Met a lovely nurse called doreen on the evening shift for my first night, and she set all worries and distresses with ease. She had this really soothing voice and nice 'ora' so I felt good. She ran through all the normal procedures, instructed me I should perhaps go to the toilet right before I attempt to sleep just incase I need to go in the night because obviously now I am unable to get up and go myself and there's always the chance they may not get there in time to take me. So, off I went as she carefully transferred me from the bed to the wheelchair and to the toilet. Brakes on the wheelchair and then again transfer off from chair on to toilet, she gave me the cord I needed to pull to let her know I'd finished so that she could come in and get me off it, and back to my room. I found this whole process so difficult to deal with, all these nurses (male & female) helping me to take down my underwear as I couldn't manage, it felt incredibly embarassing, I mean the only other person besides me to take down my underwear is usually my boyfriend, but granted those circumstances are more playful (TMI I know!) so, instead of being upset over the fact I couldn't take down my underwear alone, I just had to get used to the fact that they were. I would blush like mad when any of them would comment on certain pants, not sure why but I turned into a 14 year old girl in those moments.
Then, morning and boy oh boy did I have the worst night's sleep. I was so disorientated - I mean, I'd only just got used to feeling alright at New Cross, but this move rocked me a bit and irritatingly my sleep. (I'm the grumpiest girl in the world if I don't get my 8 hours). I woke up to Nurse Lei and Sandy, an absolute comedy duo of nurses. They were full of life and one of those people that could make a conversation with anyone. Nurse Lei asked about my profession and upon hearing I taught Drama, she joked that I would have to teach them and that her best friend was a Drama Teacher - Turned out to be my teacher from school Mrs F. (within the next few days, Mrs Fearnehough turned up with chocolate and cards ^_^). Then they told me I would need to think about whether I wanted a bath or shower. I asked if my mum and sister could do it but they said no and that they'd need to do it. So, I refused to have a bath, it may sound incredibly stubborn but I was so sick of having random people wash me and not wash me 'properly', I needed someone who I'd feel comfortable with, and after refusing them washing me for a second time, they gave in and contacted my mum to come in to bath me.
I was so relieved. One, because I was finally going to have a bath (I'd been having bed baths and sit down showers for 2 weeks up until now) and secondly because I was going to have my mum do it. Mum gets here and then her and Nurse Sandy wheel me into the bathroom, where they pull out this machine with a hoist. I wonder what that's for I wondered, then as they started to assemble the hoist, the sad truth was sinking in, I wasn't going to simply just have a bath, far from it, there was going to be this agonising preset before scene bath was to follow. So mum undressed me, then with assistance from the nurse they both picked me up and placed me up on this machine which was quite a height from the floor. As I'm sat on this seat thingy, my body is just so slumped from the left, there's a mirror straight ahead of me and I'm horrified at what I see staring back at me. Never have I ever felt so repulsed to see myself. I just turned away and looked down at mum who was now operating the hoist (and she's a little bit of a technological virgin) but, she was working this like a treat. She strapped a cover over my arms to keep me secured and then manoeuvred across the bath and then lowered me into the bath until I was now sitting in the bath. Bar all the negativity of the process it was absolutely fricking worth it. I was actually having a bath. 'Never thought this would happen mum' I said, 'I know' she said. She joked that it was like when I was little only with bigger boobies, the child in me chuckled away at that for a bit.
I finally felt clean for the first time in ages. Mum had brought my shampoo and showergel and creams up and I finally smelt like Sandy again. She brought up some clothes too and I was more than impressed with her fashion choices :)
And then the Dr rocked up (She was an absolute numpty imo) telling me I needed to interact more with the others on the ward because I was being anti-social but, in all fairness I didn't know what exactly I could talk to them about. At their youngest they were 40 and personality wise, they were nothing like me. I'd made attempts but being in that environment was making me feel worse, I was feeling far more proactive in my room, as I was able to talk to my friends and practice trying to get my leg working more, and doing those things made me feel like I was doing the things I normally would if I would home. I felt the Dr had contradicted everything she had first said about the point of being in NRU, which was to adapt back into my 'normal' community/environment and instead they were trying to make me doing exactly what others on the ward were doing and that they felt I'd be sinking into a state of depression if I didn't interact with others, but they were missing the point. It was more depressing being in an environment with people suffering similar or completely different neuro-related problems that were twice my age. I dug my heels in though (much to their dismay I'm sure) I might have lost my mobility but I was going to be damned if they thought they were going to take the little bits of my identity that I felt I held onto. Fuck you trying to make me like every other person I thought, especially after they tell you they design an individual care plan to cater to the specific and unique needs of the one because every case was different which a one for all system would clearly fail at.