It’s 3.36am on Mothers’ Day and I am sitting up in my pjs having just made a cup of coffee. The dog is snoring away in his bed swathed in the multicoloured blanket I knitted for him. The windows rattle a bit as the wind gives them an arctic blast and I am just about over it all!
Yesterday I swapped our doona over from summer weight to winter weight. It was wonderful to snuggle under its warmth. Tonight it has been like sleeping under a corrugated iron roof, all bumps and creases and temperatures fluctuating between meltdown and freezing!
My legs have decided that no matter where I position them, they will only behave for about two minutes and then my frigging artificial knees turn into metal bricks, my new hip reminds me that it HAS arrived, tempting me to roll over onto my side to see if I can reclaim my usual sleeping position. Like a fool I give into the temptation, roll into the position and then panic at the thought that I might have dislocated it.
I sit up on the side of the bed. “C’mon now” my Little Red Engine that could inner voice says to me ” you’re alright! Make yourself a coffee. Sit up for a bit. Do some writing” but it’s cold and I am tired and I rearrange the pillow and lie down again only to receive a wake up call from my bladder! BUGGER!
And then, complete with carpet bag of tricks, toes turned out to the point of being ridiculous ( DISLOCATION ALERT………you can’t do THAT after hip replacement) my Mary Poppins/ Pollyanna pain medicated affected, sleep deprived inner voice reminds me that in every job that must be done – including a 3.00am wee on a cold morning – there is an element of fun and Blue Beryle – my three wheeled walker – and I make the journey to the loo.
The kettle boils. The aroma from the opened coffee jar is like an elixir of sanity, almost. The dog continues his ostinato like snore, the house creaks a bit as the wind stirs itself awake. Coffee’s downed. Perhaps I’ll have another one.
As for Mary Poppins? Piss off woman, the wind’s changed direction. Pop that umbrella and go fly a kite!
My recent acquisition of a new hip reminded me of earlier experiences I have had , comparatively recently as I have acquired new body parts, firstly my trust pacemaker, secondly my new knees. I don’t do hospitals well. The beds don’t fit, the painkillers stuff up my bowels, the ever present noise and eternal lighting are blooming nuisances and in a rather would destroying experience in rehab a year ago I was reduced to a blubbering hulk as infantile as a three year old courtesy of the NIGHT NURSE! I was eventually separated from my room mate at the time – we got on like a house on fire – they sent her packing and moved me to a private room so that I would no longer exert ” negative influence over other rehab patients”.
I did manage to do some writing while there at the time. It took the form of an 8 page letter to the hospital head of nursing, the chairperson of the board, my specialist and my own doctor. The head of nursing in the rehab ward was an ex-student, funnily enough, who, until the letter, referred to me by my Christian name and after the letter gave me my full title Mrs Roach ” out of respect” she explained!
The recent trip was to a different establishment, without the option of rehab and a three night only stay. The urge to write overcame me – rhyming verse this time. The first one at 1.47pm after being told there was a two hour wait, which became a four hour wait for the theatre. The second and third offerings were at some ungodly hour of the next morning in ICU. As I read them now, I am astounded by the fact that I was lucid enough to do anything!
But obviously it all caught up with me when I tried to fill out the menu before I was moved to my room hours and hours later. Lunch the next day arrived with everything I had ticked on the menu including the hot choice and the cold choice and DECAF tea and two types of bread AND assorted sandwiches!
I remember trying to scrawl a message to the chef to indicate that even I knew I was off my chops. I’ve got no idea what the text in the bubble was about but I did manage to get my being in a coma of exhaustion, I think I must be dreaming into something legible! I guess the chef must have thought I was just starving!
I retired two years ago. My life went from flat out like a lizard drinking to almost dead from heart disease ( self induced because of my lizard like drinking) to unbearable pain and immobility. It’s been quite a transition.
But today for the first time in about 10 years I was prompted to go for a walk – twice- just because I felt like it and the sun was out and warm and wonderful. No time restriction so I was not departing 15 minutes before the start of the next lesson so I could get to my classroom in time to get up the stairs, catch my breath and be ready to start the lesson on time. I was not looking down at the Tarmac all the way to check there was no trip hazard that might send me sprawling, an event that would have required me to feign death or at least unconsciousness until the paramedics arrived to collect me. I was not carrying additional baggage ( well physical anyway) so that I could attend an exec meeting at the other end of the school campus after my lesson and return to my office via the canteen in time for lunch! I was not worrying about gaining access to the school hall for the assembly after making some excuse to park my car next to the side entrance to ” mount the stage ” via the ramp rather than the stairs! So much energy put into ways of avoiding the fact that I was ill, I was physically ( and emotionally) disabled and I was in denial!
Maybe I thought no one ever noticed! IDIOT!
Maybe I was such an imposing, threatening, unapproachable figure, people just talked about me rather than to me. Whatever it was I was fooling myself while others fooled with and about me!
But today – post pacemaker, post bilateral knee replacement, post hip replacement I went for two walks just because I could. I wallowed in it and I will do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day…………