Part 14 – Farewell critical care…hello neurology ward.
The waiting game
From the moment the doctors told me that I was moving to the neurology department I was literally counting down the minutes until I left critical care. It was the afternoon visiting slot and my sister was sat with me, she bought me some cherries today, she brought me fresh fruit almost every day when she visited. I really looked forward to the fruit that my sister brought me along with the fruit and freshly cooked healthy food parcels from my mum. That’s life in critical care, lol.
The nurse came to see me and said its time, you are now going to be moved to the neurology department shortly. I had butterflies in my stomach due to the excitement and my apprehension of what the next phase of my recovery was going to involve. I’m glad that my sister was there because I would have found moving there alone very daunting…it’s strange but it’s as if I developed a sense of comfort in the uncomfortableness of critical care, I guess I had been there a long time, 4 weeks to be exact!
The move, a new sense of discomfort.
The porter came and packed my belongings with my sister and wheeled me up to the N floor. When we arrived I was allocated my own private room, some people would prefer this but as soon as I entered the room I felt this strange sense of panic, claustrophobia, isolation and loneliness. I turned to my sister and said;
‘I can’t stay here, I don’t like it.’
It’s only now that I’m writing this post that I’m thinking how strange this was! Most people would be happy to have their own space and a little privacy after being in critical care for a month, but I wasn’t for some reason.
I think it was down to me feeling a sense of fear of being alone and wondering what if something happens. I’m also wondering if my subconscious mind had some awareness of when I was first admitted to hospital as I was originally in a private room due to the severity of my condition and I wonder if going back into an enclosed room brought back some kind of feeling, emotion, a sixth sense for me.
Not long after unpacking the nurse came and told me that the room was needed for another patient and that I was going to be moved onto the ward, I felt so happy and a huge sense of relief!
I was then moved to the ward where I was greeted by the nicest nurse…and I’m saying that in a sarcastic tone! The nurse could see that I was struggling to walk, I was literally clinging onto the wall for dear life and she turned and said to me you’ll have to start doing things for yourself up here and made some other rude comment. Just what you need when you’re in an incredibly vulnerable state.
Meeting my roomies
When I entered the ward I was greeted by four other ladies, they all seemed very nice and friendly which really helped after what I’d just endured.
However once we had done the introductions a lot of questions were being thrown at me about what had happened to me. I started to feel confused and frustrated because I didn’t know the answers to a lot of the things they were asking me. They were much further on in their recovery than me so had a better grasp of what had happened to them, plus there was a broad variety in the type and severity of neurological conditions on the ward with some conditions being less severe than others.
After the initial smiles and warm welcome, the negativity started to creep in, there were comments made along the lines of;
“If we ever get out of here…I had a brain aneurysm rupture and I’ve been here 4 months now.”
Another lady went onto say yes..
“I’ve been sent home and had to come back, there are a lot of people that have been home and ended up back in here!”
That sinking feeling I had in my stomach suddenly reared its head, I suddenly felt vulnerable and that being moved to this ward wasn’t necessarily the positive step forward that I thought it was. I suddenly felt lost, sad and hopeless as to what was going to lie ahead for me.
My sister glanced over at me, I could tell she was thinking the same thing as me…Can’t these people have some tact. I know it’s a struggle being in hospital for along time but the last thing people need is to be surrounded by a sea of negativity…
Let’s just say that I quickly realised that I was going to need to come up with a coping strategy to prevent myself from getting sucked into the negativity that was surrounding me.
Can I go home yet?
There was a patient in the bed across from me in critical care. During my last week in critical care he would literally stop the nurses for what felt like a million times a day and ask “Can I go home yet?” It quickly became the running joke and then it quickly turned into annoyance, even I got tired of him asking…lol
Now that I was on the neurology ward I felt that it was my turn to start constantly asking can I go home yet? Lol
I quickly asked for the visiting time details for this ward and notified my family. I just couldn’t bear the thought of an evening of missing out on seeing my family, I needed to see them after this to pick me up and make me feel better.
Later on that evening my parent’s came to visit me, I could see the distress in my dad as he had to come to a much higher floor in the hospital, not good for someone who suffers from vertigo. He looked like he was clinging to the walls just to get to my ward. I quickly asked the nurses to close the blinds so that he didn’t have to look at the view and made sure that he sat in a position where he would feel more comfortable.
My dad managed to power through visiting time because he knew that I needed him to be there for me. Again a father’s love is unconditional! I’m so grateful for my dad, I don’t know how I would have got through all of this without you.April 18, 2018 7:30 pm