What a difference…
Posted by Oli on Thursday 29th March, 2007
…a discharge makes.
It took a while, but I finally managed to get myself kicked off the ward yesterday afternoon. Probably more significantly, it was at the prompting of the docs and not through me harrying them as much as possible to get them to let me go. In fact, in contrast to my usual practice of starting my “let me out now” lobbying campaign from the moment I arrive on the ward, I actually didn’t mention it all to the docs until they raised it with me.
The thing about hospitals is that they provoke mood swings more severe and frequent than turns of a steering wheel in a rally car. It’s possible to go from happy-go-lucky, ain’t-the-world-gorgeous, by-jove-what-a-wonderful-place to weight-of-the-world, deepest, darkest blackness in a matter of seconds, and it can take a similar amount of time to recover back to normality.
None of which helps much when you’re trying to make sense of the random and rapid variety of things going on in your head throughout the course of the day.
If I said that’s the main reason I’m happy to be out and to be comfortably ensconced back at home in my study in my PJ’s and dressing gown, I have to admit I’d be lying. Above all, it’s just nice to be back in control of my own day – not having to rely on the timings of physios, doctors, nurses and ward staff to decide when I can and can’t sleep, how long I’m allowed to rest for and the quality of my rest periods.
Back home, everything is part of my own control. Except, ironically, my chest. But I suppose you can’t have it all.
I still don’t feel 100% – in fact I’m still wavering around 70% at the moment, but it’s a whole lot easier to be positive about outcomes when you’re not staring at the same 4 walls for 18 hours a day, or being woken up to eat a plate of mush which used to be vegetables.
It’s alarming when you spend as much time looking on the bright side as I do to find yourself in a situation where you can’t see a chink of light, let alone a whole side of brightness. I’m sure that the very fact of feeling down about the world enhances itself because I get annoyed with myself for letting it get on top of me – a self-perpetuating circle, I suppose.
Now I’m home I just have to concentrate on doing what’s best for me and not over-working myself in my bid to get back to normality. The last time I came outof a lengthy stay in hospital, I went back to Mum and Dad’s to recouperate, but this time I’m trying to skip that step and stay at the flat with K.
The next few days will tell us whether that’s a good or bad decision – largely depending on whether or not I can discipline myself to remain inactive as long as I need to be. The danger of being at home as opposed to Mum and Dad’s is that there is far too much temptation to “just do” this and that, and all the this’s and that’s soon add up to being way too much and I find myself over-exerted again.
The main thing is that being back home I feel much more myself – more easy about things and less penned in to someone else’s routine. Now I’m back I feel like my mind’s my own again and while it’s naturally going to take me a while to wash away all the negative thoughts, they’re certainly going to seep away much quicker in this environment that they were ever likely to on a ward.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who’ve left me messages and sent me emails – it makes such a difference to know that there are people out there rooting for me and willing me on. It’s hard to explain the feeling of knowing that someone’s getting something valuable from a blog like this – it’s part of the reason I set it up but also one of the things I least expected to actually happen with it.
If nothing else, I hope the last few weeks (and hopefully the next few) will help to show that no matter what lows you sink to in health – be it mental or physical – there’s always a way back. I’m under no illusions that sooner or later the physical is going to become insurmountable, but with a positive mental attitude (oooh, the PMA cliche!) and the support of my family and friends, I aim to make sure that I make it “later” – and preferably long enough to get a fresh set of blowers.
Take care, all of you, and look after yourselves. Every single one of you is important to someone, and chances are you’re more important to some people than you will ever know. Never forget that you’re amazing.
Alright, love-in over.