We broke out of the Tooting Hilton and are back in Poole; Jake in a very swanky side room with views over Poole Harbour (I’m thinking of moving in) and me in our little house with our cat Milo.
For me this makes all the difference in the world; it is easier for me to work, I have all of my things around me and the hospital is a 25 minute stroll away. That said, I do miss ‘rooming’ with Sister in Law; despite the hideous circumstances, we had a really good laugh and provided each other with a level of support I’m not sure anyone else could have provided. I feel fairly confident that she won’t miss having to share her hairdryer though!
For Jake it is another step on the journey towards rehabilitation, whatever that will mean for him and us in the long term. He is currently top of the list for a bed on the Portland Ward, a specialist brain injury rehabilitation unit and having met the Portland team, I am reassured that this will be a very good move. I say ‘currently top of the list’ because I have been warned that this could change at any time as new cases are regularly put forward and one of them may have a greater need. As usual, we continue to cross everything and hopefully Jake will be on this next phase of the journey by the end of February.
Yesterday was a bit of a funny day at Boot Camp as Poole Hospital shall now be named. Jake has another infection on board and is therefore very ‘knocked off’ as the professionals call it. This meant another chest x-ray and his nurse and I went down to radiology with him. Two of the radiographers kept looking at him funny and finally asked me what he did for a living and where he had qualified. Yes, you guessed it; they were on the same course as Jake at the University of Hertfordshire. It felt so wrong that people who were his peers just a few years ago were now the health care professionals working with my broken boy. This made me very sad.
I also met with the specialist nurse and co-ordinator from the Portland Ward who gave me a sense of what brain injury rehabilitation looks like (more on that in future posts) and asked me lots of questions about Jake and his hobbies, likes, dislikes, personality and background. This was an odd experience; it is important for me to remember everything that makes Jake the amazing man I married, but this is both uplifting and heart breaking at the same time as we don’t know what Jake’s outcome will be.
So I find myself in a period of reflection; reflecting on the extraordinary talent, commitment and caring of the St George’s team we have said goodbye to and are eternally grateful for; reflecting on how incredibly lucky I have been to have found such a wonderful partner in Jake and reflecting on what the future may look like (I'm reasonably confident it will involve wine).
Please keep on doing what you do to send your hopes, wishes and prayers our way and remember that there is a spare room waiting if you want to come and see us beside the seaside…beside the sea!