Saturday, 23 January 2010

Busy busy

I may already have said this but it is worth repeating - thank you so much for all your messages. And thank you to all those of you who are reading this and willing to be a part of this journey.

Well everything is booked and confirmed and here is where the need for a strong stomach starts, so turn away now if you are of a fragile disposition...

On 3rd Feb I take up residence at my luxury accommodation in St John's Wood (aka the Wellington Hospital) where I am pleased to hear the toiletries are Molton Browne... On 4th Feb I'm getting an anterior release by right thoracotomy as well as a posterior instrumented fusion - aren't I the lucky lady?

There is a stupid amount to do. Work stuff obviously - online now frantically responding to emails! Social stuff - want to see all my friends and say a proper farewell. Emotional stuff - need to be in a good place to receive all the positive energy being projected my way. Spiritual stuff too - is it an awareness of karma, a Catholic sense of the need to be in a state of grace, or just a desire to be at peace with everyone as that may be a lot less hassle to deal with in the coming weeks? Not to mention the practical stuff too - but don't let those crazy "How Clean is Your House?" ladies near me this week as I decided life really was too short to clean this weekend and then again next :-)

So we have the work stuff, the social stuff, the emotional stuff, the spiritual stuff and the practical stuff. But what about the Thinking stuff? How do you deal with that? Every moment of every day it is there - constantly assaulting you, taking you unawares when perhaps you least expected it. So for a bit you think about something else - what to feed the current hoard of teenagers upstairs for supper, how to make sure everyone I know and love gets a birthday card this year (given up on that one - sorry), whether watching Casualty this evening is going to be a sensible viewing choice...

And then - Wham - it hits you again. In your face, the gut wrenching (oh yeah - I get what that means now), stomach curdling fear. Not that there is anything to fear of course - my surgeon is at the top of his game (try telling that to AXA/PPP) and this procedure is to him what baking a Victoria Sandwich must be to Delia. Spinal cord monitoring means the risk of paralysis is now just 0.7% - if you were gunning for a lottery win with those odds would you even think you stood a chance?

But the fear is perhaps the fear of the unknown? Personally I have never spent 72 hours in a High Dependency Unit. A chest drain sounds less than pleasant, a catheter frankly quite disgusting (sorry for too much info guys). A ventilator is surely for those who have had very serious and major surgery - oh heck, hang on - that's me! And horror of horrors, fear of fears - apparently I will not be in a position to wear my M and S nighties! Hospital gowns and no lipstick - is it any wonder I am suggesting people may want to wait and visit me when I am back at home and have sorted my hair out?

So - how do you cope? I only ask that as so many of you lovely people have said that to me - it is good to know that you cannot imagine how I am feeling as neither can I! Well - I try to focus on the bigger picture. There's a heck of a lot of suffering in the world at the moment. Haiti - so many people with crushed limbs requiring surgery - amputation even - with minimal facilities. Afghanistan - where one friend recently lost someone dear to him and where another has a brother working 24/7 as a surgeon. My op may be massive and serious but I am going to be in a clean and safe environment with good anaesthesia and pain relief.

I also try to look beyond - to the summer - a nice holiday, a Bon Jovi gig (!) and being two inches taller! I am harnessing the prayers and positive thinking of so many friends and arranging to see many of you in the coming week. If I don't then I am sorry - but we will catch up after.

I really want you all to be in touch. I know that it will get me through this. Please - if you have read this - then DO comment. It takes a second - just say hello! Text and email me - Dave will log in and read things out to me. Technology is amazing - Skype me, webcam me (but do NOT expect to see my hospital gown so audio only this end!) and let me know that you are there. Molton Browne toiletries are no substitute for the love of a good friend.

I have rambled enough for one night. Thanks for reading and being there.

Linda xx

1 comment:

  1. You'll be fine in the hospital gown as long as the gap is at the back (no-one will see that anyway!!) Am still trying to figure if St John's Wood can count as North Hertfordshire for a visit, but am not hopeful!!