Before all of this reared it’s head, my sister, nephew & niece had planned to visit over the Summer. The flights had been booked with good old Ryanair so no refunds would be considered. They were due to arrive the night I would be discharged and we had discussed the option of them cancelling – would I be well enough to have visitors? In the end my sister decided to hire a car. That way, if I was bed bound, they could entertain themselves.
I cleaned the house before the hospital trip, made the beds ready for their arrival and stocked up the wine cupboard but I can’t deny I was concerned this wasn’t the best of times for them to visit. Did I really want my niece and nephew to see me at my very worst? They are adults but still, any cool aunties out there will understand. I am the child-free aunty, the one who drags them to steampunk weekends in Whitby, the one who only drinks alcoholic drinks on Christmas day – I have a rep to keep!!
They were arriving very late that night and I had already gone to bed, feeling a bit sorry for myself to be honest. I couldn’t shower due to the dressings, and my partner was already giving off a stressed vibe so I daren’t suggest he wash my hair for me.
However, here’s the thing – from the moment I got my nephew’s text to say they were 5 minutes away, I felt myself lift out of that sorry state. I shuffled out to the kitchen to greet them. It was so good to see them.
We had discussed that I might not be able to go many places with them but in actual fact the car my sister had hired was really easy for me to get in & out of and, with a strategically placed pillow, we tootled all over beautiful South West Kerry. I wasn’t able to stand for long so cooking a meal was out of the question but this was the height of the tourist season when everything is open for business and we had some beautiful meals out & about. I think you have guessed by now that I do like a little drinkie and thankfully my family are non-judgemental on the whole mixing pain killers and alcohol! A fine mix of paracetamol, nurofen and Malbec is a winner for me (this is, of course, my own view and not to be taken as a medical recommendation!).
Anyone who has ever been in hospital will know that bizarre feeling when you have been desperate to come home but once you are home you feel a tiny bit lost. You are back to making the decisions on what’s for tea and has the credit card bill been paid. My family visiting me on those first days was an absolute life saver. They didn’t expect anything from me, everything was a bonus. It was the most relaxed and enjoyable visit ever. Again, lovely times coming out of potentially bad times.
When I collected the goody bag of prescription drugs from the pharmacy there was a load of sachets to deal with constipation. I know from previous operations that this can be a real problem and you can end up in a lot of pain. My personal cure for this is fig roll biscuits. They do the trick and are a lot more delicious than the sachets. If things get really bad, juiced up pears are very effective. Just don’t plan to go anywhere for the next hour. Thankfully, this time this wasn’t a problem – red wine can also keep you ‘regular’. For those of you that know me, you are probably shocked I am even mentioning poop matters – I don’t even like a fart joke – but I thought it might be useful to someone in the future. Poop won’t be featuring again.
I was still unable to shower but we managed to work out a way for me to bend into the shower to wash my hair. Everything else had to be a sink and flannel wash.
The weekend brought a change of guard as my family had to head home and my sister in law arrived to take over. We had a lovely meal that night which I am delighted to say my nephew had to pay for (well halves) due to losing a game the night before – we play for serious odds in our house. And then the fateful words from my sister in law ‘should you be drinking with your meds?’ You know in westerns where the saloon goes silent? It was that moment. I knew right then that my cocktail of wine and pain killers was at an end, at least for the next fortnight.