So far, two weeks in hospital, and three operations. I was weaned off oxygen. I came off the morphine pump and onto a slow release tablet form of morphine. The ribs still hurt like buggery and hiccups were a particularly special nightmare. “Hic, ow ribs. Hic, ow ribs. Hic, ow ribs”…..
This was the week that I started getting visitors in abundance. My friend Stewart drove a ridiculously long way and had drawn me an amazing picture of David Tennant. Work colleagues snuck in outside visiting hours, and I got to wear actual pyjamas rather than a hospital gown. I’d not actually worn the gowns, rather just draped them over me, because it was so warm still. I developed some kind of rash which I’m convinced was a sweat rash (sexy huh?). I had different doctors pondering this rash, but still kept insisting it had to be a sweat rash.
This was also the week that I finally wore PANTS. I’d not worn any since they were cut off me at the scene of the crash. I still ask myself if it was necessary to cut everything off. Much to my eldest daughter’s horror, I was indeed naked by the road. In Katie’s words “well that’s embarrassing”. To be honest, I didn’t give a shit about being naked in the road. Oh to be 12 and embarrassed about such things! A colleague and I hatched the plan to make getting pants on easier – when you’ve got a rather attractive leg cage on, these things are challenging to say the least. So Rachel thought Velcro-pants would be ideal. And then discovered a whole new world online that she never realised existed. In the end, we concluded that tie-side bikini bottoms were the solution, and now I have enough pairs to have a decent continental holiday and have a different pair of bikini bottoms for a good bit of topless sunbathing every day.
I had showers this week. They were amazing after a fortnight of bed baths. I got up and walked with the gutter frame. I couldn’t bear weight on my wrist but it was important that I got up and got walking. I walked across the ward – awesome! I walked to the nurses station and back. And the words “moving to rehab” started being bandied about. And the timing of this was for the following week. What?! Was this not ambitious?? How could I go to rehab when I could just manage to walk to the nurses station and back?? The thought terrified me, and yet the referral had been made the week before!
I was also still having some issues with foot drop on my left foot. I’d come out of theatre with a bandage around my foot and tied on to my frame. It was discovered that this had caused some problems on the side of my foot, and we started investigating many other ways of preventing foot drop. The net result of the bandage was a couple of pressure sores that caused a lot of discomfort as well as causing problems with how we could prevent my foot from dropping. I couldn’t pull my foot up myself yet – even with a lot of concentration and mentally talking to my foot to lift up (this method works – you’ll only appreciate it though if you’ve tried it!).
Come the Thursday of this week, Mr Rehab Man had been to see me. Poor guy had walked in when I was on the phone, having a rather inappropriate conversation about learning to wank with my left hand. Hadn’t noticed him there at the end of the bed. Boy did he make a hasty retreat!! Anywho, after giggling my arse off about embarrassing the poor fella, I got off the phone and talked to him. Managed to look him in the face and everything (excellent work by me). So, the choice of rehab unit was Broadgreen, near home, or St Helens, a bit further away. And yes, we were looking at moving me as soon as we could. Jeez, they don’t hang about. On the Friday, he came back to tell me that I’d be moving to St Helens on the Monday. Broadgreen wouldn’t have a bed for me for another 10 days. I cried. The thought of moving was terrifying. I’d got used to the nursing staff around me, and I really, really liked them. The physios and the OT’s were great, and I felt settled. But choice was not something I had. The Sunday before I left Fazakerley, I slept, only waking up when someone brought food to me. I think I was preparing myself for what I knew would be hard work ahead of me.
So, by some kind of miracle, I was not only alive, but after just three weeks, six days of which had been spent in Critical Care and Intensive Care, I was moving to a trauma rehabilitation unit…..