I agreed to come in on Sunday 8th, as I said in a previous blog post and it took till the Wednesday 11th January (my nieces birthday) to arrange which must have been a mammoth planning job as it involved the hospital, council, ambulance service, occupational therapist, district nurses the list was endless, I really don’t know how they did it so quickly, I could no longer walk hadn’t for about 6/7 month after something snapped in the back of my left calf. I didn’t fit in a standard ambulance or stretcher, so they managed to get a bariatric ambulance with a stretcher, but how to get me on it and out was another matter, all of this as you can imagine is extremely embarrassing, so when they came to talk to me again on the Monday and said they would have to take the windows out my bedroom to get me out, all I could think to myself was what on earth have I become. It was all arranged for Wednesday morning 8am, all I could think was how did I get to this and then before I could think too much, I buried it under as much food as I could eat while I silently cried inside.
Wednesday morning came quickly, there were numerous different people in and out my house, so I did what I always do and that’s over talk I think it’s down to nerves, but I think it’s also a way of thinking if they like me they won’t be nasty to me, they put up a protective liner to stop the dust getting to me, which they pinned up with batons it made my room feel very small, there was a lot of people coming in and out but I just over spoke to them all, I can’t even remember what I said but It was helping me stop panicking, it took them till about 2pm to finish.
Graeme who was in charge, he was part of the hart team, which is I think is the incident ambulance service he explained every detail of what would happen he was very reassuring which I was grateful for. I needed to get off the bed and on to the stretcher the safest way possible, which ended up me dropping to the floor from my bed, I was in so much pain as my body from my toes to my hips had filled with fluid they were totally solid, it was in agony and I could not move them at all, I couldn’t stand now, where I was able to stand the week before, well for a few seconds or so enough to get cleaned and the bed changed even if I had to stand twice, I didn’t even want to think about how disgusting the sheet was under me in fact I had to block it out.
Using my sheet they lowered me on the floor, there was a little bump but it was fine, they had this massive green mat it was very thick parachute type material, I think it had lots of handles it must have been over stitched loads of times, I had to turn round to be on it safely, so with a bit of help I got round the slightest touch on my legs caused me to scream, so they gave me gas and air and told me too use it while I was being moved. Graeme decided that they would lift me up and push the stretcher under as he felt this would be the easiest way, I just closed my eyes a second and said to myself please don’t let any of them get hurt from lifting me, as I opened them there was about 10 ambulance men and women all with a handle, Graeme said after 3……1, 2, 3 and I was on the stretcher being strapped onto I was gobsmacked how easy they made it.
Going outside… I hadn’t left my house for four years and I was about to go outside I can’t begin to explain how terrified I was. I felt like a freak and I really couldn’t deal with people starring or doing a double take or worse still screwing there face up in disgust or making rude comments as if I’m deaf as well as fat. I decided as we were going through the massive hole in my bedroom wall that I was gonna look up at the sky, so on the way to the ambulance I did just that and watched the clouds floating along, the air and the winter sun on my face was amazing.
I was all packed up in the ambulance it was a snug fit as I said my legs were full of fluid and I also had two massive lymphademas on either side of my lower inner thigh my son lovingly nicknamed then my elephant balls, dumbo was well jealous ha, I also had a couple of smaller ones on my right outer thigh and a leaky sore one on the left outer lower thigh I did have a picture of it which I would show if I knew how to. On the way here I tried to look out the window as so much had changed, I was still using the gas and air as every bump in the road we went over I felt it, I think it was about 3ish when we arrived at the hospital we went round the back way instead of going through main entrance as there would be less people, it was about 6pm when we finally came off the ambulance as they were taking the stretcher off, I sucked on the gas and air so hard as I was preparing for the pain I’d get that the end came off and it was just hanging from my mouth which put me and my daughter in fits of inappropriate laughter (sometimes it helps), the reason we had to wait so long till they sorted the room was they had to put together a big hoist which to be honest I never used in the end.
I’m not sure of my account of things from now on I think I blocked it a bit I remember getting off the ambulance and then I remember lots of voices and I was in a room on a ward, I had to get from the stretcher to the bed they decided pat sliding me was gonna be less traumatic than the hoist, have to say things are a bit blurry again here, I remember one voice I now know that voice was Janice the ward sister, she was telling me to suck on the gas and air and not tickle it, they explained that they needed to roll me both ways to clean and check my skin and to remove the sheet that had been there a week, she asked my permission to bin it and the t-shirt nightie I was wearing which were both disgusting makes me feel disgusting thinking about it, the next thing I remember was hearing someone screaming in terrible pain and then realizing that, that someone was me I got very distressed and I remember Janice’s voice trying to calm me it was horrific I am really struggling too think of it. Next thing I remember is me and Laura were given a drink & Sandwich each as we’d had nothing to eat all day, I don’t remember anything else from that day, I don’t even know when Laura left in fact I’ll have to ask her that.