The day of my appointment finally came, my anxiety was through the roof, I was in a lot of pain and a bad mood. I’m usually in a bad mood when I have a hospital appointment but this was worse as I knew I’d be there for up to two hours and this was the last leg before the three week stay.
Three weeks in hospital. Three weeks sounds a lot but patients get to go home at Friday lunchtime and return Monday morning, so it’s only twelve nights in total. I shouldn’t be that bothered, but I am.
My boyfriend came to Stanmore with me (as he always does), he pushed my wheelchair into the Jubilee Ward and I instantly felt like I wanted to cry. I don’t know what came over me but I felt sick and the rebel/diva in me demanded we leave.
We were ushered into a conservatory next to the ward, other patients and their families waited and I couldn’t look up. I can’t explain how badly I wanted to go home.
One of the psychologists, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist gave a talk on what to expect from the programme and how each day would run. I could feel myself panicking even more and couldn’t make eye contact with anyone because I knew I was sporting ‘snotty bitch face.’
On the programme patients will get up at 7:30 (I didn’t like that), have breakfast, go for physio (or OT), have lunch and then OT (or physio, depending on which way round you had it). There would also be group psychology sessions as well as individual ones. Visitors are allowed each evening until 8pm.
Then each patient was taken away by a member of the team and their specific needs were discussed. My assessor was an OT and she was lovely, she listened to all my concerns and reassured me that the programme really would benefit me. Deep down, I knew it would but being away from my boyfriend and on my own terrifies me.
I made five goals that I wish to achieve on the programme and was told that at the end of each week I’d make more.
My goals are:
- Improve sleep routine
- Improve general fitness
- Help come to terms with my disability
- Learn to pace myself and know my limitations
- Adopt a more positive way of thinking
Despite not wanting to be there in the beginning, I felt much more at ease after I’d had a one-to-one and the positives outweighed the negatives; don’t get me wrong, I’m still really nervous but if I reach my goals and find various ways to help manage my pain, it’s worth a try. I’ll be in the best place with amazing professionals that know about my condition, so wish me luck.