I’d been firing shots across the bows:
“I really want to go home.”
“Surely I’d be better off in my own surroundings.”
“But my flat is geared up to my needs.”
The responses were often assertive, sometimes curt:
“Yes we all want to get you home but we need to be sure blah blah blah…….” I was suggesting more frequent CT scans:
“Well, I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to.” But I bloody did spend more time. Firstly, it was all about needing my drains flushed. Then the physios had declared that transferring independently was too risky. The final straw was the package of care couldn’t be in place until after the weekend. So I had an extra weekend to endure.
After a grumpy Friday, I think everyone was resigned to my determination. I heard the lovely nurse Kristina arranging my transport home for Monday.
“You’ll probably be picked up at nine.”
If I could, I’d have leapt out of bed and danced. But I haven’t been able to leap anywhere for the past twenty-four years and the three drain tubes plus the bedside catheter may have impaired my progress. At least on Saturday, I impressed with an independent shift onto my wheelchair and promptly packed all my accumulated stuff.
Sunday was slow. I bought the Sunday Times. It’s a lot to pay for one crossword. I dined on the usual bland hospital fare and swigged copious amounts of lemon squash whilst dreaming of my first taste of alcohol. I hadn’t missed it. Well, at least I saw it as part of the hospital ritual. But home was away from the ritual.
On Monday I was collected at nine forty. The staff were all busy with medication and the morning wash so I sneaked out unnoticed with the two ambulance people carrying my bags, warning me about the cold in the outside world. The air was crisp and sweet.
Coming into the driveway of the Bastille, the dull cloud-filled weather painted a grim dour scene. It had true beauty. There was a welcome party. Can you imagine the entire population of the flats (average age eighty) waving flags and spitting their teeth in excitement? No, I can’t either.
I was greeted by the rehabilitation coordinator. Within two minutes of arriving back in the man-cave, two more people arrived. It was cosy; once the heating kicked in. Getting home came with the joint community rehabilitation roadshow. And I needed it. Best of all, my wine rack was full. (Just by magic.)
Pete and Jean, two of my lovely friends drove 300 miles to spend the day in the kitchen making me ready meals. Good old northern cooking. Better than medicine. They also left me with a bottle of Jura. More medicine. Other good friends also brought along gastronomic offerings.
Three weeks have now passed and the role of room service is decreasing. I can sort myself out with washing etc. Plus, I can almost transfer normally. Soon I will brave a proper shower; then I will apply to be a contestant on strictly.
“What’s that I hear you say?”
“I’m not famous?”
Oh well, I can always apply to Countdown.
Thank you for reading.