THE ICU experience lingers, always on my mind, awake and asleep. Unsurprising I imagine, but it is curious to have so much time blotted out, when so much was happening to me without any level of awareness whatsoever. Maybe it will mosey around in my head forever.
The latest knot I am unpicking is that my clothes were cut off me. Imagine coma-ing my way through that, imagine? I thought that only happened in telly dramas. Thankfully I had felt warm that evening and had taken off my very old cosy (aka manky) black cashmere hoodie which remained on the sofa until I got home…and I was, of course, wearing clean knickers, because I listened to my mum’s advice about clean knickers and never knowing what may happen! Turns out you do indeed never know what may happen but I also may never know where those particular knickers have gone.
I can’t believe that after a lifetime of watching and re-watching ER with its constant reprise of “call the crash team…chest drain…central line…Chem 7” that I missed my own surprise party. I was never sure, back in the day, who was being instructed to follow these oblique commands, but followed they were. I am convinced that us Brits are less voluble (and I do always watch 24 Hours in A&E as vicarious learning) but I don’t think I have ever “witnessed” clothes being cut off.
It may be farewell lovely dress, but the sofa has no forensic evidence of what it witnessed…and oh yeah..I’m alive!
Whilst I love my home…I wish I could do “Dorothy’s” trick, click my heels and be transported elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, it is very lovely not to be in hospital, but not being diagnosed brings a whole raft of new and different problems and restrictions. Whilst I knew I was never going to defy the cancer, I did really think I could duck and dive my way round diagnostic testing to enable me to follow my dreams. But no…
So, new situation new dreams…
Whilst I remain fairly fragile, lethargic, anxious, exhausted yet wakeful (fearing the hallucinations) my brain continues to process the changes and is now on a major diversionary route. The consequences are that I’m now thinking…topiary..never let it be said that my dreams have diminished in size (and of course doo-wop remains on the list of possibilities.)
…and I have a new pigeonhole to nest within. It appears that (if I have enough energy, commitment and develop a love/tolerance for phonecalls and paperwork) I can become a “Category H” disabled person and qualify for a free bus pass. But if and only if, I can provide evidence (and there’s the rub) that I am liable to sudden attacks of giddiness or fainting OR that I have “another medical condition” which means I would be a danger to the public if I drove. I think any word with “other” in has to be the category for me.
Fainting is the latest explanation I have been given for my ICU stay. I am told that fainting can be fatal. Who knew?
Decree Absolute finally here…I am absolutely well shot…both of my marital home and my marital partner.
Now in my new house, which, with dedicated shoulders to cry on plus lifting, shifting, schlepping, organising, arranging, cleaning, vacuuming, primping, preening, arranging, re-arranging, drilling, filling, shopping, attaching, fitting, rubbish clearing, supporting, encouraging, gift and card sending as well as champagne (and food) laden friends and family (who are OF COURSE far more than just “friends” and family) – is already my new home, or…will be tomorrow when the cats come “home”.
I have been well and truly reprimanded for my Armageddon food, cleaning products and toilet paper stockpile,which, I gather is far more than comprehensive…I am guessing that the implicit suggestion is that I do not need to worry about the state of my fridge this year. Who knew? I am taking it with a pinch of salt! …but…maybe with an oven the size of a grill pan, I may (or may not!) use less ingredients.
Cats,carpentry and plumbing (with a inter-city bagel interlude)…then back on the cancer hamster wheel on Monday…
Another night…another “episode”…This time I collapsed on bathroom floor tiles and yet again, was unable to move. I remember the floor coming up to meet me and then I am unsure about my level of consciousness. But I seem to have lost a couple of hours somewhere. I do remember spending some time considering my position and wondering about my crawling capacity but decided that I could nothing but stay put. So that’s what I did until “help” appeared. I was even finding the cold tiles in the middle of the night, long after heating had gone off, comfy…who knew?
There seems to be an awful lot of this one step forward, two steps back malarkey…or perhaps it’s supposed to read the other way round. Either way I’m not liking it one bit.