A very long day

It had been decided that on Tuesday we would go to Essex and visit Nan, as unfortunately she is back in Hospital again with chronic pneumonia. We would go to my Uncles first, have lunch and then go on to visit Nan for afternoon visiting time. I was a bit dubious about going after the last trip there but that was weeks ago and the stump has improved greatly since then. I wanted to see Nan so I’d said that I would go, Dad said we should be home by 18:00.

Tuesday morning, and after the day before I really didn’t feel like doing anything let alone travelling to Essex. I wrestled for a decision for ages, dreading the journey there and back but in the end I decided I would still go. We took Cody with us, as we knew my Uncle would look after him while we visited Nan. The journey down wasn’t too bad and better than expected. My Uncle has a massive back garden and I enjoyed throwing the ball for Cody, who was just as happy to run and get it. I didn’t have an issue sitting in the chairs this time. As I can sit over the stump more now it was supported by the chair, I didn’t have to use another one to help support it. I don’t even have to use the tray to eat off of at home anymore, as I’ve just been able sit at the dinning table properly again now. We had a light lunch and then just before 15:00 we set off for the hospital as visiting was between 15:00 & 17:00. Thankfully the Hospital is not far and it didn’t take us long to get there.

This visit wasn’t going to be a smooth one and our problems started with the car park. The closest car park to where Nan was was overflowing, as were the all the Disabled spaces we’d passed. We decided to hit the multi-story but Dad being in a rush missed the turning to go up the next level and we ended up at the exit. After getting out for free he tried another row of Disabled spaces before admitting defeat and heading back to the multi-story again. Thankfully this time we hit the first level and managed to find a Disabled space straight away, in fact it was exactly the same parking space we were in when I visited Nan in Basildon Hospital before. When we got to the ward bay the curtains were drawn as a Nurse was with her. As we were waiting a Specialist arrived to say that she had to do a test with Nan. We waited for the Nurse to come out and the Specialist went in, just then the Sister came round to say they were going to be taking Nan for a scan. I was getting apprehensive while we were waiting as to how Nan would be. When the specialist had finished she pulled the curtains back and when I saw Nan lying there it was a bit of a shock. I could see Mum fighting back some tears, as was I, the difference being she managed it but I couldn’t. I popped myself round the corner to compose myself and then went back round to see her. She looks so tiny in that hospital bed and so frail. It was difficult to hear what she was saying but she seemed very alert, although her memory is deteriorating further. Even after seeing her when she had the stroke while she was staying with us, I think she looks even more fragile now. We managed to get a few moments with her before they came to take her for the scan but at least my Mum could go with her. Dad and me headed to the canteen, which was OK, until we got near the entrance of the canteen where there was a ramp. Bearing in mind this is a Hospital the ramp is stupidly steep. I felt like Rocky Balboa pushing myself up the “The Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. OK I managed it, I think that Dad may have even had a hand in it too, but why do they do it? There would be many wheelchair users, especially if they were on their own, who wouldn’t be able to manage it at all.

We headed back to the ward at the end of visiting but they were still not back. The Nurse let us sit there to wait for them, eventually they swung round the corner and after the porter had managed to hit nearly everything he could on the way in she was back in the bay. We said our goodbyes and were back to the car in time to hit the rush hour traffic. Dad had another moment when he took the wrong exit on the way back to my Uncles, so we had to do a slight detour before we got there. After a drink and throwing the ball for Cody a few times it was back in the car for the trip home. We got back well after 20:00 but it felt more like 22:00 to me. I’d missed my teatime medication, I’d only taken enough for lunchtime as we should have been home by then. I usually take extra if we are going out all day just in case of emergencies but this time I didn’t. I had the Oxynorm though and my Uncle had Paracetamol’s so I managed to get some pain relief down me. Although it was a long day with a lot of travelling involved I have to say I wasn’t in as much pain as I expected, which was great. Sometimes the recovery feels stagnant or you don’t feel like there’s that much improvement. You need days like this where you can test yourself a bit, see how you feel and what improvements or issues come from it. Although it was a hard day I got to see my Nan and there were some small positives that came from it too, I’m glad I went.

Basildon Hospital 2

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