Tales from the Ward Chapter 39 and 40

Chapter 39: A Cacophony of Disapproval

I’m in the physio gym with Pilar my physio. She’s trying to prod my outstretched legs to lift up. Come on come on, she says as she lightly prods my ankle into action.
I’m breathing pretty hard considering how simple this exercise is to an able bodied person.
In the process rather than grunting like a weight lifter with the effort I’m emitting a small squeal like a deflating balloon.
Across the room Noelle is demanding her training record to be marked with a gold star for every five second period she keeps her legs separated. She’s up to four and a half. And argues for a five. It seems petty but her childish expectations are becoming familar. It motivates her. I know how hard I’m trying to get even 10 millimetres of air under my leg so I can’t really criticise.
She starts singing another of her unrecognizable off key pop songs.
Giovanni is moaning his physio Alessandro is hurting him, like most days. But he joins Noelle in a tuneless duet. The performance makes me groan.
Steph doesn’t like me singing, Noelle proclaims.
No please stop.
Giovanni laughs and begins to serenade his gym partner been louder.
Down the corridor i can hear faint yelps from someone’s therapy dog.

Chapter 40: In the bleak mid winter

You know the day is going to be less than tropical when even your catheter’s night bag contains ice crystals.
The radiator is on at full blast but It’s not cutting into the chill.
Accuweather says It’s only two degrees outside with a ‘real feel’ of minus six ie fookin freezing, felt even more because I’m unable to move around and it’s my first winter in 21 years.
In the summer I could happily sleep with just a sheet over me, sometimes not even that. But as the year has progressed the amount of covers have increased with it.
Last night’s layers were socks, sheet, polar fleece blanket, and wool shawl over my legs. When even all that couldn’t stop me shivering the staff had to dig out a duvet for me.
Now at midday the temperature is a steamy six degrees (real feel minus two) and having prised me out of my nighttime layers into fleece lined trousers a fleece jacket with wool shawl on my legs I’m seriously thinking about my fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm.
Earlier this year I expressed an interest in a Loughborough University study on how heat affects people with MS. The chief researcher wanted to know if cold affected me in the same way.
I can definitively say yes.
My nose is dripping like a wet dog’s.
And it’s not even really winter. Yet.

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