I wasn't having the best of days today, I was feeling incredibly drained and just generally fed up. I just felt pathetic, I mean I couldn't even go to the toilet when I needed to and had to push a button to come and get someone to assist. I couldn't just brush my teeth when I wanted because how could I hold the toothbrush and apply the toothpaste to it accordingly. I couldn't just sit up, because I needed to be facilitated into a chair by others, and needed support mechanisms to keep me upright, otherwise I just slump down. My speech was still a bit mumbled, I wasn't able to smile properly, just a half smile. I couldn't even roll over for goodness sake. What's the frigging point, I found myself getting this frustrated quite regularly, especially when I would see the nurses and doctors that were within my age bracket, and they were walking round so freely. Why couldn't I just get up and do that. My frustration would then transfer to anger, anger that my body had failed me because in my brain, I knew where my arm and leg needed to be but getting that to connect from the theory to the practical was proving to be much more difficult than I had ever anticipated.
The only way I was ever able to get out of these grumps is when my visitors would come and even then it wasn't an automatic reaction. I remember my friend Nicole from uni coming to visit me and she bought me a notebook and pen. 'Write down whatever you're feeling or anything', this is one of the first things that got me to think about writing about my experience. She told me I could do a physical theatre piece on it one day (knowing its where my teaching/performing passions lay) that gave me a focus and a drive to turn what felt like the worst thing ever into a positive thing. Richard/Stagedoorjohnny came with like 20 magazines, 'If you're bored, read or just look at the pictures. I didn't know which magazine you read, so I decided to get all of them.' and he did, from heat to glamour to reveal, all the gossip mags, you know the important ones ha. He also reflected on the fact that one day this could be put into a performance of some kind.
I remember one visit though, from another friend from Uni, Michaela. She came with like a hamper of treats for me which cheered me up massively; grapes(lots of them), chocolate(malteasers), books to read, another notebook, but that happiness was soon turned into sadness as it was time for me to have a wash, and I was transferred onto a chair by my sister and two of the student nurses, then had to be wheeled and seeing my friend see me being wheeled off like that made me feel an overwhelming feeling of humiliation. Suddenly I was having to really acknowledge the fact that I was wheelchair bound. I mean it was okay for my mum, sister and boyfriend to see me like this but my friend's? that was different, I suddenly felt weak and incredibly useless that my friend had to witness 3 people having to take me to have a wash as I was unable to do it for myself, I think it was more to do with acceptance on my part rather than anything. Michaela thought I was incredibly strong but, I couldn't see that then. But, her invite she had for me and gav to attend her wedding soon lifted me up, because it was the first sign that showed eventually I would be out of hospital and well enough to attend the wedding.
Leyna (my friend from school and uni) was an incredible unit of support, her father had had a serious stroke only 5 months prior to me, so not only did she have to deal with that but she now had to deal with me. 'It's going to be fine dude' she said as we both tried so desperately hard to hold the tears back, but who were we kidding and cue waterworks. Having Leyna around though was great, she was a real inspiration to me because seeing her go through what she had with her dad and her ability to still go around with such a positive attitude gave me the push I needed sometimes and wheneevr I thought I was having a tough day, I was reminded of all the tough times she had and how much better things were for her Dad as time went on and that you have to go through some tough times to get some good ones.
And there are so many more, which I will finish telling you about at some point!