Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Six Bloody Months!

Where did they go!
Last I remember it was a nice sunny Friday in May and I was off for a weekend in the Lakes with the lads and looking forward to summer! Now it's a dank Tuesday night in Southport at the back end of November and I'm still in hospital....quite a wrong turn was taken somewhere!! ...sorry to sound grumpy, I just think the six month mark is making me feel somewhat reflective about it all!

It has certainly been something of a marker I've held in my mind, I've definitely moved past the 'it's still early days' phase of things into 'this is kind of where we're at' phase of things, so the hope is fading somewhat and the pragmatism is kicking up a notch! ...sad but true! ...don't get me wrong I'm still very very much hoping and praying for what will increasingly be a miracle but the longer we go without any movement in the legs the longer the odds become for there ever being any really, and that's unfortunately the reality of it!

The flip side of all that gloom is to look back at the last six months and be tremendously thankful for the progress I've made! The immediate aftermath of the accident, A&E in Middlesbrough, surgery and what not is all a bit patchy mostly due to the multitude of drugs I was on, but I was pretty much helpless, I could barely move my hands and was being fed by the nurses. Staring at my thumb and index finger and willing them to touch occupied much of those early days, the thought of being able to hold this iPad and type this message seemed a million miles away! But thankfully my hands are massively improved, the movement is all pretty much there I just lack some strength but this is slowly creeping back too. Below my level of injury (ie chest height) I can feel touch, this began to return in the first few weeks after the accident and was initially very faint indeed but has steadily improved, it's still a long way from normal, for instance I can't really feel hot or cold or pain but there's something there at least! That aside though as mentioned there's still no signs of life in the old motor function but the feeling thing shows something is getting through at least! ....all in all though, when I consider where I was initially and having met a lot of people with a similar level of injury to myself along the way I do have to count my blessings really, as strange as that may seem! But I am or will be pretty much independent upon being discharged which really didn't look possible at the outset, so I think we'll end this bit with a glass half full sort of vibe!! And this seems an appropriate place to once more thank everyone for all they have done for me since the fateful day, it really has carried me along. X
(oh and randomly stumbled upon these photos in my phone from said fateful day, pre accident of course!)

Right I don't know where all that came from to be honest, just got myself ranting on again!! So whats actually happened this week? Erm same same really! physio I've been managing to get upright on the tilt table, so it seems the blood pressure issues may be a thing of the past! Must admit its been nice to feel 6' 4" tall again as opposed to just being 6' 4" long! And it's funny to see quite how short my physio Ben is, as you don't tend to notice whilst seated! So that's all been pretty encouraging.

In O.T. I did my first transfer into the drivers side of the car and then practised dismantling the chair and lifting it over me into the passenger side! It was absolutely knackering to be honest and served to remind me how much further I need to go in terms of rehab post discharge from here! what with getting myself up, washed, dressed, into the car, taking the chair apart, putting it back together again and getting myself out of the car I think I'd need to be up at about 2 a.m. on a work day and then need to have a kip when/if I made it to the office! ...but like with everything I've been doing practise is everything really!

Cartoon by Tony Husband.
This weekend was a bit of a stop start affair! With a couple of nights at the Hughes residence punctuated by a Saturday that was something of a write off as I just generally felt a bit like crap, I had a number of things to do and pretty much failed to do any of them! I did manage to get my haircut which wasn't on the list but that's where it peaked! ...although that in itself was like most things not quite so straight forward! Jen and I rolled/pushed our way there, only to realise the step was a little larger than we remembered so a call for backup was made and Peter and Rose promptly arrived with the ramp and got me in but I don't recall the last time I arrived at the barbers with such an entourage! And just to finish it off nicely it seems my haircuts are now a committee decision! Asked at the end if I was happy with it, I was happily nodding when miss Hughes decided it was an open question and asks for a bit more off the top! Abuse of the disabled if you ask me ; )  .....but apologies to those I missed on Saturday it wasn't personal! ....again just another reminder for me of progress yet to be made in not just having random off days!

Sunday was the christening of Jenna's wee nephew Mr Harry Joseph Gilleece, to give him his full title! 'twas a lovely do and nice to catch up with people again, particularly liked the part where Harry falls over and started crying just as the deacon was saying the part about his mum and dad being there to look after him! Great comedy timing for one so young!

Oh and a big thanks to Lee and Lewis for their fantastic effort in completing Tough Mudder on Sunday! From what I've seen and read it looks and sounds pretty grim especially the wading through waist deep muddy water in mid November! Rather you than me! But thanks guys.

Love to all
Mark x


  1. Betty The Blog11/22/2012 10:34 pm

    I can't find the words to describe the impact seeing these photographs and reading your words has had on me.
    If ever you doubt yourself Mark just think of all the people who are on this journey with you. We pray for a miracle and we are willing you to a complete recovery.
    Six months down the line we are all still here for you and we're not giving up our hopes, dreams and good wishes for you. If you need anything or we can help in any way you don't even need to yell - a whisper will do it.
    Big hugs

  2. Mark, there is no doubt that your last 6 months has been a rollercoaster ride full of lows and highs, mixed emotions, hopes and dreams, good times & sad times but as betty mentions, if you Jenna and the swift clan are in the first carriage, then the rest of us are filling the others and as long as this ride continues. we will be with you all the way mate.
    Look forward to the beer later when the virtues of Rafa and the demise of our beloved cricket team can be discussed and a possible solution to your wheelchair/car situation
    Keep the faith fella