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Bed Space 20: Monday 1st October 2012

I’ve made it to October!! Yes, I am back to updating you on my stay in hospital back in 2012, and Monday 1st October was my last day in hospital. Hooray! But first there are some events from Sunday night that I forgot to mention in my last post, namely the arrival of another, much smaller, patient. She must have been about 4 and was due to be admitted around 7pm, but I think she was late. Anyway, she was in the bed next to me and one of her parents stayed (I think her father because her pregnant mother stayed in Gassiot House and wasn’t impressed). I don’t actually know much about the little girl and she went down for some sort of surgery in the morning and was back fairly soon. She added meaning to the word sick bay just like everyone else, but then that could just have been her parents giving her ice cream. Other things that happened on Sunday that I forgot were managing to walk to the wet room and having a replacement nurse for Ellie called Melissa.

Anyway, back to me. I remember waking up and seeing the Stoptober graphic on a computer screensaver when walking past Charlotte (she had very cool Beats headphones as well). I didn’t know what Stoptober was until I got home, but a month to stop smoking is great! At some point I was invited to go down to the hospital school, but seeing as I was going home that day, I declined.

The final hurdle to going home was an X-ray, and Kim took me down in a wheelchair. It wasn’t very busy so they saw me pretty quickly and after manipulating me into standing correctly for the X-rays, we went back outside to wait and were given the pictures to take home (although I wouldn’t look at them). After taking me back up to the ward, Kim and Rachel washed my hair (and I had a bed bath, which is really weird!). To wash my hair, they had a special sink type thing to go under my head while I was lying down and then funnelled the water into a bucket rather than soaking my bed or making me get up and contort myself to wash my hair without soaking my back. It was amazing to have my hair washed, especially after such a long stay in hospital, and it was so much nicer than in a hairdressers because your head isn’t forced back. The smell of Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends (Red Raspberry and Silk Extracts) will always remind me of this!

I got dressed into some grey jogging bottoms and a T-shirt and got some lunch – chicken, pasta and peas. I didn’t eat much as I was worried about the journey home (I get car sick so I wasn’t sure how I would feel in an ambulance) and the food lady wanted to give me some more food, but I declined. By 1 o clock, Rachel had contacted patient transport, but we were told that we could be waiting 2 hours for them to come.

In readiness for my discharge, we deactivated the TV. My mum read a bit of Moondial to me and then we started to get bored. I listened to the little girl watching the Lingo Show on CBeebies, until she started being sick and they turned it off. The more seasoned parents like my mum held out their sick hats while myself and the other patients were probably trying not to join in. By 2:30 I was getting really tired (both of waiting and in sleep terms) so I lay down to try and relax. I feel asleep probably about 3, and around 3:30, the patient transport man arrived. After a wait for me to go to the loo, I was put into a wheelchair and wheeled over to the Moon lift. I waved goodbye to everyone, but most of the nurses were busy, and it wasn’t exactly a send off – but then they get this everyday.

I was finally going home, and I was very happy – next time I’ll tell you all about my journey home!

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#ISAD14

Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day. Well at least it is for the next 2 and a half hours. Sadly I feel like I haven’t really made people aware as I didn’t have much time to plan anything, what with exams and revision. However, I would really like to raise awareness and raise money too, but don’t know what to do!! Does anyone have any suggestions?

If you want to be more aware of scoliosis then definitely scroll down and have a look at my blog – you can use the archives section and select November 2012 for my earliest posts. Also go to http://www.sauk.org.uk for much better information.

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Bed Space 20: Sunday 30th September 2012

So, I am finally back to blogging about my operation! We left off on Saturday 29th September, when I had just witnessed the tragic finale for Amy and Rory on Doctor Who. Anyway, I woke up on Sunday 30th September I think at quite a reasonable time, although obviously there had been various awakenings overnight for medication. It was quite a nice day (I had a view out onto some trees but I could still see the sun), but first things first, a blood test was due.

As you know (if you don’t, read back!), I HATE needles and blood tests, so the idea of having another one didn’t give me much joy. However, it was a requirement for discharge, so I had to have it. The phlebotomist came up, possibly around ten, and my mum distracted me with her ‘The Lady’ magazine, which luckily had a ‘Find Fenton’ feature (much like where’s wally and based on the viral video that can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GRSbr0EYYU). I barely reacted to the woman taking my blood, especially compared to the previous times I’ve had blood tests, but hey, that’s where the drug cocktail comes in!

I’m pretty sure that shortly after that, the food lady came round to give me a KitKat. I had been in hospital 5 days, and no-one had told me that Dicolofenac has to be taken on a full stomach (well, maybe not full but you get what I mean). I don’t want to say that this explains all my sickness but it might!!! But annoyingly I was still being sick and I think was in fact sick that morning. I hadn’t been eating much though, so I was only really throwing up green bile which only succeeded in irritating my throat and maybe giving my stomach a bit of a reliever of some yuck. At least that occurrence happened on my way to the toilet so I was close to the best place and also some weird wheely chairs with holes in. I also got to use some of my prescription mouthwash, which made my mouth feel a lot cleaner! This happened at a shift change though, so I got lots of attention but also everyone was able to witness it!!

Anyway, I was really trying to get better, eat more and stuff. And I was also expecting my dad to come back up from home to see me, because he’d had to go home to go to work. However, it was a Sunday and he was getting the train: so he was delayed for ages! The train I think had ended up going to the wrong place to pick up passengers before going to the actual destination. But he arrived in the end and I was pleased to see him!

I was also visited by my aunt, Anne, who lives not far from the hospital. I was also pleased to see her, but I had unfortunately reached a point where I could only lie on my right hand side, so couldn’t see her for much of her visit (there were space for two chairs on one side, but only one on the side I was looking at). Once again, I can’t remember what we talked about, but it was very nice to see a different face (even though I spent a lot of time not being able to!).

You might have noticed that I haven’t really talked about food very much while I’ve been blogging about hospital. That’s because I cannot remember at all what I ate, when I ate, how much I ate, etc. I’ve literally got a mental block about food! Anyway, I do remember what I ate on Sunday (although whether it was lunch or dinner is another matter, they seemed to serve the same things). I had chicken which was meant to have a sauce but I didn’t want that. It was served with these great sliced potatoes – I think they were fried but they tasted AMAZING, and I really hope the food lady understood my love for her beautiful potatoes. There was also some peas and sweetcorn (I realise that sweetcorn is probably not the best choice for someone recovering from digestion issues). But I actually had some nice food in hospital, when I could actually eat it. Oh, and they also used the food trolley as bait to make me walk, because to get food I had to walk there!

The rest of the day was taken up by things like watching TV, as I managed to catch a bit of X Factor and make my predictions for who was going into the finals (my dad paid me for the ones I got right so I was quids in!). I think my mum also read some more of Moondial to me and I might have even read some of my own book (although it would have been a challenge, so I may not have). My fears of not going home the following day due to my earlier sickness episode were also alleviated by Sam.

Anyway, that’s a rundown of what happened on my penultimate day in hospital. My next post will not be on my hospital stay, but I will be posting it tomorrow, when all will be revealed. Please continue to read/follow/comment etc.

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Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Scoliosis

I am going to start by saying that I DO NOT have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). However, a friend has recently been diagnosed with it, and seeing as this blog is partly to raise awareness of scoliosis, I thought it would be good to highlight another lesser known health problem.

The two conditions can also be related and I was going to do some google research to find out how and write my own little post on it. However, I think this post probably does it better than I could:
http://scoliosis3dc.com/scoliosis-and-eds/ – I don’t particularly agree that the Schroth method it talks about is the most useful treatment for scoliosis but it’s a good article.

Here is the EDS Support UK website as well: http://www.ehlers-danlos.org/what-is-eds

I promise I will get back on with writing proper blog posts very soon! And if you are suffering with EDS, then I massively look up to you because I could not imagine what it is like to live with something that could be causing you chronic pain.

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Searched: I cry every night from scoliosis

Usually I would just write the search term as my title, but I felt that the term ‘I cry every night from scoliosis’ might confuse people and make them think that’s a current thing for me, which it isn’t.

It is heartbreaking to think that there are people who are so desperate for help that they search such a personal thing, and I hope if you’ve been brought here through that search term that my blog has been a help (I promise that I’ll post much more once exams are done, and hopefully bring this up to date!)

Yes, I was once in the position of crying myself to sleep over my diagnosis and the surgical action I was told would be taken. I think it only stopped when I was told (wrongly) that I wouldn’t need surgery, and then probably about 6 months after being put on the waiting list because I had resigned myself to it. Obviously as surgery became imminent I started crying and worrying again.

But, please don’t think that scoliosis is the end of the world – I had surgery which I had absolutely dreaded and now I have the benefits of a straight spine and a more relaxed life because the worry about scoliosis has stopped. I think facing this challenge has increased my confidence a lot as well.

I’m not saying that crying every night is good, although it is good to have a cry now and again, and if it’s getting you down, speak to someone – a friend, family member or complete stranger who just happens to have gone through the same thing (like me!).

This has gone on really long, but I hope my spontaneous post has been helpful – please comment below or send a private comment/question through my about page and I’ll get back to you.

I will leave you with the promise of more op related posts by July and a list of some interesting pages I found from this search term:
http://forscoliosis.tumblr.com/page/3
http://www.myscoliosisstory.com/about/aboutmyscoliosisstory/
http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/static/scoliosis
http://scoliosisstories.webs.com/mystory.htm
http://www.sandyappleyard.com/2013/04/29/skinny-people-cry-too-whats-it-like-having-scoliosis/