and so I found myself in the stroke ward. bear with my story it moves at a slow pace. The 1st night I arrive in the ward I was pleased to see my bed was opposite a toilet. having had to use a bed pan the previous night in A & E this was a positive sign. how I got to the loo was another thing !
and so once in the bed I was instructed by the nurse to press the bell if I needed anything ie the loo.
the whole time I was in hospital I felt guilty to have to press the bell 1! the staff were busy enough without me beckoning them. but that was only way to get to the loo and back so I had to do it
The 1st time I went to the loo I stood on ‘a stand assist’, where you push yourself forward on the stand and a flap drops down behind you, to sit on so you can be wheeled to the loo- magic. no more bed pans. the next time I went to the loo I had a nurse on each arm for support. trying not to drag my left leg, but I managed this for a couple of days. progressing onto just being supported on the left arm.
fMy 1st morning was a Friday and the place was busy busy. physios’s Occupational therapists, speech & language therapists. When I saw the physio she says stretch your hand open, or move your arm up and we both sit looking- but nothing happens. my hand does not open a muscle nor my arm move off the coach, how disconcerting( saying it mildly- how bloody scary). so I am given a few exercises. And let just see how things improve in the next few days, week. personally as it feels now- numb- I can’t imagine much happening
but slowly each day it sort of comes back to life- my little finger moving slightly or my leg moving slightly off the bed. but it is very very sloly. frustratingly. slowly.
on the next day is Saturday and apart from being feed and seeing our visitors nothing happens/ similarly on Sunday, and on Tuesday new years day . From my 11 day stay in the stroke ward for rehabilitation – 5 days are either weekends or new year. on these days the time drags, but on normal working days I can see real progress being made with my arm and leg starting to come back to life ( THANK GOODNESS)
because of my MS I am given an MRI and the stroke doctor believes a stroke, the radiologist Ms, so I have another mri with dye, and this also inconclusive so it is sent to my MS doctor ( all this happening over new year) so staff on annual leave. things take time- but eventually the results are really not conclusive. so to be better safe than sorry in case MS relapse I am given iv steroids for 3 days.
I have had many MS relapses over 20 years but never anything like this. so typical of stroke with face droop, left side numb, my mind is fuzzy, I keep biting inside cheek. I would say a stroke.
The time on the ward is spent mainly people watching. some days, most days I feel like I am on an geriatric ward – hope that is spelt correctly!!! at one stage had word spell say GEARSTICK. any how felt like I was at least 20 yrs younger. I had to just try and relax or you could get hysterical. I think the worse day was when I had two visitors and the new arrival opposite was trying to climb out of bed, so staff sat her in special stroke chair that stops you doing this, but didn’t stop her throwing her blanket on floor leaving her semi naked with catheter strapped to her leg- not a pretty sight for any visitor on a sunday pm..??
I must mention the staff- how brilliant /cheerful- hard working they all are and how they made my time so much bearable. my goodness do they work so hard- they keep their patience were most people would walk out after a week of changing bed ridden elderly patients. it is not a glamourous job by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. long shifts-and smiling still after ten hours
When xmas was in my thoughts back last nov I imagined lots of way things might pan out- Harv coming over from Aus, but I didn’t expect to be in hospital for most of stay. however he managed to get a weeks compassionate leave, which was wonderful. great support for julian, lovely for me to see him in hospital and I got back home for the last 2 days before he flew back.
I am going to sign off now as typed this one handed & know it is full of mistakes !!!! whoops.
before I sign off I must mention the patient across from me with that bloody cough, for 2 nights who made our life miserable on ward. not so much with coughing all night but eating chocolate eclairs as well. which probably made her cough. rustling the wrappers very loud, with one hand. honestly I could have swung for her!