Friday 17th July
Today I had my critical care follow-up appointment.
Me and Leah were at home waiting for Robyn to come back from an appointment she had in Oxford that morning. She was very stressed because there had been loads of traffic jams. Now she was having to drive to Birmingham as well. We were hoping to go out for lunch first but that didn’t happen because she was so late.
We saw a nice nurse called Claire but she wasn’t one of the nurses that looked after me while I was in critical care. She asked me how I was getting on and said I looked really well. I said I was incredibly tired and she said she wouldn’t expect anything else at this stage. Apparently it takes between 9-12 months to get over a stay in critical care, in which most people stay for 7 days or less. I stayed there for 3 weeks!! I said I thought people were beginning to think I was just being lazy now but that I actually still can’t do everything, my body just can’t do it. She said it was still early days and I shouldn’t feel guilty about this at all. She was quite surprised at how much I could remember about my stay in critical care too. Most people don’t remember very much at all, I can remember most things. She then asked if I wanted to go and have a look around the critical care ward to see where I had been. I did. I had been looking forward to this.
But I wasn’t prepared for my reaction. It was horrible. I just wanted to cry. We walked around and saw the different beds I stayed in, I was in 4 different ones over the time I was there. Three of them I remembered clearly, the first one not as much, but then that was when I was first admitted there and I was mainly out of it. I saw all the people lying in their beds with tubes everywhere and connected to machines, and I had a terrible terrible feeling in my stomach. I wanted to go and talk to all of them and tell them to be strong and that they would get through it eventually, just keep fighting. I saw Dave, the lovely military nurse that looked after me so caringly, and Steph who was really nice, and said hello to them. I also saw one of the nursing assistants and we had a little chat. Then Robyn and Leah both reminded me that when I was in my crazy moods, I didn’t like her and I wouldn’t let her do anything to me. I used to tell her that ‘my daughters were going to do it’!! Whoops I also saw and spoke to my physiotherapist that helped me to learn how to walk again (big thanks for that). I wanted to stay and help somehow and I would really have loved to have met more of my nurses but I also wanted to get out of there. I kept thinking about my visit for hours afterwards . It really unsettled me
I know certain things brought terrible memories back to Robyn and Leah too.
We went up to the restaurant and I had a cup of tea and the girls were just on their phones! before we left for home. But we had to sit in the chairs that they always sat in when waiting to visit me.
We picked Tom up from his house on our way back and dropped Leah off at Jacks. We needed to shop for something to eat. Before I got ill I used to work on the checkouts of our local Co-op supermarket. While I have been off it has been redeveloped and made much bigger and was officially opened earlier in the week. I haven’t been in there for more than five months or hardly seen anyone I used to work with. So I decided to be brave and go in with Robyn and Tom. Wow what a difference. You couldn’t really see the layout at all of how the old shop used to be. It’s very nice. And I saw Christine doing her shopping in there. She is one of my friends that I used to work with. It was good to have a chat with her. She said I looked so much better and that it had made her day that she had seen me!!
Tom cooked my meal for me when I got home. All I did was sat on the sofa in a bit of a trance thinking about my day and feeling very guilty that he was doing that for me!