What a difference a day makes

After the rough day yesterday I was hoping for a mush better one and got it. After a moderate night it took me a while to wake up but when I did I felt ready to work hard again today. My consultant came round and checked the stump, he is confident that there is no infection there and very pleased with it in general. A stump sock/stocking has been ordered from Addenbrooke’s as we need to start moulding it in preparation for a prosthesis. The pain specialist couldn’t believe how much better I looked today and we have decided to stick with what we are on for another 24 hrs and review again, good call.

Next on the days agenda was Jan and Emma the physiotherapist, I was looking forward to trying the wheelchair today as a few achievements depended on it. They have decided to get me using the wheelchair partly to restrict me, as they know what I am like, and want me to take it steady. As I had tried the wheelchair around the house when it was delivered I felt confident I would be OK. After deciding on a transfer that suited me best it was time to burn some rubber up the ward corridor. Getting to the end and the nurses station I asked if we could try the doors, Jan thought I would need someone to open them for me as they are a bit awkward until you open them right back, where they will stay open themselves for a few seconds. I really wanted to have a go and manage it by myself, after using my foot to partially kick the door open and a bit of jiggery-pokery I managed to get myself threw. I decided to have one more go at the next set and after sitting for a while to devise a cunning plan I found this door slightly easier. Feeling cuffed with myself it was time to turn around and whiz back to the bay for phase two. As I turned and faced the door it quickly dawned on me that my speed would be slightly hampered by the fact I had to pull the doors open on the way back. After planning my assault and attacking, with some dodgy tactics and driving, I was back at the bay in no time. To me phase two was the most important part of the day, if I could crack this and transfer to the toilet then I could do away with the dreaded catheter. After finding the best method for me and a couple of practices it was test passed and another minor achievement, with the antibiotics stopped and able to use the loo it was goodbye Catheter and Cannula. Me and Jan then moved on to the exercises to which we now a have training tune in the shape of ‘Gonna Fly Now’ (Theme From The Rocky Movie).

I had yet another good friend (Adult Instructor), who I haven’t seen for ages, drop in to see me today. She presented me with a gift bag which contained a lovely card, home made cake (which I am going to save and look forward to for when I get out of here) and an amazing book which was just perfect for me. ‘Lee Miller – On Both Sides of The Camera’ by Carolyn Burke tells the story of a lady who went from a Vogue model to one of the most extraordinary photographers of the twentieth century, famous for her portraits and devastating photographs of world war two. She had also bought me another book (which hadn’t arrived yet) that catalogs many of the famous pictures she had taken. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of her before so thank you very, very much for introducing her to me and I can’t wait to find out about this amazing woman.

After having such a good day the most simple thing upset me this evening. When I went to the toilet on my own and stood up I turned to sit down and came face to face with a long wall mirror that I hadn’t noticed when we were practising earlier. It was the first time I had seen myself like this, I don’t really know how I felt, shocked, surreal, sad, stunned, a little bit of everything, I had a little tear and know that in no time I will get used to it and I suppose even that could be considered another mini achievement. I have set my two goals for tomorrow.

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