Hello and Welcome to this Blog about how José and I are learning to conquer Tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs). Following José'...

Month 8 - Escapism

The very first thing to say is a huge congratulations to Christine and a massive Thank you to everyone who has helped her reach and surpass her fundraising target of £18,000.  We are both humbled by the generosity people have shown. We don't know exactly what the future holds but knowing that José will definitely have the 'luxury' of physical activity is incredible.

As December has marched on José has progressed well with his recuperation. He is now back on three meals a day without the need for additional nutrition and is swallowing consistently well. As mentioned last month he will require additional ventilation support when he returns home but we had doubts as to whether the care agency we were using would be able to provide this level of care. The NHS is currently seeking a new agency and José will be discharged as soon as the appropriate care is in place.

When it became clear that José wouldn’t be home for Christmas, Stanmore kindly agreed to train Georgina and I in some of the day-to-day techniques required to maintain José’s well-being.  Once we were signed-off for things like manual assisted cough, hoisting and recognising dangers; and had watched a video of José’s swallow; we were allowed to take José out for day trips without a member of staff.

José and I did have one furtive escape from the ward one evening before the training was officially concluded.  We took Bradley for a walk around the hospital grounds (which if you have visited you will know involves a few ups and downs).  José enjoyed feeling fresh air for the first time in months which made up for the telling off we got from Matron for disappearing – she probably wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t left a muddy trail from door to bed on our return!

Since training concluded the week before Christmas we have made good use of our free time and the new car.  José joined his family for a pre-Christmas meal and drinks, went to the cinema to see Star Wars and to do some Christmas shopping.  His Mum prepared a full Christmas lunch and expertly hosted nine of us on Christmas day, then we went to my family on Boxing day. We also had a lovely long lunch in town where we observed the new pattern lights at Canary Wharf once it got dark – whoever was on duty turned them on at exactly the moment José turned to look at his old place of work!

Tomorrow marks the end of 2015, and I don’t think either of us will be sorry to put this one behind us.  But we will raise a glass nonetheless and hope to remember 2015 as the year we re-connected with old friends and met many new inspiring people.  2016 will be a rich year with all the wonderful people who are in our lives.

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