Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Day 12, Day 1 at home

I was in my bed at 2200 last night and it was one of the best nights sleep I have ever had. My decision to leave hospital was hard to the point that after the care and empathy I had been shown I was going home to an empty house. I no longer felt cut off from the outside World when I was in Hospital, but protected from it and not particularly anxious.

The surgery was very harsh. In a neck dissection there are 4 stages or quarters, I had the “full monty”

I had a long conversation with Aidan who is one of the Maxifac registrars at the RD&E Hospital. He shares my love of London eating and we have over the past few weeks shared views on the best food and restaurants in Town. He was honest, professional as all his colleagues have been.

I can honestly say the Maxfac team at the hospital are fantastic I have grown to know each Doctor and Nurse who in their own way and I respect the years on training as joint Doctors and Dentists but most of all their human caring professional face. They have pulled no punches during the last 12 days but have treated me as an individual and have so help me live.

Those in the NHS are now amongst the most poorly paid in the UK, not able to afford local housing, many squeezed out by rich people second home owners or by the 3 out of 4 elderly over 75 who are admitted as in patients to the Exeter Hospital. I despair at the stories being told to me by nurses with student loans and long hours culture only to be denied an opportunity in life to own their own home through market forces and the plainly daft concept of selling off local authority housing and not allow the replacing of that stock. It might be old fashioned but the concept of social housing for these “band of brothers” of Doctors, Nurses, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Teachers is one I will believe in until my dying day.

Back to my neck, I have a line of cut from underneath the chin, an 18 cm horizontal line along the crease line of my neck and a right angle cut about 12 cm to my shoulder, all affixed with some groovy industrial staples. I have facial and neck bruising mainly from the neck surgery and the wisdom tooth removal. My facial muscles hurt as do my shoulder and neck region, my nerves were stretched and some severed hence the pain. The pain is mainly across the left side of my face, neck and head, into the upper regions behind my head. Life today has been all about supporting my neck where the muscles were and finding a comfortable spot for my neck.

My voice is slurred and my smile is small but I am alive.

I am very sore tonight but it’s only pain, which will go away, and my wounds are healing and the scar will only been seen when you look closely and when I am open necked.

I awoke at 2 am this morning flat on my back, it is obvious with my cuts and bruises that it is the only comfortable way to sleep. I managed to drift off to sleep and awoke again at 0850 grasping for painkillers more out of comfort than need.

I was able to have a bath this morning followed by a visit to the shop. It was a very weird feeling walking out this morning knowing full well that my bruising and my staple and cut line is not very attractive and that look is glum. They only look once, you see in people eyes upset, shock, pain, empathy and sadness. It was very hard to too walk outside the hospital where your scares are accepted as par for the course into the open World. It was obvious that the shop staff were wary and shocked but they only look once. I think the hardest part was walking back home held high as I could get it, as the row of holiday makers made their way slowly through the one-way system was the staring at me as if I was some elephant man. I found that very hard to comprehend, and one in the next 10 days I am going to have to get use to.

The scars will hardly been seen but with the help of Sarah’s suggestion for a “Blackadder ruffle” tights, and cod piece I will be back on track and looking Dandy, thanks Sarah and her friend Jan for that one do they do it in large and purple?

Dreams, now my medication is hardly far out in terms of hippy visions but for the 1st time I have had very vivid and very weird, I am sure you will read meaning into them go one give me a clue.

The 1st one was last night it involved a flight from Exeter Airport, an ex girlfriend who most of you will know her as “Mrs Doyle from Exmouth” and a quickly arranged weekend away somewhere which escapes me for now. The whole weekend was last minute and for some reason I had to hail a taxi in Heavitree, alas the taxi business was stitched up but some rather heavy set Balkans who took my bag and wrapped in cling film, of course the taxi never turned up and the flight was missed!

The 2nd is one I have had before which involved a large country house, with a large number of floors which were empty, a conference type event on my floor, sleeping over, and ended with 2 old men booking in to the hotel on the first floor run by Nick Laws (An Exeter businessman) complaining that the hotel was miles away from the town and no bus service! At that point I woke myself up.

Thanks today to Pat, Ron & Sarah for the shopping time to go for more strange dreams.

Keep attacking!

1 comment:

mazzagee said...

Good to hear you are out and about already. Today was too good to stay in. People will soon not notice the way you look as your personality will shine through. You are obviously going to manage fine, due in no small way, to the support and kindness of the hospital staff and your family and friends.
Every moment of every day should be so precious now and savouring the experience of life itself will be foremost in you heart. Enjoy it.
I'm sure you will.