So I have been to the hospice four times now and it has certainly been a hit.
If you had told me 5 years ago that this is what I would be doing I would have been horrified, but I’ve come a long way in that short time, and I am honestly so grateful for what these people do.
I have talked before about how difficult I find moving from A – B and the whole process of someone…no less a stranger coming to pick me up and take me there is a very big deal. Nevertheless I was determined that this thing was not going to stop me from going so I, as always had everything mapped out like a military operation. I apologise if what I am about to describe bores you, however I thought it needed explaining just how debilitating COPD is.
Toby was my mainstay as he was the last to leave the house of a morning, so it was down to him to get me installed downstairs and waiting for “my driver”. He was fantastic and wouldn’t leave until he was sure I had everything and I was concerned I had made him late for school.
So there I sat in my living room. The huge tv on, a coffee table in front of me with my iPad and a hot drink, my portable oxygen at my side and my coat and scarf on the other. I was happy to answer my emails etc on line and glance at the tv now and again until it came round to 9:30am when he was due to collect me. I managed to get my scarf and coat on with some wrestling, my frozen shoulder making me wince and cry out with the pain.
10 minutes goes by, I hear the refuse lorry come and go and still no one. Then I got a phone call from the Hospice. My driver is at the door and can’t make himself heard. It was no wonder with that great lorry humming away. I tell them that I can’t get to the door and to tell him it’s open and to walk in and find me. This they did and the next thing I hear is an American gentleman’s voice calling me and then appear.
Tall and lean and a lovely smile he introduced himself to me as Walter and after the pleasantries were over I explained what needed to go with me and how I was to get from there into his car. I can walk short distances if I can sit at the end and regain my breath which can be quite some time. Well it feels like a long time. Maybe a few minutes, I have never timed myself. All I know is that I feel like I am keeping everyone waiting and I hate it, but there is nothing to be done about it.
He went out first and stowed the spare oxygen and my handbag and came back for me. I switched over to the portable cylinders and braced myself for the walk.Walter carried the oxygen bag and I was up and away out the door and into the car. There was a lady already seated in the back and immediately I smelt her perfume. At the same time my lungs ran out of air from the effort of moving and I was left gasping and trying to regain control with my pursed lip breathing. Walter all this time stowed my oxygen at my feet and waited for me to regain some air. I’m afraid the perfume brought on a panic attack and it was some time before he could hand me the seat belt and pull it around me to buckle me in and shut the door. What a palaver!
We get underway and the Sat Nav takes us here and around, up and down dale and eventually we reach our destination.
A wheelchair is found for me so fortunately no more walking for me until I go back home and I am taken into the warmth of the Hospice, which I will blog about next time…