I never thought in my life I would spend 10 days in hospital, let alone being flat on my back not allowed to move. As horrible as it sounds you sort of get used to it, you have no other choice but to get on with it. Its the sort of thing that when you know whats good for you, you do it no matter whats involved.
After 10 days I was feeling well in myself, I wasn’t on a lot of medication and my body was starting to slowly recover, my legs weren’t hurting as much as they were and I could move them, and even lift them off the bed. I was given exercises to do to keep strength in my legs which I’d been doing for the past week about every hour, or when I remembered.
My daily hospital routine had been certainly established by now. So the days went pretty quickly, and like anything when your in a routine time does seem to pass pretty quickly, like when your at work, its only when you go on holiday time seems to slow down. After breakfast and watching Fraiser on TV, I would have my bed bath at 10am. This would involve a nurse helping me to wash and freshen up, its amazing the difference a good nurse makes, again you sort of get into your routine and it becomes unspoken how and the process of washing would go. My favourite was called Carol, old enough to be my mother and incredibly helpful. Apart from the bed bath she would constantly check to see if I needed anything.
It was on one of the doctors walk rounds that they would ask what I had decided to do, to have the operation or to have the bed rest option. I had decided to have the operation. The operation date of the 29/9 had been penciled in, so that was my next date to focus on, one that wasn’t exactly looking forward to. I would just think of laying in the same position for six weeks and that sort of made it easier. I was sure I was making the right decision and would stick to it. Laying flat on your back can bring complications such as blood clots, chest infections, it not healing correctly and muscle loss and weakness. The thought of being up on my feet and out of hospital in 72 hours was just to tempting to pass up.
After dinner I would have visitors, I can’t remember a day passing without seeing someone which I was grateful for, bringing gifts and cards. The nurses would call me famous Dan because of the amount of different people who came to see me and cards I had received.
The biggest downside from laying flat on your back by far was when you needed the toilet. Having a wee wasn’t an issue, you were given a bottle and you could have a wee, I would even tilt the bed a little to help. The real issue was when you needed to open your bowls, something that the nurses would want you to be doing on a regular basis. It was such a pain, so I would have to be log rolled (this is a genuine term for me to be rolled on my side) so they could place a bed pan underneath me, they would leave me to open my bowls which wasn’t easy laying flat. I would then have to be log rolled once again where they would clean the evacuation area. To be log rolled there had to be three nurses to support me and one to clean, thats FOUR nurses, FOUR NURSES. Each time the nurses would view it as a time to have a little chat, catch up and a little chin wag. They would comment on my sun tan, which was highlighted even more by the whiteness of my bum. It’s strange laying on your side having a conversation where you’d been on holiday, when all they can see is your white bum. They would also complain about the NHS, the type of cleaning wipes they had to use. In all it was the worst part of my day, the most humiliating part about my whole experience.
I just had to get through another three days and then I would be having my operation.