Wednesday 21 October 2009

Laughter follows my hospital visit

Back to the hospital

And so I conducted my first visit back to the hospital yesterday under my own steam to have blood taken which would determine the next course of treatment, like additional chemotherapy or how else readings of my blood condition had changed.

When I was leaving the hospital two Fridays ago, I had promised the lady of 85 in my ward that I would visit her and so I bought some chocolates and quite a lot of chocolates for the nurses on the B.06 section of the hospital.

First, I got a blank card where with a thick felt-tipped pen I listed out the 14 names of the nurses and then thanked them for their care, compassion, concern and professionalism, addressing it to the wonderful and amazing nurses of B.06 OLVG.

Mobility by bike and crutches

It is easier to get around on a bicycle but I had to find out how to carry my crutches, I got a marker to mark the points at which the height and elbow grips are set and found I could collapse both crutches to just about 70 cm in length.

I then placed the crutches on the bike load platform which is over the back tyre and held them in place with two heavy-duty elastic bands with grip hooks on either end.

After that I was ready to go, that arrangement was just right, with enough energy, I could get anywhere and when there I could negotiate whatever I had to get to my destination.

Meeting with the nurses

The bloods were done in less than 20 minutes and forthwith I went up to Ward B.06 to see the nurses, this was well before visiting time – apparently the lady had left the Friday before, which was good though I felt bad about not being able to keep my promise.

Immediately, I recognised two nurses, in fact, the first one I saw was the one that gave me a wash, she was off to see a patient, and then I met the one who checked me out and gave her my gifts offering to bring in a Taibo exercise DVD if they felt they were being fed too many chocolates.

One of the doctors walked by the reception and instantly remembered my name, she was happy that I was looking well, and the nurses were grateful, gracious and appreciative, I just felt it was the least I could do and I think every once in a while, I would surprise them with something.

Then I went down to see the Catholic priest that visited me at my bedside, he was called from one of his rounds, we had a chat and again, I felt his visit was very useful and comforting for me and I gave him a little present and made my way home.

I took a long route which allowed me to meditate, sing and edify myself.

Laughing through the pain

Until yesterday evening, each stab of pain or chronic pain was acknowledged with a grimace, a contortion of the face, a grunt or some other reflexive action and I suddenly decided, maybe by inspiration to register every feeling of pain with laughter.

Bizarre, you may say but there is a reason why laughter is supposedly the best medicine, so I laughed through every moment I felt pain, my body being slow to play that game because naturally one defaults to a cry of pain, to purposefully overrule that with determined laughter even when you do not feel like it is interesting.

What I noticed was the pain was no more occupying my thoughts that much and within the 6-hour circle of pain medication where the pain begins to show up after four and a half hours, I have now been able to go 11 and 12 hours respectively between the medications for pain.

When the nurse arrived this morning, he thought the idea of laughter for managing pain was funny but as much as possible I giggled or laughed for the pain. He felt I should have one of my toes checked out when I visit oncology on Friday and he arranged that meeting.

Apart from a few areas where I sometimes need help, like shopping and doing the rubbish, generally, I am coping well at home and also recuperating quite well too.

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