I was delighted to meet yet another wonderful, beautiful and strong woman yesterday afternoon, who is currently doing battle with a naso-gatric tube, a trach and having to lie in hospital during this summery weather we are having. She has only been in hospital for a short while but has quite understandably said all she wanted was to go home.
I ask myself if I am an emotional masochist of sorts as I am voluntarily subjecting myself to a situation I would prefer nothing more but to run a mile from. Being asked this question the previous day I have to say, as ironic as it sounds, I think I need to. Perhaps it is my way of mentally preparing myself for this circumstance.
I was thinking about the whole situation on my way home (as you do…) and I think I can finally pin-point the two things I am most scared of. One of course being the actual tracheostomy (just in case I haven’t put that point across enough yet) and two: being alone.
The woman I met yesterday isn’t from this neck of the woods, so visitors are limited to family who have to make an effort to travel across the UK to get here. It has brought back my times in hospital where family as well as friends were over 300 km away so, like now with her, visitors were few and far between. Mostly I sat alone in hospital trying to recover from whatever procedure it was I had done at the time. The short dilation procedures weren’t so bad. They only stretched across 3 days, one of which was taken up by all the pre-op stuff, the other with the actual procedure and waking up and the third with being discharged and going home. It was the longer stays that were draining to the point where I was bored senseless and climbing up walls with no greater want than to leave. But nevertheless I was able to get through them pretty much ok.
I don’t know if age makes a difference or being a parent. I feel I was better able to cope with things back then, as if I could just brush them aside and get on with it. I wonder when that changed. I have a feeling this change in perception evolved after having my son. You see the support a little person needs, and feel how big a role your support towards your child plays in anything other than daily life. And how by just being there a lot of anxiety and fear are taken away.
As adults we probably brush the fact aside that we also need that from time to time. We are too caught up with our own lives, too busy playing the strong ones which I guess we have to in order to survive the jungle of day to day living. But thinking about it, I can honestly say I don’t want to do this on my own. And I finally have no problems admitting it openly. I am scared of having to go through a big procedure on my own again. Of waking up with all sorts of devices attached to me, the discomfort and pain, the fear and helplessness, and the longing of someone being there with me.
They could sit there and look pretty for all I care. I wouldn’t be able to talk anyway so what difference would it make. And it is not about that anyway. Just the presence of someone would be enough, showing me that, yes, even though no one could take the actual procedure off my shoulder, or should I say neck, I wouldn’t be alone.
However there is one thing that is different than with all the previous procedures. I am in a place where potential visitors aren’t hundreds of miles away. Which makes me hopeful I would be flooded with drop-in’s, chocolate (Lindt 70% dark chocolate; just saying) and people trying to cheer me up, even if that would tire me out, making a recovery holiday a must once I am free again.