Now read on…I left London on a lovely sunny Sunday morning and Hubby drove me down to Guildford for a week’s recuperation and physio at The Clavadel. I had phoned them to let them know we were on our way and they asked if we would like them to keep lunch for us…Yes Please!! I was starving, and knew Hubby would appreciate it.
So we rocked up in Guildford, me thankfully still doped up with pain killers ( hurray for Codine!), and were gathered up by a lovely lady who took me to my room (number 1), ensured me they had been told to take special care of me by my surgeon ( as he probably says of all his patients…he is a lovely chap)and then we joined the other “inmates” in the dinning room. Flashback to school lunches, and flash forward to an old people’s home in some respects…loads of Sunday lunch was served – along with the comment that all patients were expected to eat well to aid recovery, said looking sternly at my Hubby after he had frowned at how much was on my plate..I immediately loved the place! Hubby followed suit when he saw the desert trolly! Oh boy! The staff were very friendly and helpful, providing me with a cushion to raise my right foot off the floor for comfort. We were given coffee and biscuits back in my room, and after all the forms etc were dealt with we both had a nap!! Yes, a nap on instructions from the staff. I grew to love those afternoon naps, and still do, tho I don’t often have one now.
So day one ended with me having supper in the dining room with a couple of lovely ladies after Hubby left for London, then a cocoa at night time finished me off. The week that followed went so quickly sadly – lovely staff came to help me get up after delivering breakfast to our rooms, helping with my surgical stockings ( I grew to hate them), providing tea or coffee at the press of a button, and making my bed! I missed them hugely when I came home! My days were divided up by either physio or hydrotherapy in the most fab pool, with a floor that raised or lowered to aid those who needed it. It was so good to get back into the water, and I soon managed to bend my knee to over 125degrees, which is the aim after a knee op. There was some friendly rivalry with other patients over this, and lots of chatting over scars, details of our operations, hospitals, surgeons ( mine was best, of course!) there were three other patients who had been in the same hospital with the same surgeon – all very interesting folk, and only one didn’t stay the full week at The Clavadel. The one thing I wanted to take home from the clinic was http://www.gameready.co.uk/. I am sure it is the best icing method out! We all loved lying there with the heat-exchange cuff round our knees as it cooled and compressed our angry joints…even the hip patients were able to have special cuffs to use it! I really wish I could buy one. ( wonder how generous Father Christmas will be this year?)
One of the most interesting people I spoke to was Elaine Wyllie, the founder of http://www.thedailymile.co.uk – encouraging primary school children to run a mile every day, at whatever time and in whatever they are wearing. Elaine had had a hip operation in Scotland and had been sent to Guildford to recover. She was passionate about the children, having been a teacher and headmistress in Dunblane (after the shootings). She was Andy Murray’s head, and co-incidentally the Clavadel is where he came for recovery after his hip op! It is so good to listen to someone who loves what they do, and she has a lovely sunny personality too.
So, after 7 days of being pampered as well as worked hard in the gym or pool, Hubby picked me up to find I could walk slowly to the car on my own!! I still had the crutches for walking outside and in public for a while, but I wanted to show Him what I could do. Home we drove, and it was so good to be back in my own space – even though I had to go upstairs to bed. Hubby was fabulous for the following week, cooking some amazing meals, bringing me tea in bed first thing, and driving me up to London for the 2 week check-up. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me on the road to recovery, and if you need a new hip or knee then try to go to a convalescent home afterwards, it makes such a difference. Shame they can’t be for everyone on the NHS!!!