So it was now day 11 of my nightmare. During this time I had had two ops, one respiratory failure, sepsis and a further bowel leak. No food and a myriad of pills and potions just to keep me alive, plus a leaf blower strapped to my nose although this had now been down graded to something more manageable. I arrived on HDU where at least some people were conscious. It was bigger and busier but the care no less than gold star standard. I now shared a nurse with another patient and I was settled in. I was still constantly monitored and still on a fair amount of oxygen. Stephen panicked when my SATS dropped and encouraged me to take deep breaths, this has hit him hard. Harder than anything and have we had some cra*! I still had the nasogastric tube in and still dreamt of drink and food. I actually woke up one day trying to eat my hand thinking it was a tuna sandwich. Not a good look and very disappointed to discover it was actually just a hand. How mean, as the twins would say. My time in HDU started with the inevitable doctors who were ever present. They reminded me of little teams of Pontipines who sort of drift in, all chatting and nodding, speaking quietly so I have no idea what they are saying, and then drift off again. ( Pontipines are characters from children’s programme ‘ In the Night Garden). They look at my notes, frown and mumble, write and discuss, then smile and leave. In addition to doctors there are microbiologists who check my drugs and I hear them mention ‘hospital acquired pneumonia’, they take swabs from various areas of my battered body and then they too toddle off. Plus the physios, who I guess most people have a love hate relationship with. They make you leave your cosy bed and face the world. My first physio was called Connor and he looked about 14, he did infact remind me of Joshua my nephew who is 7. He had a lovely Irish accent and was so so gently and considerate. We did some breathing exercises and I stood up only to quickly fall back into the bed, my legs felt like lead.
There was a young ish man opposite me who had some kind of brain injury. He looked in his 20s and also suffered from diabetes. The doctors were asking him the nightmare question ‘ can you feel your feet’, to which he shook his head. They tried to reassure him with the standard ‘early days’ but it didn’t seem to register. He was allowed custard though and coffee which they had to feed him and he reluctantly accepted. Maybe I could nick it but oh hang on 1) I cant walk 2) my bowel is on strike and has a hole in it, again. I could eat a horse, I’m so hungry but tonight my liquid gold was arriving and I would finally receive some nourishment. My nurse tonught was called Bonny and she certainly was, from the Rhondda I guess from her accent and absolutely lovely, a true angel x