White Walls, Bright Lights, Rocket Fuel and a Surprisingly Merry Christmas.
At the beginning of December of 2012, I had the faintest hope that I might actually be out of the hospital and home for Christmas day. This was despite almost every single person I spoke to telling me it was very unlikely.
Eventually, with my advent calendar rapidly running out of chocolates, I realised that I was probably going to need to write the hospitals address on my letter to Santa.
It is safe to say that I was not full of the joys of the season when this realisation came to me. Hot off finding out that my kidneys were finally working again after weeks of dialysis, my mind was hungry for more good news and sitting within the pale walls of the hospital ward was not the “White Christmas” that we had been hoping for.
That being said, the fact that I would no longer need to be hooked up to a blood cleaning machine several times a week was still a pretty good early Christmas present.
One morning I was venting my frustration to one of the doctors who had foolishly asked “Are you looking forward to Christmas?” He then managed to make the whole situation just that little bit worse by informing me that I was actually due to have a blood transfusion at some point in the coming days. This meant that I would essentially be bed ridden for a good few hours while they gave me a “fresh tank”.
I was so certain that, due to the ancient law of sod, this would end up happening on Christmas day. My family and me all separately spoke to various people, (many of whom it most probably had nothing to do with) to try and have it organised for after the 25th.
On the eve of Christmas eve, the very same doctor who had first told me about the transfusion came into my room and informed us that it was going to take place the following day.
We were all a little concerned that it would mess me up for a few days but he assured us not to worry and that this was his “early Christmas present” to me.
Deck The Wards
The following day, as I was being prepared for my transfusion, I spent a long time thinking about what the doctor had said to me.
“It will perk you up”.
Considering how downhearted I was about the whole situation I was doubtful of this but at the very least it meant getting the whole thing out of the way. Usually in the mornings either mum or dad would come to collect me. I would “jump” (i.e. very carefully slide) into my wheelchair and head over to their hotel room for as long as I was allowed out of the ward.
(In case I haven’t mentioned it, or I have and anyone has forgotten, the hotel is attached to the hospital).
However, seeing as I was to be hooked up to yet another machine for the day, my family all piled into my hospital room and went about making it look festive with tinsel, mini trees and fairy lights. Many of the nurses even joined in, wrapping the room and themselves up in decorations and by the time I was all transfused up the place looked like a very clinical but surprisingly jolly Santa’s grotto.
They really did work hard to make it look good for me.
It had been a fun day and despite not being able to get out of bed for several hours I had found myself laughing for a good portion of it. Finally, as evening fell on the night before Christmas, I drifted off to sleep.
Off The Walls
The following morning I did the exact opposite of drift off to sleep. I woke up and was instantly filled with enough energy to toss aside all feelings of drowsiness before they even hit me.
The nurses and my family were all a little shocked at just how hopped up I was. In fact, my parents swear that I talked for an hour straight, only taking breaks to quickly breath in.
I may not remember it exactly the same way (probably because I was too busy talking to pay attention to time) but my memory of how I felt on the day does make it a real possibility. It was as if somebody had injected me with not just energy but a whole dose of excitement and enthusiasm.
What seemed destined to be an upsetting reminder that I had been in hospital for such a long time turned into the best day any of us had had since I went to sleep for that operation all those weeks prior.
The head teacher of my school had even organised for some money to be sent to my parents to make sure that they could buy Christmas presents for my sister and me. Considering the situation we were in it was an incredibly kind gesture that gave mum and dad one less thing to think about.
After a nice Christmas roast in the hospital cafeteria we all went to my parents hotel room and watched festive movies until it was time for me to go back to the ward.
When I arrived I found that the nurses had left a little present for me too, a DVD of Kevin Bridges’ stand up routine.
It was absolutely hilarious and had me in stitches, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that I still had actual stitches from open heart surgery.
Have you ever had a laughing fit with a broken chest bone?
I do not recommend it…
- Be wary of making quick assumptions.
I have to admit, the idea of having a blood transfusion the day before Christmas worried me a lot. I had assumed that it would make me feel unwell and ruin the day, even though I had absolutely no experience or evidence on which to base this assumption.
Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the result and since then have tried my best to not make quick judgements based on a gut reaction, especially when I have no experience of whatever it is I am making judgements upon.
- Mood reflects surroundings.
Most of the time I was in that hospital room, I felt and acted like somebody stuck in a hospital room. That’s not to say I was constantly gloomy, in fact I tried my best to stay as upbeat as possible as did the rest of my family. It doesn’t change the fact that I looked and felt like a patient recovering from major surgery.
Then my parents, sister and nurses all decorated my room and suddenly I felt like a teenager celebrating Christmas with his family.
- “Sod’s Law” is real.
One day it will be fixed in place alongside Newton’s laws of motion as a universal fact.
Obligatory Blog Quote
Welcome to the party, pal.John McClane, Die Hard (A Christmas Movie)