What a start to summer!

When I finished my A- Levels the vision I had for summer was full of relaxing days catching up on all the books I had wanted to read, as well as planning days out with friends and just generally having a good time! However, if you know me well enough you will know that nothing is simple, uneventful or ordinary- too many days in hospital later I am finally back home.

I have epilepsy which is very uncontrolled, despite seizures being drastically reduced from what they used to be, they still can often just be part of everyday life for me. For the vast majority of instances, they last a few minutes; I need a few minutes to come round and then can carry on with what I was doing before. On the odd occasion however, they last longer, have a greater impact, are more severe and end with a good old trip to A&E! I am very lucky that this has only happened a couple of times and not actually resulted in me being admitted, until now.

This particular time I caused a bit of a stir in my local town, but came round to lovely support and couldn't have asked for more. I believe the miracle in this situation was how they managed to get me out of a bus shelter and onto a stretcher! Luckily enough after one night of observation and a few tests I was back home. After being home for a day, the second half of my stay occur, as horrible as this was, the moments of kindness and laughs along the way are something I will never forget, and probably will never experience again- this is what I want to talk about.

Although I was on the end room with 5 other people, 3 of whom I got to know a little more, there were various times our laughter could be heard from the front desk... oops!

  • We talked about all sorts, from family and friends, to past experiences in hospital. 
  • We laughed when we all got matching pink hospital gowns, they certainly are not the most flattering of attire- but we took the role of the 'Pink Ladies' very seriously! 
  • They gave me advice on what food to order, and what to stay away from- heads up, the fish and chips are a no go... We quickly got to know the women who served food, but unfortunately we couldn't convince her to bring us more ice- cream, we EVEN offered to have the tub with multiple spoons, then all huddle around one bed.
  • Jean became my hospital grandma, and even came to my bed and held my hand while I had a blood test (major needle phobia alert!) we just spent most of the time making each other laugh and offering cheesy life advice!
  • Claire became my hospital mum and just generally made sure I was okay, being the most mobile on the ward she would pick things up off the floor for us :)
  • Silvia ended up having a medication competition (what else do you do in hospital?) and being over 50 years my senior would not like it when I had to say my date of birth, sorry for making you feel old!
  • Val had dementia and was so lovely, she didn't quite understand the concept of staying in bed though. Luckily enough between us we were on 'Val watch' and could reassure her whenever she forgot. We went along with her stories, even when this was that she refused to talk to my mum because she had had an affair with her husband (this is not the case!!!). However, she did call us Wonder Woman if we pressed our buzzer on her behalf!
On the other hand, we were in hospital and at times things would go a little pear shaped, but we looked out for each other, alerting nurse's when needed or just been there when things got a bit too much. It was us four against the world and when it came to coming home that morning we said we were either all going, or all staying- fortunately we all got discharged at the same time. We all hugged and went our separate ways, in the nicest possible way, I hope I don't see them again, but they helped so much to make it as pleasant as possible.

The staff were also amazing (apart from a few... but let's not talk about that!) the round of nurses and doctors who also had a laugh on the way and did little things which meant more than they could ever imagine. When in A&E at midnight a nurse brought me toast and a cup of tea, don't think I have ever been so happy and emotional over toast! The same nurse also told paramedics 'I was a handful' and 'they better watch out for witty comments' as I was transferred to another hospital. Or the nurse (Faye) who stayed up with me when I couldn't sleep, as well as sneaking me more pillows so I could get comfy, apparently they are like gold dust. I had Liz who was very funny and also gave us advice on the food! During the day it was Sarah who liked plaiting my hair and would join in our conversations when she could, and quickly learnt the warning signs for my seizures. By the end of my stay, they even learnt how I take my coffee and could guess what I wanted- a definite sign I had been there too long! Finally, there was the physio's who would try and get everyone up for a walk, they soon learnt to not make me laugh when I was walking, I haven't mastered the ability of laughing and walking just yet...

I am so glad to be home but need to thank family and friends. Whether you were there in person and brought fluffy socks (a must!) and waited for hours in A&E on the numerous occasions or you were just on the other side of the phone, text or email- I couldn't have done it without your support!

Here is to a relaxing summer that doesn't involve anymore hospital stays!

~Chloe x

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