So, after the Doctors had left, and I was left to deal with the reality that I was going to be stuck there for a week, the first few days passed in a drug filled haze. I was in agony, I wasn’t used to sleeping on my back…blame Robert Englund for that one! I had my hair tied back, and I was also in the belief system that if I could just sleep the week away, then I would be alright.
There were three other patients on the ward, and I never really got to know any of them, though did recognise early on that there were a few decades separating us, and figured we had nothing in common.
Though I did find it quite fascinating that sister K came up to see me, being the eldest, most responsible and normally annoying in that good way! She did the things I was unable to do myself, like have a shower, with my half cast wrapped in bin liners, propped up on a chair! And managed to borrow a wheel chair for me, so at least I was able to go outside.
It was about this time, I started to feel depressed, and didn’t want to see anyone, but I called the people I had too, and did stress to my friend Peter that the Danny Elfman concert at the Royal Albert Hall we had been planning to go to since February was now not going to happen…and neither was the Zombie Walk or anything else fun for a while.
The best way to sum that week was pathetic and useless and nothing could really cheer me up, even my boyfriend MT tried with varying success. Though it was heart-warming, that he came from work in central London to see me, when he lives in Kent! Even though it was a sweet gesture, it didn’t really change the fact that I was depressed and looking like something the sea coughed up! The worst thing was as I was lying there realising that I would have to abandon “my dream” for a year…this is the dream that everyone knows about, so I won’t be repeating here, but that was a pretty bad day when I realised that.
One thing I was determined not to be, was an arsehole patient, spending four years working in a Hospital, I’d met their fair share of them. The ones who decide Nil-by-Mouth isn’t for them and try any tactic to get a cup of tea, and didn’t care when I pointed out that I could get the sack for it, the entitled one who in a bid to get attention threw his dinner across the floor, leaving me to clean it up and never apologising for it. That being said, I did love working at the Hospital in Winchester in my University years.
Still on Kennedy Ward I was determined to make the most of it, spending the most of the day sleeping since I’m naturally nocturnal, catching up with my Arrow DVD’s after mum brought up my laptop and listening to copious amounts of Portugal the Man* and Linkin Park at night.
Then on the third day, the Ward Sister asked if I wouldn’t mind being moved to a bed on the bay next to me, since the light next to the window was blinding me I agreed, and that night was greeted by the woman in the bay next to me screaming her head off, threatening to kill everyone in the vicinity! I get she may have had Alzheimer’s, which is something my late nan was afflicted with…but at four o’clock in the morning I really didn’t care. And coming to the realisation that the ward had pretty much conned me into moving, perhaps because of my age and because I hadn’t really spoken in the time I was there.
The next day when they asked me to move (again), this time to a different ward, and with their assurance that it was a nicer one…which really wasn’t hard as Kennedy ward was filthy, I was packed in less than five minutes…and not an easy task when you’re stuck to a bed.
The next ward I’m not naming, because I was surrounded by arseholes though as a bonus I did have my own private room, which was lovely. The first problem occurred was the same night and it was visiting hours, which were different from the main hospital so my parents came early, and weren’t allowed in. When they finally were, my dad being my dad, decided to crack a joke about something, in his typical humour about needing a chair! This for some reason irritated the Ward Sister aka Ratched, so she told the man who’s DNA I carry fifty percent of, that she was making a complaint…something my dad found more comical by her overreaction.
And then she came and said the same thing to me, right so at the time, I’m immobile, depending on the kindness of others and the Ratched is bitching to me about my dad.
Even though once again, I was trying not to be an arsehole patient, I am still in a position of vulnerability, being spoken down to by the woman who had control over the drugs I’m receiving. This is not the last time either so keep reading please.
I understand at this point, I’m in a ward that doesn’t cater to fracture patients, but they needed my bed in Kennedy…so she is taking it out on me…real classy Ratched!
Also in the intervening days between my surgery, when one day I was having a good cry fest, because I was missing work, which I explained to a nurse who came in, who then stated, “Well maybe you should think about changing careers, perhaps work on a check out!” Right, now it could have been since she knew I work at Heathrow, that she meant to say “Check In”, or that she thought I should give up my job, where I’ve worked for several years to the highest standard possible to work in Tesco’s**
So on Monday the 30th September I found out my surgery was going to be the next day, something I was seriously excited for, and I made damn sure they knew I wanted a knee cast, so I could move around a bit better…and made sure to stuff my face with the tempting Jaffa cakes before Midnight and my Nil by Mouth began, thankfully I had a visit from my best friend Emma, who brought me said Jaffa Cakes.
On the day of the Operation I was as nervous as hell, last time I had been in a Theatre I was five and have almost no memory of it, and even though I was trying to be brave, and had the benefit of not wearing my glasses, as soon as I was waiting to get knocked out, of course I started crying.
Which I know is ridiculous, but it was just the idea of while I was sleeping a tube was going to be put down my throat, and my leg was going to be cut open and pinned together with screws, it was going to take at least an hour and there was nothing I could do about it!
Thankfully I was out quickly and have a half memory of being in recovery and going back to the ward. I remember waking up in the night with an ice pack on my leg, and the worst pain I have ever felt. One plate and eight screws holding my ankle together…and I could feel every single one of them, like my foot was on fire, in the end I begged for more drugs, which they finally gave me. And the next morning after they had given me a painkiller with a morphine base, the guy came to teach me how to walk on crutches…whist my mind was literally in the Galaxy far, far away!
So in the meantime I focused on getting better, trying to not go mad and not hate Laurel in Arrow, the female lead who seems to blame Oliver for everything!
Even though I was mostly stuck to the bed, the day after the surgery, Ratched came in, because she had heard I wasn’t eating. First of all, that was untrue my mum or sister was coming every day with Marmite sandwiches; I just wasn’t eating Hospital food, because it’s revolting! Hillingdon Hospital has the worst food in the world; because it’s not made on site it’s just reheated. Something I reiterated to Ratched who wasn’t impressed and pretty much stated that if I didn’t shove the “Nutritious meals, which had been created by dietitians!” (Her words exactly), down my throat, then she was going to put a drip in me! Maybe she’s a Marmite hater, since she pretty much threatened to force feed me at that moment, though can I just stress that I wasn’t exactly wasting away like a supermodel. In the end, I did start eating, also known as throwing it down the toilet.
When on the 4th October, the Doctors came in, in the hope I was going to go home that day. Instead I was told not to eat that day…irony much, as they wanted to take my back to surgery to reinforce the ankle, and put more metal in me!
Whilst I was dealing with this, I wanted to go for a walk and Ratched stopped me! So since I was being held prisoner all I could do was wait, as a nurse came in and asked if prior to my surgery if I needed a pregnancy test! Ok (insert relevant fat joke here), because when I pointed out the impossibility of this fact her response was “Oh I thought you would be pregnant!” In the end I was practically relieved to get down to surgery, because I meant I would be getting out of the ward, but after what happened to me so far…now it gets worse.
* Portugal the Man are an awesome group, and this is one of my favourite songs, I saw them live in London last year
** No disrespect to anyone who works in retail, but I did it for too many years, I salute you all!