Yesterday was another wonderful day in the life of Lucy. It was good because for the first time in over a month, my Grandad was able to go outside and feel the fresh air! My Mum and I took him out of the stroke ward in a wheelchair and we walked around the little garden area in the hospital and sat on the bench chatting whilst Grandad soaked up the surroundings- it’s safe to say I definitely know where I get my nosey side from! He really enjoyed people watching and taking in all the little things that I take for granted; EVERY day I walk past the different hospital buildings and often am too consumed in my own thoughts and worries that I tend not to notice what is going on. But Grandad wondered where everyone was going and what they were doing. He noticed a helicopter in the sky and the dog being taken for a walk nearby. It was then that it hit me hard how difficult it must be to stay in hospital for a prolonged period of time. Sure- Grandad is well cared for and is up and about doing physio sessions each day, seeing the speech therapist and occasionally watching the TV or reading his paper. But for the entirety of his stay (up until yesterday) he has just seen the same 4 walls of his ward, and watched the same poorly people in his ward, day in, day out.
It’s like an extended family now at the hospital; there’s my Grandad, Joe, Frank, Percy/Alex (he has two names!), Mohammed and George. There was also Les but he had to be moved into a side ward last week due to an infection and so we still see his wife before and after visiting and chat to her to find out how he is. Despite all the sadness of watching people deteriorate, watching relationships strain as the illness takes over more and more, knowing their lives will never be the same again; there’s a feeling of compassion when you walk onto the ward. We’re all in a difficult position, none of us really know what is going to happen. It’s tiring and difficult but we’re in it together.
Grandad’s first outing yesterday will hopefully be the start of things to come. After we’d spent some time outside, we walked back inside the hospital, through the corridors and down to the cafe where Mum, Grandad and I all sat drinking cappuccino! We had to take a tub of Thick & Easy with us to thicken Grandad’s drink, but apart from that it felt just like normal. He WILL have a life after stroke, he will just have to adapt to a new normal.