8 weeks in and our Caribbean Holiday was teetering on the brink of cancellation. This was a bit of a bummer, because we’d been looking forward to it and couldn’t have predicted that a slip on the wet pavement would threaten it. I mean really! 8 weeks and still I cannot walk any distance or sit, it’s almost unbelievable but that’s where I am.This made physio the number one priority. We had two weeks to decide if this holiday was on or off.
I was banking on my second appointment being the catalyst for change, and keen to make a real effort given we had to abandon the last one. Preparation for the arrival, and maximising participation were crucial. Our holiday depended on it.
The appointment happened to be the day after the burnt vegetables, statistically failure can be traced back to seemingly unconnected past events. And the charcoaled vegetables triggered a chain reaction; I couldn’t eat the meal, that contributed to me missing some medication and later forgetting to take it at all. The ensuing chaos meant everyone was stressed, the house was filled with smoke and the pots were blackened. My tolerance for drama was limited and I couldn’t settle in bed so didn’t get much sleep. All of this played directly into my pain management and the following day I would pay dearly for this.
Still blissfully unaware of the impact of yesterdays events my other preparations went according to plan. I arrived on time, avoided the car park, was deposited at the door albeit by myself. I trundled into the department unaided and a tad undignified as I was still dependent on the crutches. I followed the green line and slowly made my way into the sanctuary of promise and hope.
The reception area lay as far away from the entrance as possible. You were teased on the approach with rows of inviting comfortable seats, only accessible when you’ve finally discharged patient responsibilities and checked in. Having accomplished this I grabbed the nearest seat available hoping my therapist would arrive soon. My pain was slowly building to a crescendo. Lack of pain relief the day before was reducing my resistance to anything but a basic tolerance. A woman I knew walked by me and I looked her way but I was sufficiently distracted to forgo introductory manners. She was deaf so it didn’t seem to matter, and she sat down next to me.
I was struggling now and incredible pain was starting to engulf me so making polite conversation was the last thing on my mind. I stood up, I sat down, I shifted from side to side, I put my leg on the coffee table but I could not find comfort. She was deaf not blind but failed to notice I was paying her no attention, and kept talking. I wanted to scream in her face to ease my tension. (Wanted to but wouldn’t, as I say basic tolerance.) Just as I was about to explain she was summoned and I was left grateful, writhing and waiting for my turn.
Then the physio arrived and I inhaled a faint aroma of the Caribbean. But I knew the moment I got to my feet, I’m not going to manage any of the planned leg gymnastics. And sure enough 3 minutes into our appointment and she’s looking to discharge me thankfully suggesting that I might benefit from home physio, as getting here was taking so much out of me. I started to weep, ( I know its getting to be a habit), but I could feel the Caribbean was beginning to slip from my grasp.
Defiantly I stood up drawing on every ounce of determination, balancing precariously on the crutches but she could see I was verging on hysteria. She brought me a wheelchair, combining this with a four wheel zimmer and bridged them with a pillow, where I could rest my leg. Then she and her colleague guided me rather haphazardly on the makeshift bogie out to the exit and my husband waiting by his car.
How the hell would we make the Caribbean when I couldn’t undertake a 10 minute appointment with the physio. Like a melting ice-cream on a hot July day, it was starting to slip through my fingers………….