Lying in the back of an ambulance was an odd experience….hurtling along…it is how I imagine taking off in a rocket would feel..except that is more exciting..the rush of visiting a planet..the moon..a space station..sorry I am waffling on! In all reality I was strapped down securely and felt a horrible familiar feeling my sodding bladder had gone back into retention. Again. For crying out loud. I had a 40 mile approx trip ahead and nothing I could do about it from saying constantly it seemed ” I really need to wee…I’m worried I’m going to wet myself” I was reassured if I did not to worry. Yeah..great..thanks except I felt a large water balloon had just landed under my pyjama top urging to burst!
As we got nearer to my home town, as we passed the main road to my parents house, that’s when I could have cried…but didn’t, as we pulled up back at the hospital where I had started..this time it was different..this time I had a big sign over my head it felt saying ‘that’s right I have NMO..they think..I look young but I still can’t feel my legs properly’. I was so excited to be back though…to be back for rehab and to sit on a commode…to which later followed by me being re catheterized by a nurse confirming I had a UTI…again. Humph. It was also my husbands’ birthday, which was great to be able to see him, our son and my parents, the sad thing was I felt so ill I couldn’t think straight. I was exhausted, smelly, and in quite a lot of pain. I don’t think they were there all that long..I do remember there was cake…mmm cake…
As they departed I knew I had uncomfortable night ahead on the stroke ward, as the relief of the catheter kicked in, I delved into a book one of my best friend’s had given me, a story of weddings and bridesmaids.
The next morning, things seemed to be brighter, I was helped into a chair and did wonder how on earth I would get up off this hard plastic seat which was soon replaced with a typical hospital arm chair. The physio came to see me, she encouraged me to lift my right leg up,and indeed it shot up like a good ‘en! I do not know who was more shocked…me or her….I Jane was reacting well to treatment, this was it, the road to recovery from paralysis and nothing was going to stop me.
That evening Downton Abbey was on and it was so very nice to be well enough to sit in a chair and watch it, as opposed to being slumped over my phone in bed. I was soon wearing quirky p.j’s my husband had bought me, surrounded by more books, magazines, perfume, gifts and food. Oh my god….food….I was a woman possessed, you see the thing about steroids is that they increase your appetite by a gazillion percent..I was not prepared for this. Three am…i was eating banana’s and drinking two swig teas..and i kind of felt full but not really.
It was different here..smaller.. more relaxed I wasn’t surrounded by doctors every few hours..I was Jane not “Mrs Cooper”. I continued to get stronger and worked hard on my physio. One afternoon my husband visited armed with clean washing and drinks etc. Then music to my ears “Jane you can go off the ward if you want to” So off we went! complete with my catheter stuffed under a blanket. As we got coffee and a snack and the fresh air hit my face I took a deep breath “Huhhhhh”.
“Who wants a side room?” called a nurse..I gave it a minute “errmmm yes me please” quick as a flash it was made so. My own room…my own TV…my own window and door.I had not slept properly for days. I had heard three cardiac arrests….one i was lay next too…and countless beeping machines, people with dementia and head injuries shouting and moaning. In my room it was quieter, calmer.
I started to wear clothes, and became more mobile with the use of aids and a lot of physio, using stairs for the first time was an experience…three up, three down…my legs were all over the shop, a bit like a baby lamb….but…I was walking…sort of…more plonking..but I was up and about.