Out of hospital but long road ahead

Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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A long road of recuperation stretches rather bleakly ahead. I was finally released from hospital last weekend. Part of me was sad to leave behind the security of my room where staff could not do enough to make me comfortable, regular meals brought to my bedside and everything on hand at the press of a button.

I had slept for longer than I ever thought possible during the ten days I was in Leeds General. Any pain and discomfort swiftly dealt with allowing me just to rest. It is easy to get a false sense of your wellbeing whilst under the umbrella protection of hospital but out in to the big world I was finally sent.

I had some extremely kind offers of houses, from people I barely know whom had read about my predicament, but in the end Miriam the therapist worked out how my parents’ house could be adapted after they graciously offered to turn it upside down in order to fit in what I needed. When the ambulance dropped me off I sat outside in my wheelchair and breathed in the wild moorland views of Wharfedale, the sharp winter air wrapped around me like a welcome hug. My situation suddenly felt very real.

My parents’ beautiful lounge had been transformed in to a bedroom for the infirm, I almost wept when I saw it. Within a few hours the immaculate room was strewn with my clothes, office papers and bags of stuff I had asked Tris to drop off, all set to a reachable and handy level for a time they were needed.

It was my mother’s turn to almost weep when she saw the mess she would have to live alongside for the next month.

It has not been an easy ride. The days seem to tumble by without consequence. As my pain gradually lessens, I am beginning to feel a little more myself. Having time on my hands is a completely alien concept which I am still coming to terms with. My partner Tris has been amazing in keeping things going.

He ensures my son Felix gets to school in a clean uniform every day and has cooked up weeks’ worth of meals for me. Before work he rides out with my (wonderfully reliable) staff, walks Baffle, feeds the sheep and opens up the dog field.

His only refusal came when I asked him to wash my Patterdale, who came to visit me a few days ago, she was so excited it was delightful to see her but she smelt worse than a rotten egg, having obviously spent too many days with her head stuck down rat holes on the muck heap in my absence.

The Injured Jockeys Fund have offered no end of help including a rehabilitation stay at Jack Berry House in Malton beginning in a few weeks’ time when I am ready. I finally have the perfect reason to visit the place.