18th October 2011:
It was around 10pm when my family thought it best to go home, get some dinner, and try and sleep. The look of exhaustion was oozing from each of their heavy eyes. I didn't want them to leave me. I didn't want to be alone. I was embarrassed at the thought of having to ask the nurses help me go to the toilet, 'Maybe I could just hold it in till the morning,' I thought. I didn't want strangers looking after me, I wanted to go home.
I was completely dependant on everybody, I physically couldn't do anything on my own. Not even 24 hours previous, I was driving my car, I'd done a shift at work, I was having a good time with my friends at a pub quiz... In one day, everything had changed.
As my Mum and Dad, Chris and Anna were leaving the ward, all four of them kept looking back at me, waving and mouthing 'Love you,' as I looked on back at them, lying in my hospital bed, in my lonely little side room. Empty smiles and tired good byes were directed at the night nurses, and within seconds my family were out of sight.
A kind nurse came in to my little room, dragging a long with her, the blood pressure/oxygen monitor. She was all smiles and filled with light hearted chit chat as she checked my temperature and attached me to the machine. I attempted to reciprocate and answer all of her questions in the most casual manner I could muster. It took all of my might not to burst in to tears and whimper, 'I want my mum.' The upbeat nurse helped me have a drink of water, passed me the buzzer that was plugged in at the wall behind my bed, and told me if I needed anything at all, then not to hesitate to ring the buzzer and ask for help. She left...
Then I was alone.
As I lay there I could hear the attempted whispers of the nurses who were hovering around the nurses station that was situated just steps away from the door of my room. I could hear the monotonous sound of multiple buzzers being pressed by patients from all angles of the ward. I could hear the faint, exasperated moaning of the poorly woman who was lying in the room next to mine. Yet no matter how many noises I was surrounded by, or many hospital staff were walking past my room and checking in on me, I still felt lonely.
There was nothing else for me to do other than lie there, and wait for the night time to pass by.
My broken body drifted in to an unsettled sleep, and finally morning came. A different nurse bustled in to my room dragging with her that same familiar monitor...
My first proper day on the Stroke ward had begun.