Nobody Mentioned The Ted Stockings
Posted November 23, 2014on:
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.