19 Aug 2012

Post 361: Things will improve

As things go, this has probably been one of the harder weeks of the year (translation – harder weeks of my life). Last week, I talked about going into hospital to get my Gall Bladder removed. Well, for once it went to plan (It’s just I have a legacy of bitter experiences when it comes to ‘routine’ procedures so I was pretty nervous) (getting MRSA during an angiogram in 2006, traumatic Gamma-Knife radiobrainsurgery in late 2006, spending a week in intensive care after failing to come round properly after having my appendix removed in July last year). Yeah, right, so you can perhaps understand why I hate these f*cking things.
Well for once, I think it might have gone to plan, although they did insist on keeping me in until Thursday afternoon, which was grim. I am grateful for my private medical cover, which John Lewis had given me all those years ago. We keep up the payments on it as (rightly or wrongly) it guarantees some choice about the timing and location of a procedure. It’s slightly immoral that ‘slipping the doorman a ‘tenner’’ means that you can jump the queue but that is the way of the world we live in. Am I supposed to feel guilty? I am sure there are loads of people who will tell me I should but I don’t need another reason to feel lousy. David Cameron may think I’m morally bankrupt but does anyone seriously give a shit what he thinks? I am scared for my health- I can afford legally to get better treatment, do I
a. Use my private medical insurance
b. Decide that I’m not being fair, so stick with the ‘Jolly old NHS’’?
Fuck it, what would you do?
At this stage, it is right to point out that in no way have any of the funds raised by the trust gone towards any medical care, this is purely private medical insurance that is paid for by me out of my John Lewis disability pension. I think the NHS is great for saving your life if something happens – i.e, you have an accident, a stroke or appendicitis but if you need your Gall Bladder removed waiting 16 weeks and being given little choice over the time you have it removed is ridiculous *breathe*. Blah, that’s enough complaining about the faults of the system, an overhaul of which would doubtless be called a ‘dangerous cut’. The reason I’m probably so combative today are the grim after-effects of the General Anaesthetic. I already have enough trouble seeing the world through positive eyes because every bleeding day my soul feels crushed even before breakfast, but right now it feels like every awful impulse in my body is turned up to 11 – it’s hard to put this into words, but I have to assume it’ll wear off. Well, it better had. Equally as hard to put into words was the profound feeling of helplessness and Isolation you get from being in hospital especially when you can’t walk and get plonked in a hospital bed in a private room and your wheelchair taken away. It is scary – especially given how lonely I’ve been for the last 7 years.
In these circumstances I am lucky to have had parents like mine who will stop at nothing to make sure you always feel like you have someone on your side (to the extent I sometimes have to say ‘I’m going to sleep now guys, you can go home’)
The way I describe private hospitals is ‘like 5* Hotels but with none of the joy. It is always nicer to have your own room in hospital if you do get visitors because it just feels more humane although it does mess up your chances of meeting an ally. I’ve had a couple in the last few years and what a difference it makes. What also makes a big difference is nursing staff who are friendly, interesting and PRETTY. Call me what you want but this makes an incredible difference if you’ve been in solitary for years. Corrie was just gorgeous. Someone just chatting to you makes the difference
I’ve said it before but surprise visits are the most valuable commodity because you feel like people have really made the effort to track you down –huge honours go to my friend Isabel who I used to think of as a good Samaritan, I now think of as a Brilliant Samaritan.

Not only has she run a triathlon for the trust, stepped in to do my meals when Gwen and Gary have been away, she came to see me in Hospital on Wednesday and to cap it off took me to the British Museum yesterday with her friend Yolanta

as they thought I needed to get out and they were planning on seeing the Picasso exhibition. Now, I haven’t probably been to the British Museum for close on 20 years. My post stroke memory of Museums is slightly clouded by a trip to the science museum back in about 2006 where I realised a lot of the secret to good museum appreciation is in having good eyesight, which I no longer have (in fact I am registered as blind! Well to be clear I can see, just not all that clearly, it’s all very unclear). Not being a fan of looting, I wasn’t too sure what I’d make of the British Museum,

but my first thoughts are, like the Tate Modern, it is an amazing building with a beautifully smooth floor. I love scale. Massive covered spaces, I find profoundly amazing. Anywhere, the bloody British weather can’t spoil! God, I’m easily pleased. Anyway, enough rambling, once we had made our way through the Wellcome Trust exhibition which visually depicts mans struggle to stay alive

it was time for the Picasso exhibition. Now they say, you can judge a lot about a people by the way it treats it’s animals, I’d like to swap that, for ‘the way it treats it’s disabled people’. I am amazed at the expense institutions/buildings/concert venues go to, to accommodate disabled people. Admittedly, we are legally protected – which means as much as I moan about how crap this country can be I’m rather proud that it deems me worthy of protection.
As for Picasso, I appreciate art on many levels –particularly if I see chin-scratching pretentious claptrap,

I’ll say so and I’ll laugh about it, unless of course some ‘Picasso Police’ start bludgeoning me. I think Picasso was a genius,

an extraordinary talent, but I can’t get away from the fact that this goes hand in hand with him being a drunk sexual deviant and first class weirdo. So, swings and roundabouts – ironically probably where he hung around. I had a pretty good laugh, particularly taking the piss out of some of the rubbish written by chin scratching experts. So thank you Isabel. I guess the point I was trying to make about wheelchair access. I’m sure when they built the British Museum, it was all stairs – I’m grateful that they have all these lifts now.
And finally, a big thanks to my mates Ched and Terri for inviting me to their post nuptials drinks in Guildford

yesterday where I was able to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones. It’s always nice to meet people who just seem to ‘get’ how hard this is. It was all made possible by the fact that Gary and Gwen

could drive me there. I have gone a bit mental since I got back from hospital, spending most of my survival money on booking lots of events to go to next year at the Albert Hall.

This may be a bit mad on the face of it but is consistent with my post-stroke philosophy ‘I'm convinced getting these things in the diary is the best way to
ward off dark thoughts’

Believe me, it’s tough warding off those b*stards! Alongside my mahoosive collection of deeply sarcastic t-shirts lurks this one!


INCITE said...

Do More Stuff That Makes You Happy: sounds like you are doing just that, impressive as ever Dom, nice one. As a resident of London iv done none of those things so I think il take that advice thanks!

Dom P said...

I assume this is Sam. I hope things are better with you



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