First of all, thank you for the supportive comments on my last blog post. A week in warm and sunny Spain with Neil put temporal and geographical distance between me and the disappointing visit to the plastic surgeon. We had a lovely relaxing time, although I managed to do a couple of walks - nothing on the scale of what I would normally do, but more than I have been doing in recent months. It felt good to be moving my legs and doing some uphill bits!
Given the fact that I had to take my electrodes and zapping machine, and a syringe of painkiller (no needle, though) on the plane, I was expecting to be called over to explain what this stuff was. Although the security staff took a long time looking at my bag on the x-ray machine, including calling over an additional two staff to have a look, my bag came through fine. On the way home, at Malaga airport, I did get called over but not because of my medical items - oh no! I had committed the heinous crime of forgetting I had a bottle of Diet Coke in my bag and hadn't surrendered it :-) We thought that was quite funny!
I discovered while on holiday that I can now close my left eye independently of my right, which is something I haven't been able to do before, so that's another little bit of progress that I didn't expect. At least now I can wink with either eye, yay! I came home to find a copy of the letter from the plastic surgeon to my original surgeon in which he says that while he doesn't think I am quite ready to have my eye reopened fully, he will refer me to the surgeon and that there's a pleasing amount of movement at the corners of my left eye and mouth, which suggests some branches of the nerve may have been spared. I wrote to my speech therapist, who had been at the meeting with the plastic surgeon, saying I had been disappointed that no surgery would be possible until 2013 and will wait for her response - she works very closely with the consultant so will have some useful insights for me, I hope. I am also going to make an appointment with my psychologist because I feel that I am struggling a bit at the moment and need to talk it through with someone who is detached from it all.
Meanwhile, my mum is in hospital and will be for another six weeks, almost certainly about to be diagnosed with dementia and unable to live on her own. Given that the last time I went to see her, she didn't recognise me, I can't imagine that she will recognise me now when I look so different! I want to go and see her but the thought of the journey is really daunting and the visit itself won't be relaxing. To be honest, I just don't feel strong enough either physically or mentally to do it at the moment, but I know I need to try and see her at some point before Christmas. I know that I have just travelled to Spain and back, but that was for an entirely different (and very necessary) reason and I was with Neil, so didn't have any pressure on me to deal with anything. Travelling to Scotland on my own, however I choose to travel (suspect driving isn't an option for me, so it would be either plane or train) will be pretty demanding. And of course, the guilt kicks in that I should drop everything and go up there. Ho hum.
On the plus side, our son is home from uni for his reading week (not much reading involved - I think it's more a recovery week!) so it's good to have him home again, although we had forgotten how much milk and peanut butter he consumes :-/ It's good to have all four of us round the table again at dinner-time.
Our friend Carl is still in a coma and his family has been told that the damage caused to his brain is irreparable and that he will never regain consciousness. As you can imagine, this has devastated them, even if it wasn't entirely unexpected, so they are much in our thoughts. Although he is breathing on his own, there is no other meaningful body function. It's a terribly sad time for them and for those of us who know them.
This post is a bit like the curate's egg, isn't it? There are some good bits and some bad bits - life's like that, I suppose.
As always, love and thanks to Neil, Amy and Adam for wrapping me up in their love and care. And thanks to all of my friends and wider family for all your support and thoughts. It might sound trite, but I really do appreciate it and it does make a difference.