5. Continuing week Two – Small Achievements

The following day the doctors have completed their rounds, Adam is now on humified oxygen and antibiotics have been changed to oral. Adam tells me he is coughing less and we decide to post an update on Adams progress so far.

I mention in my post that healthcare has never been so prominent, extraordinary and imperative, the staff working in the hospital environment are providing care in extreme circumstances. I also thank our support network of family, friends and work colleagues, who have all been vital in their support to the both of us.

I use the picture below, although you can tell by her face, she wasn’t up to posing.

One of my friends, she loves a good chat, we all have them, she has been shielding since the start of the pandemic. We have been messaging each other and sometimes its good to have a different perspective on a situation and its been good to talk about something else other than being ill and the daft picture’s she send me, todays offering is little chicks wearing cupcake cases as skirts.

On Good Friday most people are diving into chocolate for breakfast, I get a 6am video call from Adam, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, but he is feeling down. Adam is the only one awake in ITU and he sees and hears everything that is going on, it’s starting to effect him, he doesn’t tell me exactly what he has seen, but I can just about imagine. I let Boris’s best friend group know that he has woken me up early and is feeling down, we agree to bombard him with daft things today, just to keep him occupied, we even manage a WhatsApp group call with family members, it was exhausting, but provided the pick me up that was required.

Adam’s Easter eggs sit in the cabinet, in the sitting room, untouched.

One of my managers contacts me, she has been absolutely fantastic, really supportive its been a scary time for everyone and she has been the glue holding us all together. In our WhatsApp conversation she asks if I’m alright and is there anything she can do for me. I say that I am alright, but I really do miss actual people, I go on and say that I thought I was the kind of person who could live without others, this week has shown me that I can’t do that and I need people in my life. It’s probably the first time I’ve admitted it to myself and expressed this view to someone else. So next time I see one of the posts on Facebook that says would you live here for £1 million (picture shows a house in the middle of an island, no other people), I can honestly say that I can’t.

I’m all about celebrating the small achievements, I think its important to acknowledge them, this mornings small achievement is I can smell shampoo, not the greatest discovery, but it’s an improvement. Brushing your teeth is weird, you can feel the tingling of the toothpaste, but not the actual taste of the toothpaste, a very odd sensation. I tell this great discovery to Adam, he says he can taste and smell one of the onecal drink flavours and its vile, well at least mine was a pleasant experience.

My buddy from work has been to drop off a homemade cheese and potato pie it was a really nice surprise. We talk at a distance, she’s standing on the road and I’m standing on the front garden. She’s a little shocked at the weight loss, but I haven’t eaten properly for nearly two weeks, she wants proof that have eaten I promise to send pictures later.

My next door but one neighbour is sitting at the front of her garden, she obviously hears my conversation. We talk over the front gardens, she too has been unwell with covid-19. But she has had some additional symptoms the dreaded diarrhoea and vomiting. She also has children to look after, her husband is still required to work, he works away and comes home at weekends normally, when he is due back he has to stay with her, because of her symptoms. I really feel for her, she said it is impossible to self isolate with children, but she is doing it as much as she can. Secretly I’m just glad I don’t have what she’s got, on top of everything else.

I feel excited that I have ventured outside, even if it was just outside the front door, to see actual people its an amazing feeling, I tell adam this, he says great, I see plenty of people all vented or all masked up. Adam tells me that he doesn’t think he should be in ITU, because all the other patients are really unwell, he said he brought this up with the doctor. I know what Adam is thinking, he believes he is taking up precious space in an ITU bed, the doctor tells him, that he is in the right place, so they can closely monitor him.

Netflix latest suggestion is The Haunting of Hill House, not normally something I would go for, especially in these circumstances, but the flitting back and forth from present time to the past, is enough to stop me thinking about the aches in my muscles, but I don’t think is does my headache any good.

Later that day, I try the cheese and potato pie and discover that I can actually taste onion, its sweet and oniony, I can’t believe it, I can’t taste anything else, I send proof of my eating to my buddy.

We’ve hit Saturday, Adam is still the same and still in ITU, messages and video calls pass through the day. My spelling has completely gone, so my messages look like I’m drunk. I’m not, I’m just really tired and sleep on and off during the day.

The ITU doctor has been round, Adam’s made good progress and the doctor is looking to move Adam to a ward in the next couple of days. Adam is still on humidified oxygen.

Adam and I video call and I can see staff in the background with Adam, they wave at me, I wave back, we exchange hello’s and lots of thanks you’s from me. The staff are unrecognisable in their PPE, it’s like watching something in a film, not real, but it hits me quite hard seeing the nursing staff dressed in full PPE, it is real and it happening now.

I can’t even image what it is like to work with the extra layers, the mask, the visor, nursing and healthcare has truly stepped up to this challenge and I feel so proud and humble at the amazing work they are doing under extreme circumstances.

Adam says that he really misses human contact, he has people around him but contact is limited and there is a barrier with staff in their PPE. He told one of the nurses this and said that he just wants to hold someone’s hand, the nurse obliges, that actually made me tear up a bit. What an amazing profession, I hope the Prime Minister is taking notes in his hospital bed.

I arrange for some Amazon pantry deliveries to the wards Adam has been on, mainly soft drinks, the UK for some reason has been bathed in sun and the working environment in the hospital has been extremely warm, I hope the soft drinks are a welcome refreshment in this heat.

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