I promised a blog this week and because there is never time at home I decided to cart my rickety old mac onto the train! I’m off to Leeds for my first bit of “away” work since I had Mase and I’m SO excited just to sleep without having to reach out into the night to stuff a dummy into someones mouth. Although, we are going for a few drinks so maybe Jaz will need something to pacify him later.
Let’s start with the usual scene setting paragraph!
Drink; Lychee Bubble Tea… quick back story, I brought this to see what all the fuss was about (I know I’m about Two years too late) and now I’m sitting here tentatively drinking it, petrified of getting one of the little bubbles stuck in my throat. Not a very refreshing experience.
Soundtrack; A playlist a made that contains everything from Beyonce and Charlie XCX to Clutch and Coheed & Cambria.
Outfit; Trying to look cool and put together but stealing your husbands clothes because you don’t own anything that’s not maternity or absolutely obliterated by bobbles/your own hair chic.
So, as I sit here staring at the back of heads of business men and old ladies on an outing, here’s my SECOND blog of 2018, bottles and bedpans!
As some of you may know February saw me HOSPITALISED! For the first time EVER (aside from having Mase of course!). I have always been really lucky/flukey with my health and so I was shocked that since having Mase I’ve been CONSTANTLY ill. This hospitalisation however, was caused by my own stupidity and lack of self care. I got a massive kidney infection and was admitted by ambulance with a blood pressure of 70/40 (usually 120/80 or thereabouts). I was SERIOUSLY poorly. Being in hospital, I felt a huge mix of emotions, starting from absolutely shit scared all the way through to powerless and weak.
On arriving to hospital A&E was so full that they were lying patients in the corridors on stretchers while they were waiting for beds to become available (myself being one of them). With a temperature of 39.7, vomiting luminous yellow bile and dropping in and out of consciousness I heard some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard. We were separated by boards (like some really messed up call centre) and all I could hear was people talking about what time breakfast was “served” and others only concerned about the strongest pain relief that they could score. It felt like most of these “patients” were regulars in a place that I would NEVER want to be. I think that says such a lot about our country, that people would rather hospitalise themselves, than be where they are, or who they are…
After HOURS and hours of lying there, strapped to fluid bags and antibiotics, I was sent to an emergency ward, and INJECTED with morphine, without a word (after what I said on my last post about oramorph, I am becoming quite the legal junkie). After 24 hours of sweating, hallucinating and crying I was moved to an actual ward with 3 awesome older ladies Dorris, Jennifer and Eileen, we were basically the golden girls. They kept me sane.
This is where the helplessness came in.. After two days of being with me in hospital Jaz had to go home, one because of Mase and two because he’d slept up right in a chair for two days waking every hour while the nurses got my stats etc! Being in hospital as a person with a disability was REALLY eye opening.. and made me extremely grateful that I’ve got a husband like Jaz that helps me with pretty much everything on a daily basis. I’m not used to asking for help, and literally having a call buzzer for my every need from using the toilet to moving up the bed was just, surreal. Because of how busy hospitals there was obviously a high turnover of nurses, so literally meeting someone for the first time and swiftly showing them my entire body was a new and interesting experience for me.
It was only really at night that I felt sad about this, lying in the half light, listening to the younger night staff talk loudly about boy troubles, and bitching off other staff members. I felt guilty about my needs, about disrupting their conversations, about them having to help me at all.
It’s weird, in hospital it seems that the staff don’t think about disability as obviously there are people with varying abilities due to age, illness etc. BUT this doesn’t stop me being any less disabled.
During my “stay” I was sent for a kidney/liver/spleen/any other organ they could locate scan.. and I was so READY for this as it was one thing delaying my discharge when the porter came to get me I was ready to go straight away. What I didn’t realise was, you are taken into the main hospital with members of the public, I was wearing a tiny hospital gown and nothing else (not even underwear) lying there staring at the celling, unable to move… and then the porter walked away! Where was he going? Was he coming back? I had absolutely no idea.. I tried to grab the attention of numerous staff members who just rushed past me, getting on with their days. I was starting to panic slightly but I told myself that someone was coming soon and that I should just lay there and be patient. After what felt like an eternity I managed to grab the attention of one of the receptionists, who said I wasn’t even booked in and they had no idea why I was even there. To make it better they didn’t even have anyone who could take me back to my ward. I asked that she find out what was going on, and eventually they found the doctor who waiting for me and he pushed me straight through himself. I felt so alienated lying there, surrounded by outpatients and their families and I felt for everyone in that situation without a voice.
As each day went by, I was loosing some of my identity, life was going on without me.. people were staying in hotels, eating sushi, drinking too much. My family were together, my son was developing.. and I was existing. Every “bed bath” washed away a layer of my crusty eyeliner, my hair was matting, my thoughts blurred with medication, my soul crushed. I looked forward to seeing my husband, but I was sick of talking about illness, sad to hear about my son, and absolutely broken to feel that this could be my life if he wasn’t around. He doesn’t know how much the vows we made on our wedding day mean to me. He doesn’t know how much I need him. He pushed me around the hospital grounds, took me on “shopping trips” to the onsite WH Smiths. Brought me crayola felt tips and notepads to draw “morphine drawings”. He never once stopped loving me, or looking at me the same, even when I didn’t recognise myself.
I often think about the future, if the people I love weren’t around… and it scares me even more now that I know, in hospital, or away from your loved ones you are basically the equivalent of the stick man in the semi circle wheelchair on a disabled parking space. No interests, no personality.. just badly painted lines.
Now, I realise this blog sounds pretty bleak, but please know that is not the case. This experience taught me so much about myself and about life in general. It is SO important to have a voice, to speak up, to argue, to insist and to be yourself without apology.
I won’t miss being in hospital at all, except for maybe the golden girls and the 9pm bedtime with a codeine and a hot chocolate.