It’s been two months since we last met here, two months that have been a short blip in time but also feel so looonnngggg. It’s May, we’ve had the wonderful Beltane and things are starting to accelerate and grow and heat up.
This is my favourite time of the year, so full of promise and pregnant with expectation (a hangover from being a kid when summers felt endless and exciting). I won’t mention Derek (the virus), he’s still here, hanging around, meaning lots of us are still in lockdown, a situation as mentioned previously that is old hat to myself and other people with Chronic conditions. But this blog is not about Derek, it’s about the human mind, the soma of trauma and how you move on but ping easily back like knicker elastic.
There was a satisfying thud on the doormat today, this arrived.
This folks is the big wedge of paperwork from my stay in hospital in that misty time of ambulances and worry. I requested this pre-Derek as a way of accessing old addresses for my Irish naturalisation application. To prove I lived here when I said I did. I’d actually forgotten about it such was the gap between request and response.
I opened up the envelope and in an instant I was back there in turmoil, pain and confusion. Thumbing through with big heavy tears and feeling overwhelmed. It makes for very interesting reading. Firstly, it showed me the amount of work and personnel involved in putting just one person back together (this was only for my 9 day hospital stay). It made me even more grateful for the amazing NHS and the magical people that work for it. Secondly, it filled in the gaps for me. I got to see on paper the steps taken whilst I was out of it happily floating in another dimension whilst chaos ensued. When you are disconnected from an event in the way I was (being unconscious) it’s still hard to fully understand everything that transpired. Seeing it written down was a big moment of awakening for me especially the part that took me through my surgery, I got to find out how I was lying on the bed, that my eyes were taped up, that they elevated my feet. All these little details that place me in that room instead of it feeling like a film I once saw.
The biggest poke in the eye however was the triage and admittance log. When I arrived at hospital my Coma Scale rating was 3. For those not familiar with the Glasgow Coma Scale, 3 is the lowest number, it’s about as unconscious as you can get apart from being dead. There’s also frightening statistics that people with a 3 rating have a 85% chance of dying. I was teetering on the cliff edge and I’m bloody lucky to be here. I had a 15% chance of survival and for some reason I did. Now if that isn’t completely sobering I don’t know what is.
Looking at all of this in pen and ink was mind boggling. Another layer has been added to this story. As I write this I’m watery eyed and it feels, for a brief time, like living it all again.
So you see, this is why Derek holds no fear for me, I’ve met Derek before in a different guise, I looked him in the eye, rolled the dice and thankfully I woke up. I WOKE UP. That’s why despite everything life is beautiful and unpredictable and joyful. I don’t get to do what I used to do, life is quiet and slow but I’m content. My goodness, never before has the simple act of just opening my eyes been so important.
stay well and stay happy my headbangers.