In the passeng … er, patient lounge as usual, watching sunrise over the hills from the vantage of Spaceship Hospital. My ketamine is currently at 12 WPH* and falling. Today is probably my last day: I’m due to go home this evening, assuming all goes well.
Last time I was ecstatic and relieved at the thought of going home, this time I’m merely very pleased. I won’t miss the place but it’s true that I don’t often get the opportunity to watch the sun rise and set spectacularly over hills every single day, nor mooch about in slouchy clothing wondering if I feel more like watching an episode of Dad’s Army, having a good old chat, zombie-walking the corridors in the hope of bumping into a fellow Professional Patient or a proud new parent with a tiny baby (both very strong likelihoods), or reading a magazine about vultures.**
On the other hand there is the Captain, home, my pets, my kitchen, dear friends and family, my bike and garden, and our excellent wireless network and Netflix awaiting, so …
I definitely won’t miss the bed, even though it’s much better with my own pillow and a delightful sheepskin, and I won’t miss being woken five, maybe six times overnight for observations, and I won’t miss the bathroom AT ALL.
And I won’t miss the food, even if it did improve dramatically part way through.***
Mainly, however, I won’t miss the ketamine, and to a lesser extent, my cannula.
I’ve said it before and will keep saying it: I cannot understand the attraction of ketamine to recreational drug users. This time the experience was much less difficult but it still included nausea and slurred speech and wacky eyes and blurred vision and unsteady gait and people firmly telling me to go lie down right now because I was going to injure myself or others with my flailing zombie walk.
And even though I boast about my prowess with an IV line, I still manage occasionally to snag and yank the line and jerk hard on the cannula and I bet every one of you who has had an IV knows what that’s like!
So by the end of today I will be without either unpleasantness, and also off opiates. Result!
I will get a week to recover and get my sleep back. I’ve also been advised by my pain specialist to build up my gentle exercise again, concentrating on non-stressful movement like walking, stretching and water exercise. And my e-bike. Yay!
My system will take some time to adjust to the ketamine and also the lack of opiates. Now is the time to stack the odds in my own favour by settling into habits that support my overall health.
Science ***** tells us that some good ways to do that are to eat a variety of nutritious foods daily, get regular movement of the health-promoting variety (see above), get adequate restful sleep, practice mindfulness, and limit daily stress.
Pfffft. Easy then.
You might get some more grumpy kale-eating posts as a result.
*wotsits per hour
**Don’t judge me! Vultures are fascinating.
***One day for lunch I ordered soup and salad and vegies and some stewed fruit, but what I got was a scalding-hot plate containing a few overcooked beans and some spinach that defies adequate description. And even though there could be an ibis somewhere in my ancestry, my legendary garbage guts were unable to face this so I went and had Vegemite toast and an apple in the lounge. However, a day or so afterwards I was getting fresh crispy salads and really quite tolerable**** soups and other dishes. Perhaps the cook had an off day?
**** Not a patch on my own excellent cooking however. Not. A. Patch.
***** Science! (High-fives you all.)