How did I feel? Smelly, tired, kind of sore..fed up of my catheter, dying for a decent cup of tea (I’m a tea belly), but yeah…”Ok ..pleased I stood up”. He guessed I was tired bless him, he decided to talk to me briefly and explained who he was and offered me reassurance. He indicated another place for rehab before I went home. Rehab…like a care home? God knows. At that point I just accepted it.
The time passed on and after telling my best friends and family of the tea shortage, my ‘two swig teas’ soon were replaced by large tea’s from Costa as they all came to visit all rushing in armed with tea, magazines, food, books. I honestly do not know what I would’ve done without them, they were not fazed by the catheter, the emerging acne, the straggly hair, the way I looked or smelt come to that matter. They talked about ‘normal’ things….bliss.
This was around the time my Cath Kidston addiction really took hold, one of my best friend’s mum made me a teddy bear made out of Cath Kidston fabric, one photo later of it perched on my hospital bed…in went mental on Facebook!
Seeing my friends reminded me i was Jane, not just “Mrs Cooper” or a patient..or ‘green two, red five’ as I was known on my notes for my hospital bed.
As the I.V steroids kicked in, feeling started to emerge more and more in my legs and feet and I breathed a few sighs of relief.
One sunny afternoon, my dad came to see me, complete with a large tea of course and an egg custard….mmmmm. Just as we were tucking in to tea and cake another voice…”Hello Mrs Cooper” another doctor but this time with a team of bustling doctors…..it was like a scene from Holby City or Casualty. As dad and I struggled to empty our mouths as he shook our hands “I’m Dr Blue senior consultant neurologist” (names have been changed to protect identity) as he spoke a smile spread across his face, a few pin prick and reflex tests later he looked at my eyes…my eyes?? He spoke to his team so quickly, I have never seen people write so quick…oh my god….this guy…this doctor meant business. Dad and I stared at each other blankly…astonished… “we think you have NMO have you heard of Devics Disease?” tumble weed went through my mind as I stared blankly at him. “Tell me about your sight….eye problems” as I discussed again that in 2013 I went blind…and my sight returned, he was not at all surprised. He rattled off more and more instructions to his team “records, eye bulging, tests, tests results, lumbre puncture, blood tests, MRI” and a load of stuff which sounded like another language.
A few moments passed “errm…what is NMO?” I asked, he explained that I have an illness they thought which caused inflammation on my spinal cord and on my brain…causing the blindness, the paralysis, the bladder retention. Everything made sense. A horrible weird sense.
Then the words I had waited to hear for ages “we’re going to kick you out this bed, you’re going to be fine, we will get you a bed closer to home”.
Silence, as warm hot tears poured down my face.
I was going to be closer and nearer to my boys, and that’s all that mattered.