‘When can I
escape go home?’ I asked my consultant.
In case anyone has forgotten, I’d been in Twelve Days before The Operation.
‘Oh, the next day, Wednesday. Just need to sort it with physio,’ he smiled happily. Nowt to do with him once he’d finished incising and screwing.
I asked a fave nurse. ‘Maybe Thursday,’ he said cautiously.
This was now looking more like Friday. I couldn’t bear another weekend. Let alone a full week.
On Wednesday I was knackered. There is something about having a GA and being cut open in two places and being screwed together and stapled up that doesn’t leave you feeling on top of the world less than 24 hours later. I hoped physio had forgotten about me.
First a porter turned up just when lunch had been served around one o’clock. ‘I’ve come to take you to X-ray,’ he smiled.
I smiled back. ‘I’ve just got my lunch. No.’ I think that was clear. So did he. He disappeared. It was the first decent meal post op. Lunch was never warm at the best of times. Forty five mins or so down and up to X-ray? Would my lunch even still be there?
Patients, you have a choice and a voice. There is nothing wrong with saying, I am having lunch, come back later.
An hour later a different porter arrived. I condescended to be taken to X-ray. I came back and settled back into bed.
But the dreaded physio turned up with a sidekick. I have noticed staff seem to do this. Is this for when pesky patients get assertive? Do we get a chance to have a sidekick?
Did I want to shake a leg? Not really. I wanted to lie in my comfy bed and sleep off all the crap.
I got out and hopped around with the frame. ‘Good, good, very good.’ Vomit. ‘You’ve done so well.’ Double vomit.
‘We’ll come back tomorrow.’ I’m hardly going anywhere.
Thursday’s excitement was to be crutches.
A hop and a skip and …
I can recommend not trying to hop on crutches with a damaged wrist (I’d had to remind physio to bring a wrist brace as they’d forgotten) and a shaky ankle. Even moreso, do NOT try steps. Steps are a nightmare.
I crutched to the doorway. One physio followed me, with his hand on my back, the other followed with a wheelchair for me to fall into.
Regardless of my upper body strength, or lack of, what no one seemed to remember is that I had one decent limb, the right wrist. The right ankle was strained/sprained/twisted, as was the left wrist. So I’m trying to hop on the dodgy right ankle, carry the plastered left leg, and use two crutches, with only one serviceable wrist. It goes without saying it wasn’t a success.
But we went for the big one. Steps. There are twenty steps up to my flat. No lift. In two flights of ten. The hospital steps were in elevens. Near enough.
Now when I was a kid, physio meant practising on little steps in a big physio hall. Not real live steps you could fall down. But back when I was a kid, I had proper crutches. Nice wooden ones, you stuck them under your arm, grabbed them with your hand, and your chest supported you. Not your dodgy wrist.
I was wheeled to the stairs. After a superhuman effort, gripping the hand rail with both hands, I finally hopped up ONE step. I was exhausted. Then I had to hop back down again before, I could collapse into the chair.
‘Do you want to go up another step? Do you want to try again?’
The words whirred around. I wanted to go back to bed, and escape home. Somehow.
Why would a 50+ woman who had been bed-ridden for two weeks, had GA and double incision, with a heavy plaster, plus damaged wrist and ankle, be able to hop up and down 11 stairs the day after her op?
Back in bed, we agreed I was not good on crutches or stairs. Hellish clever these physios. I promised not to attempt the stairs if only he would let me go home.
He wasn’t convinced. He couldn’t come back over the weekend, but the following week we could do some exercises. Oh no. I would be in hospital for another two weeks, for a few minutes a day of physio.
The one remaining feeble roughseas foot went down. Home. Tomorrow. Patient Transport (PTS) to take me home and up the steps and I would remain incarcerated in my flat. Better food, a Podenco to jump on my bad leg, and the internet.
At some point in my woozy dreams I remember my consultant saying give her a wheelchair if she can’t use crutches. Irrelevant, wouldn’t fit in the flat or go up the stairs.
Physio agreed to come and see me on Friday morning for another check and a hop. He didn’t, although, he sent someone else. Well, a pair of course. Either way, by then, I had told everyone I was being discharged.
Consultant, medic, staff nurse, pill-dispensing nurse, anyone who came within reach was informed I was going home. And not at tea-time. Get me home at lunchtime. And – they did.
But, I had to return the following week for a check-up. ‘I want to see you personally,’ said my surgeon. Groan.
I tried to throw it for the week after, and he agreed. He came back later. ‘I’m on holiday.’ The following week it was.
‘Get PTS sorted for that date,’ I snarled.
After 15 days I finally felt fresh air, wind, and sun on my face. The staff were moaning about the wind but after two weeks of aircon, to me it was wonderful.
So by lunchtime on Friday, I had swapped my hospital bed for sofa in the flat. The views were different. No spectacular Gib views, just home and my boys. The food was better. And I had a computer … Of which more shortly.
I missed the Davros chair. I counted the number of hops to the toilet. And back. Total of 30. The bed – yes we had a bed now – was a non-starter. Too many skips to the loo my darling, plus the Podenco has a habit of leaping around and walking on me during the night.
The bed. Partner had taken advantage of my absence to varnish it up in darker oak, and put it together. Bet he hadn’t swept and mopped before he did it. [ETA. I have been informed he did and I MUST correct this aspersion on his clean character immediately – and – don’t let your partner read your blog posts]. Not my worry for now, but sweeping and mopping under beds in tight space is NOT easy.
So, I appropriated the sofa. Easy-going Pippa lay under his table den. Hyper Podenco jumped all over me on the sofa. Without wifi, I could write on the laptop, but needed to hop to the bedroom, contort myself into a silly position to connect to the internet.
After a weekend of that I bit the bullet. The Keeper of the Purse authorised purchase of wifi and … an iPad.
I’ve been nagged to buy wifi for years. When we first bought Gibflat, they didn’t provide domestic customers with wifi. They provided a modem, included for free with connection.
Trouble was, they weren’t catering for Apple clients and Hal and the modem refused to speak to each other. In the end, the engineer salvaged a demo router he’d used recently, and gave me that. It finally worked with Hal.
Sometime later, my neighbour told me she had wifi. I rang Gibtel to ask if I could swap. Sure. £70. Typical. Why does being ahead of the game mean you lose out? I did not want to spend £70 when I had a serviceable ADSL line.
Every time the subject came up, the roughseas foot stamped, and said, ‘when the router packs up’.
But an interminable six weeks on the sofa, no internet, and, I gave in. As well as the wifi nag, I’ve been hassled to get a new laptop, so I figured an iPad was a cheap solution.
I wrote out a list of questions for partner to ask at the shops regarding price, compatibility etc.
He returned from Morrisons. Via GibTel. Smirking.
‘Got the wifi’ he proclaimed. Without instructions and permission? My heart sank.
‘Free. And set up ready to go.’
Hmmm. How come? Seemed that back when we got the router it was never logged as it wasn’t new and they couldn’t provide us with a connection otherwise. So – free wifi router appeared. Partner was well chuffed. But iPads were dear at Gibtel. I rang our local Apple store. Yes, they had what I wanted. Discount for cash? Yes. Piffling, but hey £12 is £12. I sent him off with the readies and he was back with my new toy in no time. Two toys in one day?!
Since when I have been glued to HalPad.
The delights of an iPad
And, I even found decent TV. Or maybe it’s better at home. Downloaded BBC player and ITV player. Forget ITV as unobtainable outside UK. But BBC had some interesting ones.
Some time ago, a blogger, I forget who, mentioned foreign drama and I recognised Wallander. Beautiful light, scenery, interesting, and different. When BBC Scotland produced an English version with Kenneth Branagh, Scottish author Ian Rankin complained about the preference for a Scandinavian author over good Scottish ones.
A neighbour once said to me, nationalism is close to fascism (national socialism anyone?) Don’t we need a balance between embracing new and different cultures as well as promoting our own?
I enjoyed the Swedish version of Wallander, even though there were a few flaky points in the plots. It did inspire me to read up about Sweden’s neutral status and incursions into their waters by Russian and US subs. I’ve not seen the BBC Scotland version. Sometimes the old ones are the best ones.
But moving on with patriotism and two more crime dramas, one set in Wales (Partner’s country) and one set in Yorkshire – my birthplace, and, when are we going to get home rule for Yorkshire?
Hinterland, set around Aberystwyth, (insert singsong accent), was moody, atmospheric and had fantastic scenery. Some episodes were better than others, but overall well worth a watch. Interesting to see when the detectives got things beautifully wrong, and the superintendent’s desire to suck around important people in the local community brought home the lessons of power and influence.
Finally my fave. Happy Valley. Sounds Welsh but is actually West Riding. Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, the west part of the West Riding that approaches Lancashire.
A police drama centring around a sergeant whose daughter was raped, died, but left a son behind who the 47-year-old grandma sergeant now brings up with her formerly junkie sister. If that sounds dire, it’s not. There is loads of dry humour and plenty of action around a kidnapping plot. It’s hard and gritty and addictive. After happily watching three episodes one day, I looked for the fifth one. Noooo! I had to wait for the following Tuesday.
Got to give HV 4.5 to 5 out of five. The other two are 3.7 to 4 something.
It was a busy week. In fact I was so busy watching drama that I forgot to ring and ask about a proxy for the EU election in a few days. We’d received brochures from UKIP, Tories, Libs, and Greens. Greens didn’t mention Gib. Libs had managed to get Gib into EUFA. Tories and UKIP were anti-Europe. UKIP pointed out that 4000 people entered the UK every week from Europe to live, the daily cost of EU membership was £55 mill and that the annual cost was £165 bill. Or something like that as I threw the leaflet out. It reminded me of the extortionate block charges from a former managing agency we had. We threw them out. Perhaps that’s why UKIP gained votes. No one likes to be hit in the pocket without seeing something for their money. It isn’t always about racism.
Next up: theatres on clouds, and outpatients on here.
Hyper Podenco on guard