to form my entourage required when I need to leave my room, mobilized me plus multiple gadgets down the corridor and got me settled. I sat outside, 3 floors up so level with most of the roofs and trees, closed my eyes with the sunlight on my face and it was just gorgeous. Read for a while, and then some lovely friends came to visit, and obligingly sat down on the floor of said balcony so I didn’t have to retire back to the room, and sat and gossiped in the sunshine and had a really good giggle. The return journey was most amusing, I wish I had had a video camera as I would upload it on the blog (obviously with camera would come sudden innate knowledge of how to do such a thing). My entourage consisted on return journey of 6 people – my friends plus two nurses and then me waving merrily, and we made our way slowly along the corridor in some kind of bizarre, slow and stately procession. I suggested a sing song as we filed down the corridor but for some reason that idea wasn't jumped upon with enthusiasm, can’t think why. As a result of this increasingly common Diva-esque behaviour, I am now seriously contemplating the necessity of purchasing ridiculously oversized sunglasses (in style of Nicole Richie or similar) and insisting on wearing them wherever I go. The look is everything sweedie dahhling.