Real Time Short Stories

Nobody Mentioned The Ted Stockings

Posted on: November 23, 2014

The transition from medical marvel to sick man on a recovery ward takes a couple of sets of doors, half a corridor and a few seconds. Even the erstwhile wonder at the speed of my recovery is giving way to solicitation about the remaining breathing and immunological issues that are holding up the rate of my recovery. Time – all time – is flexible in here. The only minutes that are certain are those resembling a George Saunders dialogue, spacing apart the hours like lifebuoys.

Yes, a cup of tea please.
Yes, I will have breakfast. Coffee and bran flakes please.
Yes, I’ll have paracetamol.
Yes please. Cup of tea.
Yes I have. Yes they did open.

Much of this could have been predicted, once we’ve brushed past my failure to predict any of this. I’d never picked up before on the stockings, though. Ted stockings might sound like the support your feet and calves need to prepare you to sit through a long, smug presentation by an ideas-guy with a face mic, but they exemplify my institutionalisation. When I had barely returned to consciousness, I raged against the stockings, white knee-length, muscle-stranglers that made me resemble a Regency dandy, albeit one wearing robot feet. The feet snapped every few seconds, pushing my shins, ankles and toes in random directions. Later, when the (entirely necessary) tin leg-breakers had been removed, the stockings remained in place, a monumental, ever-present itch. Any offer I’d have to be relieved of them for a short while would be accepted gratefully. Some days they’d forget to put them back on and I’d fantasise about a consultant standing above me, telling me they’re ready for me to lose the stockings.

The other night, though, I noticed how puffy my bare feet were, and how cold they were in the bed, and I asked a nurse to put them back on. I think that might be a signal for a shift in how the blog’s going to progress because, in all fairness, that was a really boring story.

But I hope it’s fair to say it’s one I needed to tell.

6 Responses to "Nobody Mentioned The Ted Stockings"

Ted stockings -you regency dandy, you!

Actual LOL. At my advanced age, I now Choose to wear Ted stockings whenever I fly longer than 2 hours. They are a little 18th century. But they work – the ankles don’t swell so. Such is life, age, progress, maybe…

And I’m wearing one – just one, mind – as I type, and can expect to do so for the rest of my natural (or until my leg falls off anyway, which is an ever-present threat on the horizon).
Doesn’t half get me strange looks when I pull up my left trouser leg in order to smooth out the tourniquet-torture roll that it inevitably gets itself into just under my left knee. After ten years of those looks, my patience is wearing very, VERY thin. I have to remind myself that I should be grateful I’m here in one piece to be getting those glances.
THAT, Dinesh, is my advice to you: suffer the itch with good grace, because the alternative was much worse!

You seem to have started something here Dinesh, there’s a whole lotta sharing goin’ on….

I do hope you’re OK, have you not been up to blogging this past week ?

There’s one on the go, Tim, but the nature of what I’m moved to write about is changing as the experience changes. It’s all slowing down, to be sure.

It’s good to hear from you, I hope the slowness is bearable !

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