What struck me is that all the time I was in hospital, no one asked how I was going with only one eye. That is, aside from my ward friends, of course. They were always checking in and happy to discuss anything and everything.
C and I would go for walks of the corridor together, her standing on my right hand side so that I could practice what it was like to be walking and talking with someone on my ‘blind side’.
But no one official gave me any sort of support. I’m told there are psychologists in hospital but even with everything I’ve been through, I’ve never seen one.
One of the nursing assistants we had over the weekend grunted at me ‘what’s happened to your eye.’
Seems like a great way to trigger trauma for a patient only just holding it together. I was ok though, and while I was confused why someone who’s meant to be taking care of me didn’t know what had happened, I told her. I expected her to say ‘oh my gosh, I’m so sorry’ or something.
All she said is ‘oh’.
Why are patients being asked to explain their traumas in this way…. Surely there are notes?
I’m lucky. I’ve got people with one eye on instagram I can ask. And before I even went in, I was referred to a therapist who I’m seeing in January, so that’s good.
But for someone waking up from a huge surgery with only one eye… Who was supporting her? Who was telling her that phantom sight is a thing (I’ll tell you all about that soon) and she shouldn’t worry? Who was telling her that her depth perception would improve and to just be patient?
It was my Physio who was offering me support. That is, my physio from the surgery I had 2.5 years ago. She popped in. She doesn’t work in that area anymore, she just dropped in to say hi. She asked me how I was, how I really really was (did I just almost quote the Spice Girls?). I mean I’m useless at these things so I just said ‘fine’. I didn’t want to keep her too long. But I think the better answer would have been ‘I don’t know. I actually do not know how I am.’
I still don’t.
But for her to be the only person who asked really, truly, how am I…
Seems a bit mad, doesn’t it?