It's May 18, the day I was supposed to go into hospital to have my left hip replaced, the day this year has been planned all around. In the letter postponing the op until September there was mention of bed shortages, bed blocking and emergencies. However, the cynical side of me and a view confirmed by some NHS workers, is that this is where the cuts begin. One nurse friend even said,
'Don't believe otherwise.'
The Occupational Therapist came yesterday with her measuring tape and plastic elephant feet to do a rece of our home and furniture and to sus out if Rhys is up to what it takes to look after me post-op.
'He's been doing it all our married life', I said.
He said, 'I've had the op myself.'
They compared notes on equipment. Three years ago it was cheaper to give you all the equipment you needed new:-commode, extra-long shoe horn, grabber, sock-thingy that looks like a cotton bike saddle with long tapes, high chair, elephant feet etc, rather than loan them, collect after use and recycle.
The OT noticed the extra-long shoe horn with Rhys' name on hanging in our porch. Very useful for scratching your private parts and getting your boots on and off without bending down. Problem is you still have to bend down to do up your laces. It's where your walking partner's mobility and willingness to stoop that low is tested. If you are walking alone and can't face asking a random passerby then you may trip over your laces and you're back to square one. Waiting for another hip replacement operation.
'We did try to give the stuff back, honest!', we said in collective guilt, 'but nobody wanted them.'
'It's all different now,' she said.
She apologised that I was to have an inferior grabber to the one Rhys had-one without a magnate on the end. Cuts again. Not that I can think of a good reason why I would want to use my grabber as a metal detector, but Rhys assures me not having one is a distinct disadvantage.
Now I'm all measured up and perfectly fitted out with no party to go to. Today, I read an article by Barbara Ehrenreich in Therapy Today (May 2010), She says that positive thinking won't help me in my situation if it ignores the reality of my circumstances and inhibits action. Given I might reach September having not worked all summer (positive) and then be postponed again(realistic?)- potentially putting me out of business for even longer, I've put myself on the 'ready to go at a moment's notice' list just in case some other poor person is cancelled and I move up the queue.
So I've bought a new hoodie dressing gown. Steffan says my wearing it reminds him of the 'grim sleeper'. I couldn't find a cotton nightdress, so bought a dress that could double up. Oh, and some pink slippers with rubber soles-for grip. Very out of character. Now, all I need to do is pack my hospital bag. Bit like preparing to have a baby.
That house-sit in the jungle of Panama. . . How long would it take me to get home if I get that call and there's been a cancellation ?