When my cousin used his surname to get into the HASU in Hospital Number 2: On day three, which was the day after the evening I was transferred to Hospital Number 2, my cousin showed up on the HASU ward and walked straight in, unchallenged by a nurse. I asked him how (a) he knew what had happened and (b) how he’d got in. Apart from pointing out he should have known anyway, my dad had told his dad who’d told his mum who’d told him (still with me?). And as to how he’d gotten on the HASU ward, well we have the same surname so he’d decided whatever they said he’d say he was my husband or brother if it meant getting on the ward.
Note: Everything below this note was written in the first week after my stroke; everything above it was written later.
It’s only been a week but I’ve told these stories 90 times and, with apologies for bluntness, it’s getting dull. So I’ll put them here and you can read bits instead.
The bit where they told my I’d lost my marbles: Before the second ambulance trip – see below – they told Kate to make sure the unit at the other end knew there was a clamp on my heparin drip. When we got there they sent Kate to the dayroom and I tried to explain about the clamp. They wouldn’t listen to me, so in the end I said “Get Kate to explain” and nurse says, “Who’s Kate?” and I say “Kate’s with me” and they say, “There’s noone with you” and I say, “No, Kate’s with me” and they say, “there is noone called Kate here.” and I say, “There is” and they say, “there isn’t a Kate here” and I say, “She’s in the dayroom with Mark.” and they say, “No you only have two ambulance men with you.” This went on for a little while before I heard, “I‘m Kate and there is a clamp on that line” and the nurse went, “Oh a clamp, heck, thanks for telling us.” Patient power..??? (Thanks, again, Kate!!!)
The Second Ambulance Trip My friend Kate is a superhero. This is what she had to put up with on Day 2 (Tuesday, also known as the worst day). After the MRI showed the stroke, I had to be moved from Hopsital 1 to the Acute Stroke Unit at Hospital 2 in an ambulance. The ambulance man was chatting up Kate, and had been joking about running the sirens and lights (blues and twos) to impress her. I was pretty out of it on this run, but halfway through I thought he said to the driver, “Blues and twos, just for fun.” Then he kept asking me to make thumbs up if I was ok. I wasn’t particularly ok but I couldn’t be bothered to explain so I kept doing that. It wasn’t til later that poor Kate, who was with me all the way, said he’d actually said, “blues and twos as fast as you can” because the monitors were going a bit mad. It turns out the batteries in the kit were dying but they didn’t know that so they thought I might be. It wasn’t me, it was the kit. But my first official apology to Kate is here: I know now what you thought and I’m soooooo sorry for scaring you!
Being Called Young Silver linings are worth claiming wherever possible. Last night I overheard a nurse outside my door saying, “who’s in there?” and another answering, “a really young girl”. I’m 36. It made my week!
When Will I Get Out of Hospital? They won’t give me a date. But I’m utterly lucky, we’re talking days not weeks. At the moment I think it’s most likely to be Monday 25. As I type, I’ve switched from a heparin infusion (drip) to being stuck in my belly once a day (thus trading blood tests every few hours to one a day, it’s a good deal!), and will switch to tablets about Tuesday (with one blood a day I think). They reckon 6 days to stabilise on those so, assuming I can walk up some stairs by then, I think they will let me out. (And yes, I really have gone from not opening my eyes, let alone stand up on Tuesday, to pottering a lot on Saturday, and thinking I might make three flights of stairs ok by end of next week….!) [Updated: they actually let me out the week after it happened!!!]
Bags and infusions Yes, for the very, very first bit they stuck lines in both arms but the second one (shown below) was taken out on Saturday morning so I am utterly drip free. The needles we can skip over for those of weak stomach, but luckily they’ve never been a problem for me. Honestly. p.s. For the pic below I’d like to apologise to my Dad. I took this to text to a particular friend to reflect my thoughts on the whole situation!