Well, my dears, today is day three of the post-operative project so I have decided to try a little light keyboard exercise. The equivalent of scales on the piano.
I had my operation on both shoulders on Wednesday as planned. Following an hour’s drive to the hospital through the dark, in rain and fog, we arrived before breakfast and did lots of exuberant paperwork. The NHS loves its paperwork, and I do not complain because I love the NHS.
Then I sat in a bed waiting to chat to the lovely consultant who was going to dig away at my bones. We had a lively exchange of views, as I had a couple of questions which he initially thought impertinent. He soon changed his mind though; he is quite seriously a lovely man.
And so to sleep via anaesthetic.
Sigoth collected me on Thursday, after a slight delay while they x-rayed my chest because I was still a little breathless. The pain was minimal and I have good movement. The unanticipated problem was how tired my arms feel. Just using my hands to do anything is exhausting. This is not the worst of it however. Brace yourselves for true horror – I cannot make tea! I can’t life the kettle you see. It’s too heavy. How I suffer, my dears, how I suffer.
More annoyingly I feel quite foggy in the head still. Certainly when I woke up I was quite dazed and confused so was quite unable to take in what the physio was telling me about exercises. I am doing some exercises with great dedication. Whether they are the right ones I have no idea. There is a leaflet. It seems broadly similar to what the nice man said.
I also have to make various follow up appointments for a certain number of days after the operation. I am not quite sure when or with whom. I hope to sort that out on Monday. In this I would take issue with the professionals. Really they expect too much of people who have been drugged unconscious for hours.
It seemed to me that this is what dementia is like. I was able to hold coherent conversation with the nurses, joking and being terribly British about the level of discomfort. I did all the things expected of a patient; I was brave and grateful and didn’t like to complain. I managed by myself but accepted help graciously. I said “sorry” and “thank you” alot. I was charming and tired and a little wan, but generally a good sort. Really they deserve to be treated right by those in their care. They are trying so hard to be helpful.
But I still have no idea what I am supposed to be doing next. The advice is very vague. Do what you feel able but don’t over-do it. Move as much as you can but rest. Wear the support stockings to prevent DVT but only if you are not active. I lead a sedentary life, with computer based work and generally armchair hobbies. What is active in this context? No one could tell me.
So this is how my mother sees the world. I don’t like it. I am letting people down by not understanding their apparently reasonable instructions. I know what the words each mean, but somehow they don’t fit together in my head to make sense. I can’t work out what to do next, what is expected or who I can ask.
I am lucky. My head is getting clearer and I will probably be all over it tomorrow morning. Mother meanwhile is oblivious, and I am glad she has now reached that stage. The journey was terrible, but seeing her sitting in her bubble of being-in-the-present is some kind of victory. So we each cope with our confusion.
Thank you for your kind thoughts while I have been recovering. Hopefully more coherent service will soon be resumed.
May your thoughts be clear and your minds sharp.