I had a letter a couple of days ago confirming that I’ve been booked in to hospital for my follow-up Alemtuzumab treatment in July. Last year I was in for five days and four nights.
This year, only three days and two nights. Looking back on it, I was a complete hospital novice. So here’s my list of what I will be doing differently this time around:
- Pack my own pillows. The hospital ones (if you are lucky enough to get one) are super-thin slices of foam. And that’s being generous.
- I won’t be taking a huge pile of books. I ended up reading only newspapers and trashy magazines, but I did learn a lot about Heidi and Spencer Pratt’s marriage and Cheryl Cole’s beauty routine.
- Staying overnight in a Neuro Day Unit means you have absolutely no privacy all day. People come and go for tests and treatments, usually bringing a bunch of family members with them. It’s like having a whole load of strangers parading through your bedroom. Must also remember to lie when people ask me if lumbar punctures hurt (they do, I was a screaming banshee).
- Cannulas hurt like hell too and it stays in the whole time. Must get it strapped up when not in use as do not want to recreate the Psycho shower scene like last year.
- Much as I loved the regular tea trolley trundling around at all hours, it tastes awful. Will make regular trips downstairs for the hard stuff.
- Accept all the sleeping tablets I can get my hands on – hospital beds are uncomfortable, some lights stay on all night and there’s strange people wailing down the corridor.
I will be a calm, confident patient. I know the score this time round. Still a sobering experience though, when the reality of MS really kicks in, far more than just putting up with symptoms on a day to day basis. This is real. The doctor says so.
So when everyone else is packing for a week in the sun, spare a thought for me as I pack my pyjamas, fluffy slippers and selection of snacks to munch on (Jelly Babies, dried banana slices and cookies). God knows what I’ll look like walking through the hospital corridors on my way to book in, struggling with a huge bag and two pillows under my arm.
One other point – do hospitals have wi-fi? How will I stay up to date with my blog and Twitter??