Diary of a sick black woman: part 2

Another morning and I’m awoken by the breakfast trolley. I ask for my usual two white toast and red jam. Yes, all thoughts of Slimming World are firmly out of the window at this point. It’s a different guy on this morning and he asks what I mean by red jam. I thought it was self explanatory – any jam that can be described as red or near red. This includes, but is not limited to Strawberry, Raspberry, Mixed Fruit and Blackcurrant. It excludes Apricot Jam, Marmalade, Marmite and any other weird spread you might want to offer me.

I’ve been here at the hospital lying in the bed and I am still unable to walk. My first morning here I was giving a bed bath. Yes people bed baths are real! The funny thing is the HCA actually made my bed while I was in it now that is a skill. It happened so fast I had a double take moment. What? When?…..

My second day I was put on a shopping cart and wheeled into the bathroom in order to have my shower and that was fine that was great, but later on that day I was determined to get some independence. I had asked the nursing staff on the ward to help me to try to walk. I was told they are not allowed to do this in case I slipped and hurt myself. This had to be left to the physiotherapist. As much as I understood I was still frustrated and being bed bound and I wanted to try to walk but I had been in bed since my operation on Thursday. I happened to see the visitor for one of my neighbours use a wheelchair in order to take her for a walk. Not the normal hospital wheelchairs with the little wheels that have to be pushed. But this was a real wheelchair with big wheels that I could use myself. I was practically salivating. I asked to borrow the wheelchair once they were no longer using it.

It was bought to me at some point in the afternoon. It took me awhile to be brave enough to try and get into the chair. I already had my walking stick which I could use to get myself up but taking any steps was causing me pain. I managed to get myself up and into the chair – actual victory. Now, until you actually use a wheelchair there are some things that you just don’t know. For example putting in a dressing gown over your hospital gown is not going to help the breeze blowing up between your legs. Also, slip-on slippers are not a good idea because when they fall off you have to ask passers-by to get them for you. Sadly, it takes a lot of energy to get yourself anywhere. I was really proud of myself being able to get to the lifts and do a little turn in order to press the buttons and go downstairs. I was not so proud when I went outside for fresh air and ended up on a slope. Note to self do not use your mobile without the wheelchair brakes on, on a slope, in front of a pole. This will end in disaster.

Luckily I didn’t hurt myself . So I managed to end the day feeling proud that I have mastered (and I use the term loosely) the use of the wheelchair and had a bit of independence and that lifted my spirits. Unfortunately, I’d had no further clarification as to why the procedure I had which was meant to relieve my pain had only caused me more pain. I’m in a position now where I am constantly in pain, different levels of pain and if it becomes too much I have to take more medication and then I’m asleep. I need to find a functional balance. They need to balance my medication. But all in all it is been an OK day I’ve had my share of visitors from church, family and friends full. Everybody brings food. And I mean real food. Flasks of chicken soup roast chicken wrapped in foil, KFC, steamed cabbage and rice the list is endless. I think I’m going to come out of here looking like a beached whale! So as I put my sleep mask on and end another day I wonder what tomorrow will bring. There’s not many things that differ while in hospital. My 6 bed ward is pretty transient so you never know who’s going to be here when you wake up. Maybe that will be tomorrows surprise. Or maybe I’ll have the corn beef sandwich instead of a chicken mayonnaise and sweetcorn, you never know. We will just wait and see.

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