In February 2018, my life, my boyfriend’s life, and my family’s lives changed forever.
I was involved in a road accident. It was pretty serious, you could say that! I was airlifted to hospital where I spent 4 weeks. In the 4 weeks they put me back together, medically......mentally and emotionally, I won't lie, I still struggle. This is where negative Nancy escapes!
I was quite literally put back together piece by piece. Having undergone 4 surgeries to fix my wrist, hip and femur. I spent 10 weeks in a neck brace 24/7 to protect the 2 neck fractures I also sustained. The ankle fracture was left untreated to heal on itself as I wasn't weight baring. I suffered a bleed on the brain which they monitored for 24 hours (or so I am told) before they would administer blood thinning injections. I had the delight of these for 12 weeks...that's another story!
I can only go off what I was told over the first 2 days I have NO memory of the accident, nor being in the Air Ambulance, A&E, and Resus, Intensive care or Surgery. I was conscious, but I can't recall anything prior to being in HDU. Apparently, I was shouting in resus for someone to get me a drink, I was thirsty! And I asked Shane if I had fallen off my bike!!! I don't have a bike!!!
I had physio's come to my bed to sit me up, I asked the Consultant if I would ride again, not walk, ride! He laughed and said of course. The very next day post hip surgery 2 physio’s sat me up. I have never felt as sick in my life. I think it was a maximum of 2 minutes if that before they laid me flat again. This was built up and I was moved onto the Trauma ward, where I was able to sit myself up, using the bed buttons!
Physio's progressed me from being laid flat to transferring me into a chair, the first time was hell. I screamed in pain after 5 minutes. The pain in my knee was unbearable. Slowly but surely I built this up to being sat out of bed for 30 minutes. I had my "lunch" in the chair and was moved back into bed. My mum even brought Percy Turner's and Chop Sauce!!
We had lots of "picnics" at my bed with the hospital food being naff, Shane brought me freshly made sandwiches. One day I asked for a cheeseburger Happy Meal. It took me ages to eat it, but I wasn't being defeated.
At week 3 I was bought a wheelchair.....so it was 3 weeks later before I felt any fresh air again. When the Occupational Therapist arrived at my bed with a wheelchair, I cried and cried, and sobbed my heart out, to the point the lovely Greek Nurse came and asked if I was okay, I was and I wasn't. I just thought...this is my new legs!! Shane and my mum were able to wheel me outside, I took a sick bowl with me. The pictures are truly awful to look at, it isn’t me sat in that wheelchair, but a really sick patient.
Out of the 4 weeks I spent in hospital, every single day my mum and Shane would visit, except for 2 days due to me having surgery and the "beast from the east" visiting! I had so many visitors, some I don't remember being there!
Particularly my sister, who I kept asking why she hadn't been to see me....she had. Every bloody day for a week! On the advice of the Doctor's she kept a diary of what was happening, what I said or did for 2 weeks. This was awful to read. SO heartbreaking. Not for what I went through but for my family. They went to HELL and back!!!!
My dad brought home cooked food, which was a god send as I wasn't eating properly, and they tried to put me on those horrendous "protein drinks". Let me tell you, who wants to drink milk that tastes like tropical flavour...NOT ME!!! My aunties and cousins visited, brought me lucozade and Horse and Hound to read, they tried to brush my hair and plait it. It was SO matted from being laid flat for so long. One day my poor mum spent THREE hours just trying to brush lugs out!! (my hair is waist length and very thick!).
My Super Sam visited alot, brought with her a little piece of what I was missing....my pony. She would bring the yard smell with her, straw out of her hair/scarf and boots. Oh the wonderful smell!! I'm sure no one else could understand it! She shared my food, this woman will eat pretty much ANYTHING!! I could not stand the cups of tea they brought around, so Sam drank them. I saved all the little hand wipes, sugars, salts etc. from the meals and Sam took them with her.
I pretty much lived on Ribena, litres and litres of it. As I was catherised I had to drink a lot! I H A T E water. It makes me gip. I cannot stomach it!! So all the water jugs they brought me were filled with Ribena.
Doctors were concerned when I first arrived that I had suffered a stroke, this turned out to be nerve at the base of my skull (where it was fractured) that was causing the facial droop. This lasted for approximately 16 weeks. I can still feel the tingly numb feeling in my chin and mouth, but this is NOTHING compared to what it was. This could take up to 12 months to heal.
I won't lie, as much as the staff were lovely and 99% of them would do anything for you, it was HELL being in there. I was on a trauma ward, so seeing everyone come and go was the worst. They all stayed 2/3 days and then they were sent home after surgery. I met a lovely lady from the Philippines, who I will never forget, Leah. She would sit and chat to me before visitors arrived and tell me about her life in the Philippines. I made her laugh and she made me laugh in return! She sat in silence with me if I was silent and if not she would read magazines with me and ask me about my life, in particular my job and my horse. She thought I was very tough!!
After what seemed to me like an absolute lifetime of 4 weeks in hospital, I was sent home with my trusty 'banana board' and wheelchair. That's where the fun begins.......or so I thought!!!
Love Laura x