I didn’t know when I was transferred to the ward, how magic that place would be. It was there I met my new best friends. Like… really.
I got to the ward late on the Wednesday. Yes, we’re still only up to Wednesday, two days after surgery. It feels like a lot has happened, doesn’t it.
That night was fairly uneventful, though I was lent a fan by another inmate, which was a sweet gesture.
The next day I met C, who I immediately connected with. How do you explain these connections? I felt immediately drawn to her, we instantly got along. There aren’t many people you can walk over to, sit on their bed and say ‘wound check – have they cut through my ear?’
They had. On the right hand side. I’d been trying to wear earplugs (a necessity for hospital stays) and my right ear was really sore and I couldn’t work out why. I could feel it, but I couldn’t work out if it was just dry blood I could feel or a wound. I had asked a nurse earlier and they had said no, it’s not cut. I mean… the damn thing had blue stitches in it, babe, pretty hard to miss. Not like… right through the middle of my ear, but definitely through the middle of my tragus. I’ll give you a pic at the end.
Anyway, C had me sorted. She knew where it was at.
Then A showed up and we immediately jumped to her aid. She and I both had these crazy air beds that make you feel seasick. They have a moving setting, which I found out the previous day when I said to my nurse ‘this is a really weird thing to ask, but is my bed moving?’. It apparently wasn’t that weird a question, it was on the seasick setting. Though even when that mode is turned off, it is still constantly shifting. The idea is to stop you from getting bed sores, I think. It’s not great when you need to sleep upright though (like me), because the damn thing seems to shift away from where you’re sitting and you end up just sitting on the hard bottom of it. But A’s kept deflating completely. I’d had a similar issue earlier and they’d called a technician to come and fix it. Most of the nurses didn’t know what was going on with it.
A really needed a bed that was not deflating. It wasn’t too bad for me, my ‘affliction’ is in my head. She was less lucky, she needed cushioning. Eventually they got the poor thing a new mattress.
By the time I left hospital I had the mattresses slightly sorted and could fill both of our mattresses with air. Didn’t stop it deciding on its own to then let some out to presumably try and even it out…
We also had V in our little 4-bay corner but she was the first to get emancipated. A and V were the two I previously mentioned who were having the stoma chats.
I’m using some weird words to describe the hospital stay aren’t I. ‘Inmate’, ’emancipate’. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great place to be while you need to and a great place to leave as soon as you can.
We had some amazing moments in that bay. We cheered and cried the first time A was able to get up for a walk and took some pictures for her to mark the occasion. We cheered and cried and high fived when C found out her oesophagus was no longer perforated. The physios who were helping A to walk were saying it was the first time that they’d seen other patients being so supportive. I suppose in a time of no visitors it helps to have support in the form of other patients. But I feel like we would have bonded no matter what.
Friends forever, I think.