Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Navel-gazing and Friday Firthday

Warning: This post was written late on Friday afternoon after a long tiring week of physiotherapy and a long day of doing not much except thinking, therefore it is introspective, whiney, contains navel-gazing and excessive discussion of the filmography of one particular English actor. Read at your own peril!

It has been four weeks and three days since I broke my leg and four weeks and one day since it was operated.  In some ways it feels like the time has flown by (four weeks have passed already?) but mainly it feels like I have been here forever and the life I lived before is a distant dim memory.  Right now I want to be home with my little family so much it hurts! However, I will be spending all day with them tomorrow and all night with them on Monday night, so I am much less entitled to complain than most of my co-patients, many of whom have lost limbs, been in here for longer than me and are not likely to leave as soon.

One of the hardest aspects of staying in a hospital is that there is absolutely no alone time at all.  From the moment I wake up until I close my eyes at night, I am in the company of nurses, patients, physios, therapists, people.  The nurses constantly check on you.  This is good – it’s their job, they’re supposed to make sure you’re okay and still breathing and your pain is manageable, but I have never spent so much time talking about moving my bowels.  The last few days I have started escaping to the toilet just for the silence, although I only get 15 minutes silence before a nurse knocks on the door asking if I’m okay!  I’m lucky that I have lovely women in my room and the nurses are friendly and competent, so at least the interruptions are well meaning and kind and my antisocial tendencies are accommodated as much as possible.  I am basically just a big whiny sook J

To break up the tedium and take my attention away from my self-indulgent complaints, I am instituting a new tradition called Friday Firthday, where I watch something containing the delectable Colin Firth.  Last Friday I watched The King’s Speech.  Although (taking into account all the interruptions from staff and fellow patients) it took me four hours to watch it from beginning to end, I enjoyed it immensely.  Today I’m watching A Single Man.  Checking out IMDB I actually own a few of his movies (The English Patient, Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually).  I was surprised to see he’s been a few crap movies (What a Girl Wants, anyone?).  I’m leaning towards something light for the next one (A Christmas Carol or The Importance of Being Earnest), although Pride and Prejudice is a classic than can never be watched too many times...  Does anyone have any recommendations?

ETA: I really enjoyed A Single Man.  I thought it was visually spectacular and very reminiscent of Mad Men, which I love.  Colin Firth's performance was fantastic and I was interested to see a grown-up Marcus from About a Boy.  However, I think it's important to tell anyone before they watch this that the film opens with a dead dog.  I wish someone had warned me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A slip and a fall...

Picture this: a thin stream of water from a slowly dripping showerhead rebounds off the floor of the shower and pools on the bathroom floor. A young woman, relieved to have finished a difficult project, relaxes on the couch watching a Hitchcock movie.  Onscreen Paul Newman is grappling with a German spy, fighting for his life.  The music swells to a typical Hitchock-ian crescendo as the call of nature becomes impossible to ignore.  The young girl pauses the movie, rushes to the bathroom without pausing to turn on the light and predictably slips on the puddle.  The screams begin...

Two weeks ago I was that young girl (please, I'm in pain and I'm allowed to pretend that the phrase 'young girl' still applies to me). In a completely stupid and avoidable accident I broke my femur and my pelvis, and I've been in hospital ever since.  I spent two days at the Alfred in their Emergency Department, and my advice for you is, if you have broken your femur or your pelvis, don't go to the Alfred Emergency Department. My highpoints were the total lack of doctors and buzzing the nurses only to have them come to my bed and say 'What?' or 'You right?'. Once a nurse thought my request was so inconsequential walked away while I was still talking!  After two days I was operated on and transferred to a trauma ward, where the doctors were still largely absent but the nurses were totally fantastic.  Maybe they filter all the rude ones to ED?

I am currently in rehab, trying to get back enough strength to regain my independence.  I am at Caulfield Hospital and the staff are great, but it's hard to rely on other people to do every single thing for you. I can't get myself a drink or a cardigan if I'm cold or pick up my books from the library.  Thank God for the Internet and my iPhone, because without them I would have gone crazy 13 days ago. Also, I doubly thank God for my wonderful support network, who have been fabulous to me.  My injuries mean that I can't live in my own flat for the moment, so I need to rely on the help of others to pack up my house and move, and I don't know what I would do without my friends and family.

On the plus side, I have done LOADS of knitting. I have finished two shawls and am halfway through a third.  I started a pair of socks yesterday because the shawls are moving across the needles so fast I'm worried I'll run out of things to knit!  If only I could block and photograph them as well...