If the aim of my last post was to turn each of you into an antipodean sook, then it was a success. It wasn’t my intention but I am pleased to have learnt a new word. (I’m not insinuating that you are all fools with my choice of title, by the way, but I thought my brother would be proud with what I think is the debut LOTR reference on this blog.)
Sleep, Glorious Sleep
I’ve slept better each night since I came back to the Rents’. The Steroid Baby is demanding less food by the day and is going without snacks between 10pm and 8am. I’m still waking regularly, but feel more rested and less fatigued after just a few days.
The Wide Awake Club is a very strange phenomenon. My fatigue means I fall into a very deep sleep. As I desperately need more sleep, there is no natural reason to be waking up. The sleep deprivation I’m suffering means that, when the steroids rudely awaken me from my slumber, it takes me a little while to wake up fully and it can lead to confusion.
Thankfully, as I manage to bring down the sleep deprivation deficit, my confusion immediately on waking is reducing too. On Friday night, the first time I woke up here at the Rents’ (about 10pm after a very early night), I thought I was still in the RVI. However, as the wall on my right was on the “wrong” side compared to the wall I remembered being on my left in hospital, I wondered whether I had been moved to a different bay or cubicle. As I woke up slowly, and with Graham’s prompting, I realised where I was.
A few hours later, I woke up again and saw that Graham was by my side. I smiled as my first thought was “how has he got away with sleeping next to me in my hospital bed?!”. I then realised that the side bars on my bed were down and, having tried and failed to lift them, I asked Graham to help me. He reminded me where I was and that this bed has no side bars. I immediately argued with him (why change the habits of a lifetime?) before I woke up enough to acknowledge he was right. The weird thing is that I can remember all this myself, these are not second-hand recollections from Graham.
My current sleep deficit reminds me of various moments of confusion caused by sleep-deprivation over the years. It won’t surprise you that a lot of such moments have been caused by working hours, but I should clarify that it wasn’t just in London: each of my jobs as a solicitor has brought me various degrees of sleepiness at one time or another. Jennifer and Leo have also been responsible for their fair share of tired times. As a conundrum, and to bring some balance to his stress-inducing ways, Leo slept through about seven months earlier than his big sister, so Jennifer has more to answer for on that front.
The funniest sleepy story does, inevitably, come from my London days. I had worked approximately 9.30am-3am each of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then worked through from 10am on Thursday until mid-afternoon on Friday. Sensibly, I then went to a gig on the Friday night even knowing I had an extra-early start on Saturday to get to Heathrow for a morning flight to Barcelona.
Against all odds, on Saturday morning, I somehow managed to drag my poor body out of bed at some ridiculously early time that would have been painful to a sleep lover like me even without the week’s sleep-deprivation. On the plane, the crew came around offering sandwiches for breakfast. I asked what fillings they had and the hostess said “cheese, or ham and cheese”. Nothing unusual about that, one might think, but my sleep-deprived brain couldn’t quite process that. I replied “cheese?” in a baffled manner.
In my travel buddy’s words, it was as if I was questioning what on earth this strange substance was, the likes of which I’d clearly never come across. My question flummoxed the hostess who looked disturbed and said “yes, cheese”, presumably uncertain how far you go in trying to explain cheese to an alien. I distinctly remember, though, that what confused me was that “cheese” was in both of the options she had given me and I just couldn’t for the life of me work out how the two options differed.
My right wing is getting stronger by the day. I now have sufficient control in my leg and foot to be able to put my splint on without someone else being required to steady my foot/leg. As I can walk short distances on my own with the splint on, it means I can now independently get to the bathroom and back again. Whoo hoo!
A Gateshead Council delivery scheduled for tomorrow will also help on the independence front. The OT in the RVI ordered me a seat for the shower and a step to help me get in and out of bath. As of this morning, I am also enjoying the simple pleasure of being able to stand at the sink and wash myself. Until I can shower again, I’m using what is surely the most decadent dry shampoo known to woman. It’s Aveda’s “Calming Shampure™ aroma with 25 pure flower and plant essences”; it smells absolutely amazing and I thoroughly recommend it.
My multi-talented hubby took it upon himself to solve the intermittent broadband problems here in the Rents’ guest suite. He duly solved it via an expensive gadget despite a false start when the first one from the shop turned out to be faulty. The Rents already had a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating so it’s just the icing on the cake.
One month into this drama is too soon to jump to hasty conclusions. We need more statistics before we can be sure of any firm correlation between Squattergate and spending cuts, but Graham bravely noted that our credit card bill this month is less than half its usual amount.
Wards 16 and 18 at the RVI both deserve very high ratings too, as does Ward 15, where I stayed when I had the biopsy.
It’s slightly irritating to me that I’m missing ward 17 for a flush draw. One of the functions of ward 17 is stated online as:
Day of Surgery Arrival ward which means that you will arrive here on the morning of your planned surgery where all admission checks will be carried out. You will be transferred to either Ward 15 or Ward 16 after your operation.
I’m wondering if I can legitimately wangle a short time on ward 17 to claim the set. I didn’t go on Ward 17 before the biopsy because I was admitted the previous day for pre-op “stuff” (term of art). Mr H mentioned on Friday that he hoped they wouldn’t need to repeat pre-op checks and that I might therefore be able to go into hospital on the morning of my Hannibal procedure on 13 October. However, if I don’t need the admission checks, I’m not sure why would I need to go to Ward 17? It might have to remain a missing link.