Monthly Archives: January 2010

A matter of timing

Yes, lateness. Dave suggests I’m guilty of it. True, I was usually the last one out when building was going on last summer, but that was because the Sage got the cement mixer going while I cleared away breakfast and got ready. If there had been a reason to present myself at 8.30 on the dot, I would have. Anyway, it gave the Sage a chance to tell Dave of all the decisions he had made or changed over the past few days, so that Dave could pass the news on to me, because he pretty quickly learned how infuriated this made me, and once I’d ranted for a few minutes to him, I was considerably more good-natured when the Sage came back. The Sage didn’t deliberately do this, it’s just that he thinks that I know what he’s decided and so doesn’t need to tell me. I am saying nothing about consultation.

My adherence to punctuality depends on the occasion. For example, if I’m meeting you at a restaurant, I will be on time – partly because a table will have been booked for a time, and partly so as not to keep you waiting (Dave arrived before me when we had our first meeting, but he was early. I was a few minutes early). If it’s a business meeting, I will be on time. If I’m a host or chairing the meeting, I will be early. If I realise I cannot be there in time, I’ll make every effort to contact someone to explain.

Having said all that, in social matters, I’m much more casual, but that’s usually expected, isn’t it? When first married, I was very unnerved each time we invited the Sage’s parents for a meal. They always arrived early and I was never ready. I confidently expected 10-20 minutes leeway for last-minute preparations, and it was at least a year before I managed not to be caught out.

Over the years, the Sage and I have become more considerate towards each other, and also more tolerant. There’s a general agreement that, if one has said an approximate time to arrive home, it’s wise to phone if one is delayed by more than half an hour. If we’re meeting at a time for a reason, that’s different of course. One Christmas Eve, some 30 years ago, we were expected for dinner with my mother and step-father. I was going to get there first, and the Sage would join us. He didn’t arrive. I went through mild annoyance to anxious irritation to indignation when he turned up safe and sound. Fortunately, I gave him time to explain. Simon the dog had stolen the Stilton cheese and eaten it, several pounds of it, on the hall carpet under the Christmas tree. He never stole – well, he never did before or afterwards – so I hadn’t been too bothered about stowing it away out of reach. As you might imagine, he had mashed it up pretty thoroughly, the Sage said. He had spent an hour clearing up and hadn’t thought to phone. When we arrived home, I found the hall was immaculate and he had cleared up most thoroughly – there wasn’t even a cheesy pong. Simon slept in the scullery for the next couple of nights in case his digestion went awry, but it didn’t – his coat and eyes shone as never before, in fact. Another time, the Sage was late, and it turned out that he had stopped to assist at a road accident. And so I learned never to complain until I had asked. And we both learned, because I wasn’t brilliant at time-keeping in those days, that it’s just as rude to be late for your partner as for anyone else, if a firm time has been arranged – but that it usually doesn’t matter.

It does annoy me when keeping one waiting is automatically built into appointments, such as hospital visits. The arrogant assumption that one person’s time is more important than another’s is something I find unacceptable. Of course, such things can’t necessarily be exact, and one delay can have a knock-on effect – but in that case, people waiting should be told and let know how much time they have in hand, so they can go and have a walk or at least stop worrying in case they miss an announcement. My splendid local doctors’ surgery is excellent in this regard – you register on a touchscreen, which lets the doctor or nurse know you’re there and says if the appointments are running on time or, if delayed, by how long. And then you get an apology if you’re kept waiting a few minutes. There is no reason for this not to happen in hospitals too or anywhere else. And pretending you’re not being kept waiting by doing some small procedure every 20 minutes and moving you to a different waiting room every half hour does not disguise a long wait, even if it does enable the punctuality box to be ticked on the government checklist.

Z finds dependence mildly frustrating

I haven’t done anything much today. I went to sleep earlier last night, thanks to the electric blanket – and now that my painful hip doesn’t wake me several times in the night, I’m sleeping really soundly. However, sleeping for longer made me crave yet more, and I napped for the best part of a couple of hours this afternoon.

I’ve asked the Sage every day to bring through a jug of water so that I can have plenty to drink. I wasn’t able to carry it through myself. Every time I asked, he went and fetched me a glassful, which I could have done myself anyway, and drunk it in the kitchen, if he’d let me. I’ve been getting more thirsty – the air is drier than usual in here as we’ve lit the fire every day instead of just the evenings, and I’ve spent a lot of my time in here. And my liquid intake is less because of no wine. It wasn’t until today, when I finally felt reliably steady enough to manage a full jug while walking with one stick, that I went out to get a jugful myself – whereupon, of course, he insisted on filling it and bringing it himself.

Just as well. I’ve drunk all two pints of it in the last hour. Now, of course, he’s promising to refill it for me. Now that I’m not thirsty any more. Still, I think the point has been made.

I have been sent some potted azaleas which, as you probably know, must not dry out and prefer soft water. I suggested that he get a jugful of snow, bring it in to melt and I could water the plants with that. A few hours later, when he was out, I remembered that he hadn’t done it, so went out myself. There was a jugful of snow after all, but it was still outside, which meant it was completely unmelted. I brought it in and put it on the radiator, assuming he’d filled it and then gone to feed the chickens or something and forgotten it. When he came back and saw it, “Oh, I left it to melt in the sun,” he said. “But the temperature is still freezing, and it’s warm indoors.”

I’m not complaining, I promise you. And no one could be more kind and thoughtful. But I’m finding it harder to keep asking for help. Like when I have to ask for a bowl of hot water so that I can wash my feet. And when my sock aid couldn’t quite cope with the shortness of today’s socks, so I had to get him to put the heel on. I feel such a nuisance, and I’ve still another five weeks of it. Not of everything, of course, just the bendy things.

On the other hand, I love having him in charge of mealtimes. I am doing my bit with the cooking, because I can, and we quite enjoy doing it together – I can’t get anything out of low cupboards or the lower shelves of the fridge, and I can’t use the bottom oven of the Aga at all. But I’m leaving it to him to choose what to buy and he’s preparing most meals. And you really feel you’re looking after someone when you cook for them, don’t you?

Mo thees biss

It hardly constitutes a sentence, but these were, yesterday, the first words that Zerlina, who is now 17 months old, has strung together. She was asking for more cheese biscuits.

Having spent more time here today, she has become very affectionate towards me and kissed me and nuzzled her head against mine. She also kissed Tilly of course. I was a bit lucky today. I’ve been going to sleep very late as, without my nighttime bath, my feet take at least an hour to warm up in bed, even on a hot water bottle. Then, once warm, it takes me a long time to feel sleepy. At least I then sleep very well. I have arranged six goose feather pillows to support my back and head so that I am very comfortable, and I do not mind sleeping on my back at all. I have another pillow which goes under the knee of my operated leg and then up between my knees so that there is no danger of them crossing or of me turning over, and I sleep for several hours like that. However, when I wake, I’m still quite tired so I’ve been staying in bed for an hour or two before getting going. The Sage brings me breakfast, which is a rather austere small slice of unbuttered toast with a scrape of jam, because I’m still not very hungry.

Anyway, I eventually rose, washed and came back to get dressed. I unwisely started by undressing, and stood there, with a window each side of the room, realising that if anyone came to front or side door, I couldn’t hide. I think I’ll keep my nightie on in future until I’m at least decent underneath. I tidied the room, made the bed, all that – and then Weeza arrived and, moments later, a client of the Sage’s. I knew he was coming but had forgotten. Fortunately, I’d done everything but brush my hair and that wasn’t awful so all was well. It’s a bit embarrassing to have a bed in the middle of the drawing room, but I brazen it out. It’s attitude that determines what you can get away with. Anyway, it’s my house. Well, it’s the Sage’s house which counts as the same thing.

When I got out of bed yesterday, I realised that something had healed as walking was much more comfortable. Up to now, the first step or two has needed care. But yesterday it was at last markedly better than getting up had been before the operation. And so it remained all day. I think it was probably some bruising going down – there are signs of a good big bruise under the dressing and I’ve got some red marks on the lower part of my thigh. All that hammering must have had an effect. As I was so much recovered, I went and made some soup for lunch, with the Sage fetching everything for me. An Aga rail is very convenient for hanging walking sticks. And it’s a good height to lean on.

I cooked again this evening, leaving the Sage to cook the vegetables and do the final dishing up. Standing there, I realised that my legs actually aren’t yet the same length. To start with, as I said in the post that some of you thought better of reading, it felt very odd to have a right leg that isn’t shorter than the left, which made it feel too long. But, two days ago, I noticed that I had adjusted to it. It feels nearly right now. Tonight, I used the rail as a barre to hold while I put the operated leg out to the side, to exercise the abductor muscle, which is the one that has wasted somewhat. But as I brought it back, it brushed on the floor and I had to flex the knee a little. I tried bearing my weight on one leg, then the other, and the right is definitely a shade longer.

I’m not concerned. It will probably settle down. I know I will have been properly measured! And if not, it’s very little and far less discrepancy than I had before, and it’s not as if there’s anything to be done about it. I think it’ll right itself.

It’s a week since the operation. I am still taking anti-coagulant tablets and will do for a month in total. I am taking paracetamol two or three times a day, but could manage without – indeed, I didn’t take my morning ones until 11.30 and haven’t taken any since; I’ll save them for the night. I don’t miss alcohol but I do miss drinking. Early evening seems a bit pointless without the prospect of a glass of wine. I wouldn’t mind a drink – this is another change over the last day or two, as before I really didn’t fancy it – but I’m choosing to go without. There are no warnings against drinking in the info with the pills, but I”ve had a whole cocktail of medicines in the last week and I think it’s better not to add alcohol to the mix.

Oh, and Weeza went and took the electric blanket off Ro’s bed (he doesn’t live here now, so isn’t using it) and has put it on my bed, so cold feet should be a thing of the past.

Z’s late mother

When Weeza and I were in India several years ago, for the wedding of her best schoolfriend (both she and her husband live in London but had gone home to Chennai for their marriage), we found that we did a certain amount of sitting around. Every time there was another party, we were told what time to present ourselves, all decked out in saris, ready to pile into cars and auto rickshaws and set off. We duly did so, only to find that no one else was ever ready. So after a day or two, we arrived a bit late, and were given a thorough ticking off. Not that our hosts were ready (W’s friend has several aunts), but we and junior members of the family had to be there for when they were, even if it was an hour or two later. This was all right, we were happy to sit and chat and wait although, as the senior aunt was teetotal and so every party was dry, I did start to suffer a certain amount of stress and had to cadge cigarettes from Weeza, who smoked at that time. I didn’t smoke and never have, but a girl needs a vice and there were no others available.

One day, we’d arranged to spend the afternoon with the bride’s younger sister. We knew she wouldn’t be ready on time, and we thought our place in the pecking order was about the same as hers, so we carried on shopping and were in no hurry. When we arrived, she was waiting impatiently. “You’re dreadfully late,” she scolded. “I wondered what had happened to you, we’re going to be late.”

“I’ll just have my lunch”, she added, “and we will get going.”

I had a sudden revelation. When I was growing up, you see, my mother was always the last to be ready to go out. She blamed the rest of us. She had to get out the right clothes for our father, or he’d have worn just anything, she had to make sure we were ready and that my hair was brushed, and only then could she turn her attention to herself. When, finally, we were all assembled in the hall, then she vanished to the loo and we all had to wait again. We took all this at face value and it was an accepted thing.

Years later, when she lived here, she and I used to go to a lunch club once a month – originally I went to keep her company as everyone else was much older than I, but of course they became my friends too and I still go (some of them are in their 90s and I’m still one of the youngest). At that time, on a Thursday morning I used to help as a volunteer at the village school, hearing children read and that sort of thing. I used to leave early on that Thursday, wait on the pavement and she’d pick me up. She was nearly always late. I often stood waiting for ten minutes or more.

One day, I’d heard nearly all of the children in the class and I stayed an extra few minutes for the last ones. Suddenly, my mother erupted into the room looking furious and saying that she was waiting for me. When I had finished what I was doing (couldn’t abandon the child) and joined her, she ticked me off thoroughly, saying how dreadfully rude it was to be late for lunch – 45 minutes was allowed for arriving, having a drink and chatting generally, so we weren’t really, and in any case it was only because she’d been on time for once – we left at the same time as usual.

Anyway, when Deepa was cross with us for lateness, but still hadn’t used the time to get ready herself, it gave me a sudden revelation about my mother. The point was, not that she couldn’t be ready on time, but that she wouldn’t wait for anyone else. So she made sure that she was the last person to appear. And she’d done it all my life, and I’d never realised.

Z is inoffensive

If you want to read about the operation, it’s in the post below. If not, there’s nothing to worry you here. Well, a flash of thigh.

I’ve had such a busy day that I’ve not written the post I had in mind. But I’ve remembered that I took pictures of my hospital room – what was I thinking about? – so you might as well see them.

The bedroom

The Sage was deeply unimpressed by this bland watercolour

I didn’t bother with the television, preferring to listen to my iPod

The bathroom.

One of the views from my window

Later, there were sheep in this field

Mr C made quite sure we agreed what he was going to do

Mm, nice. The right one was taken off before or during the operation and he said it was up to me whether I kept the other one on or not at home, so I took it off as soon as he left the room on Monday evening. Or rather, Weeza did. I couldn’t reach.

It’s so ungory that I’ve done an ‘after’ shot too, trimmed for modesty

Today has been rather special – I received my first proper smacky kiss from Zerlina. Mostly, she lunges at you with open mouth or gives a cheek to be kissed. She has been giving proper kisses to the dog for some time, but I know my place in the pecking order so haven’t been offended. This was quite out of the blue and very lovely.

The Gory Details

I’d have loved to have live-blogged it, but I’d never have been allowed and they might have thought I was taking the mick, so I didn’t ask.

I’d had all my checks on Wednesday, the only one of which surprised me was the pregnancy test. It’s routinely done on women who haven’t been through the menopause, but I think I’d have made medical journals, though probably not a record, for lateness of natural conception, not that I’ve checked. Sad to say, I’m not pregnant.

We arrived at the reception desk and were taken to my room. A few minutes later, a nurse joined us. The Sage looked relieved. “I’d better leave you to it,” he said, but I made him stay. She explained what would happen in the next few hours and that I’d be fetched for my operation at about 11.30. After she left, I said goodbye to the Sage and he said he’d phone about 2 o’clock. The surgeon came and he drew a big black arrow on my right thigh, with the letters THR, which was reassuring. The anaesthetist visited and we discussed the operation and agreed that I should only have the spinal, but further sedation could be used if appropriate.

When I was taken downstairs, I had a cannula put in my hand and a small amount of antibiotic put in. As there was no reaction, the rest went in a few minutes later. I sat on my bed with the operating table in front of me and leaned forward. I was warned that the antiseptic spray would be very cold, but I still squeaked. A few moments later I remarked in a conversational way that it continued to feel colder – it had an alcohol base, apparently. I was given another spray which wasn’t quite as cold. Then I felt a sharp prickle in my back and I was told that the anaesthetic was being injected, and then I moved on to the operating table – I was able to do it myself with some support because it was awkward – and lay down again (I’m doing my best to remember this exactly, but may not get it 100%) and the anaesthetist pinched me below my waist and asked if I could feel it, I said I could. Then he asked if I could feel his fingers on my thigh. I said I could feel a touch. He told me he’d given quite a sharp pinch. My legs were becoming very heavy. When asked, I said that it felt that I’d cycled too far and fast, and that my muscles were tired and wobbly. They continued to feel heavy. Two nurses came to fit a catheter and I wondered how they were doing it without moving my legs. When they moved aside, I saw that my legs were bent at the knee and apart, but they still felt as if they were in contact with the operating table. It was then 11.45.

The surgeon came and chatted to me, looking very cheerful, and we confirmed what was happening (regarding the spinal, we both knew about the operation) and he asked what music I’d like. It didn’t matter what I’d have said, because he liked 80s pop and that was mostly what we got! The theatre staff were all cheerily identifying the music “as you’ll be awake, he’ll turn the volume down a bit” I was told. “Mr T prefers opera” said someone darkly. I was given an oxygen mask, can’t remember what if anything else and I was wheeled in soon after noon. I’d been laid on my side. I was greeted by a cheery operating team. A blue sheet was put up to separate me and the anaesthetist from the others.

We chatted. “You’ll hear hammering, and you’ll feel it, but it won’t hurt.” There were quiet voices from the other side of the sheet but I didn’t make much out of what was said. Then I heard the buzz of a saw. It was so peculiar to know that my femur was being sawn through, although the thought didn’t bother me at all. It was not as loud as I’d expected, nor did it last as long. My blood pressure, heartbeat and breathing were being monitored, of course. I’d watched the machine for a while in the other room and would quite like to have kept an eye on it now, but I couldn’t see it. We talked about the operation some more and he said I was doing well. I was calm and relaxed. He said that I might not get it because of the mask, but if I could smell burning, it was because some cauterising was being done to minimise bleeding. “I can smell it now,” I said a few moments later. It smelled of bone rather than flesh, I thought.

We started talking about schools. His daughter is taking the entrance exam, or possibly has taken it, for the same Norwich school that Weeza went to.

I felt hammering. It was just like when you hold a fence post and someone bangs it into the ground – hard thumps that go right through you but are not painful at all. More hammering. Then he started reattaching everything, so there were just quiet voices again. The anaesthetist spoke to them every few minutes and relayed any useful information to me, without describing the actual scene. I wished I had the nerve to ask to see what they’d cut off. I wished it had occurred to me to ask to see what they were putting in. But it didn’t matter.

“Now you’re being closed up. He’s using glue, so you won’t have to have stitches removed”.

I heard someone say that I’d lost 350ml of blood, which they seemed pleased about – that it wasn’t more, of course, I mean.

Then the surgeon appeared by my side as the screen was taken down, saying it had all gone very well and he’d see me in a few minutes. As I’d been moved from my side to my back, I noticed that the top of my thigh was pale flesh but then it suddenly turned very pink, unnaturally so. Now, I only had a stocking on my unoperated leg and my paper pants were gone. It was a bit late, but I felt self-conscious. I still wore a gown of course and soon had a blanket put over me. I felt that my legs were cold, but I touched them and they were warm.

I was wheeled into the recovery room and noticed it was 1.15. My legs still felt as heavy as ever. I was asked if I could wiggle my toes yet. I tried and couldn’t. I tried harder and moved my feet, but the surgeon, who had followed us, pointed out that I was doing it with my whole leg from the waist, not wiggling toes at all.

He left, and so did the anaesthetist, once he was happy I was all right. He told me I was unique to him in not having any sedation for a total hip replacement, but I don’t know if he meant that literally – that I was the only patient he’d had in that situation – or colloquially, meaning it was unusual. He said that he could see I was as relaxed as I said I was, from my vital signs.

I was there about an hour and finally could twitch my toes and was taken back to my room. My legs still felt cold and heavy and continued to do so for a long time, although sensation gradually returned. After some time, I was offered the chicken sandwich that had been prepared for me and I ate and enjoyed it, and sipped water. The Sage and I had had a short but cheerful chat on the phone. Later, I was asked if I’d like to try to get up. I was helped to sit and moved to a sitting position on the side of the bed. I admitted that I felt woozy, but said I’d like to stand. I slid my feet down to the floor and put my hands on a frame, that had been adjusted to my height that morning, and stood. As I felt dizzy, it was agreed that I’d better not try walking, but if I wanted to try walking on the spot I could. I did so and it all seemed to work, although it felt odd in a way I can’t now remember. I said I’d better get back on the bed before I fainted and I was helped back – a few moments later I asked for a bowl and the sandwich returned, not even slightly digested.

Now at last my feet felt warm and I lay there feeling quite cheerful. I had another injection of paracetamol into the cannula, which I might not have mentioned before. Later, I was given some morphine, but only a little. Actually, I was quite disappointed in the morphine, which I’d been looking forward to. Later again, I rang the bell to say it hadn’t done much, so I was given a codeine tablet. I slept, but only for a short while and kept waking up. My hip ached in the way it has been doing so every night for some weeks – different cause but exactly the same pain. The only difference was that I couldn’t and mustn’t turn over. I didn’t want more drugs so toughed it out. It was only a bad ache, not agonising pain.

I lost about another half litre (a pint) of blood and fluid through the drain in my thigh. Once I could walk, which I did the next day, first around the room and into the corridor with a frame and later down the corridor about ten yards to the desk on two sticks, the catheter was removed. I was glad. It had been embarrassing to go along with the physio carrying my bag of pee. On Sunday morning the cannula was removed too and I felt much freer, even though my blood pressure dropped that day and I had to accept that I couldn’t go home the next morning, which had been suggested at one point on Saturday. In fact, I woke at 2.30 on Sunday morning feeling loads better and ate a banana – I think the anaesthetic had finally left my body.

In view of this, I’m glad I didn’t have a general anaesthetic. It wasn’t that I felt particularly ill – I’d brought up my Saturday supper too, undigested some seven hours later, but it was a relief to do so as it was sitting there doing nothing – but that it would have taken me longer to get over and probably made me sicker. As it is, I’ve been feeling great ever since. Having been busy on Monday, doing a lot more walking, going up and down stairs – which was a lot easier than I expected – sitting in the chair for several hours and having several people visit, I expected to be absolutely whacked on Tuesday. But I feel fine. Oh, and that pinkness on my leg was as unnatural as it looked – it had been painted on. It was referred to as iodine, but it was quite the wrong colour. I think it was some sort of sanitising stuff.

Now, I can walk steadily with two sticks, using an “opposite” gait – that is, left stick and right leg forward, right leg and left stick forward – and get about just as steadily with one stick. I can walk unaided, but with a limp.

I’ve just remembered what felt so odd when I first stood. For the last year, my right leg has been shorter than my left. Since March, I’ve worn a heel lift in my shoe to compensate for an effective shortening of between 1 cm and 1/2 inch of my right leg which corrected a limp to start with but not latterly. When I stood with legs of (I think now) equal length, it felt as if my right leg was too long.

Thanks for asking – well done if you’ve got to the end because it’s a terribly long post, and not very gory or dramatic at all. But I realised as I wrote that I was already starting to lose details, and now I’ve got them all down so that, if anyone wants to know what it’s like, I can tell them. In fact, a friend who is going to have a second hip op in March has already asked about the spinal, as she’d like one because she’s asthmatic and the private hospital she’s booked in to and where she had the first one done has refused.

Now I’ll write a brief and cheery post with pictures of my room, as you’ve suffered long enough, and then post them together.

Tilly rules the roost

While I have been away, Tilly has spent her days on her sofa and her evenings on my chair. Oh, and her nights on her chair in another room. No, she isn’t going out much. She’s an old dog and it’s January. I am going to need a higher chair for a few weeks so asked the Sage to swap them – in the original position, it wasn’t a good place to put the computer as the lead would have to run across the doorway.

The Sage wants me to look something up for him. Tilly is in my chair. She isn’t even comfortable. No other chair is high enough.

I shall have to stay in bed until she moves.

Z is going home

The Sage has ever so politely explained that he has a couple of things on tomorrow, but that he should be with me around 11 o’clock. Oh well. I know my place. Today, I’ve demonstrated an ability to go up and down stairs and can get about independently. I’ve felt much better too and blood pressure has returned to normal.

Certainly, the best things I’ve brought have been my iPod and iPhone. I’ve listened to music (of my choice) when I didn’t feel like watching television – I haven’t actually wanted to watch tv at all and it hasn’t helped that I haven’t had my contact lens in so the screen would be blurred a bit. And I’ve had encouraging emails from friends and, er, played games. As well as making phone calls, of course.

Odds are that a hospital won’t let you plug in an appliance so you have to give it to someone to take away and charge up or – our cunning ploy – get someone to bring in a laptop and charge it up from that. Too many phone conversations may be frowned on for disturbing other patients and in a ward you won’t be allowed to receive calls unless the phone is on silent. Oh, and I was glad of my old phone when I’d run down the battery on the new one.

I’m going to have to think about fresh subjects to talk about now.

Z is still stuck

I still feel fine, as long as I’m lying in bed. But as soon as I get up, my blood pressure goes right down. So I haven’t been out and about as much as intended yet. I think I need a good day’s rest and then I can spend tomorrow getting ready to go home on Tuesday. I hope so, anyway. I couldn’t eat any lunch, for which I was very apologetic.

Having said that, the walking is going really well. I went from loo to washbasin without a stick although, when I then saw that the towel was on the rail the other side of the room, I called for help. Honestly, I am being completely sensible. I do not feel I’m in a competition. Afterwards I sat in the chair for a few minutes but soon realised I’d used all my strength and went back to bed. Pathetic.

Now, what is it with this newish thing of signing off from a phone call with “love you lots”? It’s one thing when your sister or a close friend does it, but surely it’s a girl thing anyway? I was totally taken aback when the Sage did it this morning. He’s been using the L word with slightly unexpected frequency recently, but then a certain exrra emotionalism is quite acceptabe in circumstances like these, but I’ve known him 40 years and I’ve never heard him say that before.

Z sticks

I was a bit disconcerted this morning. Breakfast arrived and I carefully sat up, took two small nibbles of toast and felt hot, faint, sick and dizzy. I hastily lowered the bed back down and rang for a bowl (sorry), taking the view that it might not be needed but I’d better have it. I stuck my good leg out and asked the nurse to open the window.

It passed, and I did eat, and after another half hour, knowing I was going to get up, I spent some time gradually raising the back of the bed and slowly sitting up. This worked and I didn’t feel faint again.

Weeza came to see me and found me all cheery and animated. A few minutes later, a nurse came to give me a bowl of water to wash myself, and Weeza kindly washed and dried my back. Then the physiotherapist came and helped me out of bed and I was able to walk into the corridor using a frame, and back again. When I was back in bed, the Sage and Ro arrived.

This afternoon, I’ve walked with two sticks and tomorrow I will go further. Most people don’t get on to sticks until the third day, so doing it on day one is good. If all is well, I should tackle stairs on Monday and maybe go home in the afternoon. I feel so much less helpless now I’ve been up, and generally more mobile. I have to be very careful not to twist around and to keep my legs apart, which I suspect will be hard to remember once I’m more recovered but, knowing more than I want to about dislocation, I do appreciate how careful I must be.

It’s misty and dull out. A winter operation is much better than a summer one, where you might miss fine weather. After all, we don’t always get much of it.

I didn’t mention that Dilly picked up our seed order on Tuesday. By the time I’m getting out and about better, it’ll be time to start thinking of sowing seeds.