18 Jul 2009

Post 144:Unrequited rehabilitation

Another interesting week, well, interesting in an uninteresting way,
I have been thinking a lot which is usually bad news – Ian (my long suffering physio) has been trying to get me to think less when walking. Wobbling and being off balance and being so tired to the point of crying and fear of falling make walking practice the hardest thing in the world. When normal people walk you don't think about it, you just do it.How hard would walking be if you have to invest serious thought in every step which is sadly what I'm condemned to do? Every bloody step is different. Instead of my body and brain automatically correcting things, I have to think about where to put my weight and where I'm overbalancing and often guess and hope that the bits of my left side I can't feel are in the right place and doing the right things to stop me falling over. It is this faith in something I can't feel or control that generates fear and fear is horrible and exhausting. Non-sequitur coming up.
I had so much fear when I was in various hospitals, mainly it was fear about the future and what sort of life could I expect?
Part of this question has been answered now I'm not in a care home , have some structure to my life etc, I still don't know how I'll find a girlfriend/wife, have a family and be happy. I know regular readers will have heard me moan about this before and some might say there are plenty of 'normal' people who are perfectly happy without achieving/aspiring to this rather old fashioned ideal, to that I would say at least they had the chance because it seems that noone has the slightest bit of interest in the pariah that I am now.
In hospital the despair was worse, only slightly allayed by the numerous pretty therapists that I was fortunate enough to encounter. I fell in love (a little) with a lot of lovely girls who in the real world wouldn't have given me a 2nd glance (because pretty girls don't go for disabled guys) I tried to make them laugh to distract them from my malfunctioning body, which seemed to help but in the medium term it was pie in the sky – before my girlfriend left me (to her credit she stuck around for a while, making her eventual departure heinous [yeah,yeah,heard it no-one cares],YAWN etc...)I only repeat it because it was a big deal to me), well I suppose flies are for some reason attracted to sh*t.
I fell for pretty therapists who I couldn't work out why they were being nice to me. I had become this useless lump
that could no longer look after myself, my voice was/is different and I still hate it. I imagine that Stephen Hawking
sounds like Barry White compared to me
I hated myself and suppose I still do. Given this, I couldn't work anything out. I think the first time I experienced this unrequited love was with Orla,
my physio in Charing Cross, she always seemed pleased to see me. This is probably wishful thinking on my part because most of my memories of Charing Cross hospital are garbled and confused. Waking up in intensive care after being in a coma for three weeks attached to allsorts of tubes and machines was rather like waking up in the matrix.
It was like waking up in hell, unable to move.I remember thinking 'oh dear, I've really f*cked up.'
After being in Charing Cross for about 7 weeks, I was moved to Kings in Camberwell and the awful looking and asylum like Frank Cooksey rehab ward. Here I fell hopelessly for two therapists, Andrea,
the occupational Therapist, and Sam, my physio
. I was a terrified exhausted puppy whose voice was a whimper, I felt pathetic and used to look forward to visits from Tash , who got me through a lot of my time in this scary place and any therapy with Andrea or Sam and to a lesser extent my pschology sessions with lovely Tara and my laugh a minute speech therapy sessions with Annabel.
Andrea no longer speaks to me after I admitted having feelings for her about 8 months ago via email. She now appears to be engaged to an able bodied guy. A similar thing happened with Natalie, my neurophysio when I moved out of hospital, when I admitted via e-mail 6 months ago that I was fond of her she stopped speaking to me. I must be awful. The only person who still talks to me after I 'fessed up via email is the lovely Vicki, my psychologist.
She has explained to me that she is flattered but not interested. I am gutted but she still comes to talk to me in defiance of that most paradoxical of all human situations. Why is it better to never talk to someone you used to be close too once an interest has been declared or to take it one step further. Why is it too painful to talk to someone who used to be everything to you? Being human is weird.
After the Frank Cooksey. I moved to the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in Putney (RHN), where I met and fell for Ali,
a lovely physio who has since married a guy with a Ferrari.the other physios at the RHN were nice enough.
I was also slightly in Love with the Music Therapist, Gemma(sadly no photo), I ceased thinking about her when I found out that her and one of the Rehab Assistants (a funny man called Paul) on the transitional living unit (the TLU, where I was for a year), were seeing each other. While in the TLU I was very lonely and fed up and fell under the spell of a lot of the rehab Assistants, joint 1st were,Natasha,
Nicole(sadly no photo), Toni
and Lucy (Sadly no photo),
I guess the moral of this particular sad story is a demonstration of how hopeless I felt during my incarceration in hospital. I am reminded of the greek myth of Tantallus, stuck for eternity in a tank where he could never eat and drink despite the fact that cool water and juicy grapes were just out of reach of his mouth. I felt/feel like a kidnap victim who identifies with his captors, a sort of 'Stockholm Syndrome'. I'm waiting to be rescued. It's going to take someone special. I hope I just sound like a tortured (and honest) normal person, not a weird (overly honest) person, which brings me on to why on earth I wrote all that.
Some might regard it as overshare, probably not the first or last time that I'll be guilty of that, but I got an email from an old college mate, Richard Rous
asking for sponsorship for his upcoming cycle in the 'etape du Tour' a gruelling amateur stage of the tour de France in the blurb it was 'described by Lance Armstrong as "the toughest climb on the Tour - bar none". Now bear with me, in the RHN lovely Ally used to go on about Lance Armstrong
being her hero, indeed she even called her first child Lance. So I thought of her.
In other news I went to see the 'importance of being Earnest' last night at the Regents Park outdoor theatre last night. I'm sure it's quite beautiful on a balmy summers evening but when it's unseasonably freezing it becomes a bit more of an endurance event. As ever,lovely to be able to take Tony and Kate
and special thanks to Adrienne for negotiating the Friday gridlock in London. The play itself made me think 'does any Oscar Wilde play not take the piss out of the 'snobbery and pomposity of the 19th century aristocracy?' The character of Lady Bracknell was hilariously awful, I particularly remember 'I don't approve of this modern sympathy for invalids, I see being invalid as a sign of weakness' Gosh, I can almost imagine my mother thinking that. Sure, I could probably be called a snob for my thoughts on chavs and my first thought when I see boxer Amir Khan
open his mouth is 'he's done well to not be a Hayes Carphone Warehouse salesmen who gets his kicks out of donutting his modified car
in the evenings in a Lidl carpark' So wrong to think it but there's a ring of truth there!

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