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Saturday 23 November 2013

Guesting Again

It is not always easy to understand just how debilitating pain is. A little bit and you can walk it off and plough through, but when it is relentless and 24 hours and when its waiting in the wings you know its going to jump to really bad. It wears you down. 
You are weak and even when its not there you know the massive slow moving impervious wave of strength sapping inevitability will take over and there is nothing you can do except numb yourself.
And cry when no ones looking.

And the pain relief is wonderful but it steadily turns you into a person you don't want to be.
And even though you care, you cannot afford to do anything about it.

Mine was just a dodgy arm and a smushed up ankle after coming off the motorbike. That is nothing compared to cancer. 
Alcohol and aspirin do not even begin to approach morphine for the negative effects. 

It is inspiring to see Charlotte's strength, not only in continuing the battle against Fucking Cancer, but to find the good in people and life and every day events.

Her praise for the staff in hospital is well deserved. They understand pain. They understand how hard it is to cope with and how hard it is to help a patient recover when they are in pain. They don't mess around.

The very good news is that there is a spare bed in Basildon. So we picked Charlotte up from West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St. Edmunds and took her home to pack for a long stay in Basildon. 
The infection is leaking all the time and she is getting through several shirts a day.

At home she saw the family, changed shirt for the fourth time in the day and loaded up on morphine and purples and whites.
The least painful position in the car seemed to be in a back seat with 3 pillows in various positions and a dog blanket. 
The dog blanket may not be for warmth but more for comfort. Pirate (a bad tempered terrier whose first name seems to be Bloody) can be silenced and comforted immediately by chucking a blanket over him. Maybe its the same for Charlotte.
We stopped for a coffee and some sandwiches at a service station on the A12. Of course we joked about the chances of me being arrested for domestic violence as she got out of the car in a Husky, stained shirt, plaid pyjama bottoms and ugg boots. Left alone for a minute Charlotte had an offer from a kind lady in the queue to redress her wound.... which was looking pretty disgusting by then. We declined and continued on the wrong road until we hit Brentwood and could safely retrace our way through Billericay to Basildon, bypassing Benfleet and multitudes of other Essex B's

Charlotte was immediately seen by one of the surgical team who took great interest in the panoply of pharmaceuticals she had. We rearranged the room to cater for a one (left) handed patient, swapping the side table with the visitors chair and stuff. 

One of the marvels of English snobbery is that at really high levels of the medical profession where most countries would have a Professor Doctor Doctor, in the UK the top guys become Mr.
So within 30 minutes of arriving Mr. Shah saw Charlotte, discussed surgery and compression bandages and set wheels in motion. 

The admission process then continued with the nurse telling Charlotte off 20 times for smoking and asking about her drinking about the same number of times. Unfortunately it seems he took her lack of memory over her drinking (she's hardly had any for weeks) for a cover up of a heavy habit... We ended up having some fun anticipating his next question. He did well.

But she has her own room, with en suite (well it is in Essex), a bed that goes bwwwww in 20 different ways and another set of nurses who understand pain.

She also has a telly that she won't watch, internet she can't connect the iPad to, so it won't be used, a couple of seasons of Homeland, which she may be able to watch in 30 minute sessions and some headphones, presumably so she doesn't wake herself up when she snores (!@)

Internet and phone reception are a problem so blogging will probably be rare and comments and emails will not get replies. Sorry.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Georgina and Emily luckily had parties to go to so Chrissy and I could enjoy his wonderful lasagne (he's a good cook), a glass of red and an evening of rugby.
Tomorrow is another day that will be filled with choices, decisions and the unexpected… 
Tonight we hope everyone sleeps well.

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