An early start this morning. Got up at 7am. In the past I was always an early riser, but this darned illness knocks me out so much that it’s often nine o’clock before I totter out of bed.
What’s the reason today? The Zoom talk at 1pm? No. Visitors? No, certainly not.
An urgent trip to the bathroom? Not this morning. A delivery? Not exactly.
You might remember that on 3rd February I slept with Alice. Alice was kindly provided by the NHS, but it seems that her report on my behaviour didn’t impress the doctors. They need more. Two weeks ago they told me that they want me back in hospital for a night, to do a full ‘sleep study’ and to assess me for a ‘cough assist’ machine.
What’s that about? These days, with the weakening of the muscles, I can’t cough strongly enough to clear anything blocking the throat. Mucus blocks it often, and it can lead to choking. It’s very unpleasant. The machine should help me to cough more strongly, but they have to check me out first. Quite important.
So I agreed, and I’ll be going in on Wednesday 17th, three days from now. But what’s this to do with the early start this morning?
It will be in the hospital’s Neuromuscular Complex Care Centre, in a Green Zone where everyone and everything operates under maximum anti-COVID conditions. The staff are swabbed and tested weekly; patients must pass a Covid test exactly three days before admission; and another test when they’re admitted; and no visitors are allowed, though carers can enter if they’ve also taken and passed the test three days earlier, and they can stay if there’s a bed available.
So today’s the day for the test. It’s an interesting process. They could have arranged to take me to a drive-in test centre today or they could send a kit for home use. I chose the latter and it arrived a few days ago. The instructions are explicit. First, register online, which I did. Next, four days before admission (I.e. yesterday), book the official courier to collect the kit today, which I did. Then self-administer the test at 7am this morning, which I’ve done. Then package it in the supplied box – done. Then wait for the courier to collect it between 8am and 4pm today. Finally, strictly self-isolate for three days.
All very precise, and pretty impressive. I should get the result on Tuesday. If it’s negative then on Wednesday morning the hospital transport, already booked, will get me to the hospital. Then one night there, connected to various machines, and home on Thursday. It won’t be as stressful as the three ‘operations’ last year. It’s a change of scene so I might even enjoy it.
That’s the reason for the early start today. So far it’s gone to plan, and If Tim suddenly disappears from the screen in the Zoom talk this afternoon you’ll know the courier has arrived.
So from DP, strictly self-isolating yet again, enjoy your Sunday.