To say I felt flustered would be to put it mildly.
I only had the operation late in the day on Tuesday, and to be told on Friday morning they could be discharging me that afternoon gave no time at all. Fine if one was living in Cheltenham and all one needed to do was phone home and ask someone to collect you. But they all knew that was not the case in my circumstances.
I needed more time to make some arrangements. As soon as the doctors left I got straight onto the laptop – I hadn’t even had time to decide on which hotel let alone book it, and I still needed to arrange a lift from Cheltenham to Malvern.
I wasn’t sure whether to go for one of the larger hotels right in the centre of Malvern – such as the Abbey Hotel, or choose a smaller boutique type hotel where the food was likely to be better. In the event I chose a lovely little hotel just a short distance from the centre, though because I was booking at the last minute nothing was available for the weekend. Monday was the earliest date I could find if I wanted to stay for even a week, and that was not a room I would have normally chosen. But I had little time to waste and the decision was made.
Fortunately my brother Nick had already said he intended to call over and visit me – an epic journey from Norfolk to Cheltenham, so I contacted him to ask if could he come on Monday and ferry me from Cheltenham to Malvern: then made his journey even longer by asking him to call at brother Mike’s house and collect the extra clothes I had packed ready for when I left hospital.
It was as well that I had not gone with leaving on Friday afternoon, as it took till nearly lunchtime on Monday to get the medicines I needed for my discharge, and even then everything had not been included. But they had managed to include a three week course of anticoagulant injections which – to add insult to my needle phobia – I was going to have to self-administer.
On the Monday I was up, showered, dressed and packed early. My medications were brought and the physiotherapist paid me another visit, though gave little useful information other than to say it was alright to shower and dress myself, which I had been doing since Wednesday. And to tell me not to lift anything heavy. When I queried how heavy was too heavy, she indicated the bags I had packed that morning and had lifted onto the bed – saying ‘nothing like that’. But as no-one had offered any help I had just thought I had better get on with it!
It was a long journey for Nick and he didn’t arrive until after lunch. But then sorted things out, getting my cases and me down to the car which he had parked close to the exit, and we set off for Malvern.