I could be wrong, but I would believe that normal people after a three week stint in the hospital, complete with major operation, would go home and put their feet up. Maybe have a cuppa, watch a bit of TV.
I went down the road to the supermarket.
I wasn’t alone, I’m silly but I’m not stupid, there was no way I was going to be able to carry any food back with me.
At the time, I wanted to get some fresh air and be out in the “real world” but what I didn’t expect was how unbelievably freaked out I would get.
Everything was so loud, there were too many people, too much noise, too much going on and I nearly gave myself a hernia when an ambulance put on its siren beside me. It was all a bit much.
You see, in the hospital, you get into some kind of routine. There are nurses on hand if you have any questions or need help with something, there are people who are in the same boat as you. You’re in this weird bubble and once you’re out, it’s a whole new ball game.
I had to learn how to live my life with TinTin on my own and I never really anticipated how scary it would be. I was so focused on getting out, ha I sound like I was in prison, that when I did I went into shock.
I felt like I had been smacked in the face and it was the first time I felt that I wouldn’t be able to cope with it all.
In hospital, the fact I had managed to walk from my bed to the waiting room was a massive achievement. Being on the outside, I just looked tired and ill. I walked really slowly and was still slightly hunched over from being opened up through my abdominal wall. I felt really strange and alienated but once I was out, there was no way that I was going to admit it. I kept going, I walked round the supermarket, back home and I was so exhausted I had to get my partner-at-the-time to put me into my pyjamas.
21 and I was being dressed. I was not in a good place mentally. I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong and how alone I felt.
I wish I had taken more pictures of my time in hospital and in the early days just so I can show you all, but at the time, the thought of a camera in my face was just a little bit too much to bear.
Things did get easier. I stopped thinking of the ‘if, buts and maybes’, and just tried to take every day as it came. It is a hard thing to do, but when you’re going through such a major transitional phase in your life, it’s the only thing that you can do.
You don’t know how your recovery will go, how your stoma will behave, how you will react out in public, how work will be, how friends will be around you… You just don’t know till it happens so it really is best to take the experience as it comes rather than worrying about it, because worrying, as we all know, just causes more stress.
How were you when you came out of the hospital for the first time?