After waking up with the horrific pain in my face, neck, back and shoulders, the only thing I was looking forward to when I got home was my nice soft bed and a bath. By the time I arrived home on the Saturday was too exhausted to have a bath but decided I would like to have one on Sunday. My mum helped me to walk to the bath; she helped me to undress and held me as I got into the bath. It is funny, before this point, if mum saw me naked I would get embarrassed and very self-conscious. But by this stage, with all the pain and the state I was in, I could not care less who saw me. I just wanted some relief. When I sat in the bath it was really uncomfortable so mum helped me to lay back and placed two rolled up towels behind my neck to support myself. I soaked my hand and took off all the last remaining plasters. I was too tired to scrub the monitor glue off of my skin, so just lay in the hot bath. Mum tried to swish some water over me but when the water touched my face I panicked. It felt really horrible and strange, it was like my face was no longer part of my body. The relief I was hoping to feel was short lived and my neck and back were still very painful even in the hot water. The steam from the bath made my cheeks feel like they were on fire and they would flash deep red. By the time I got out of the bath I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. But I could not, the pain was still unmanageable. I would then continue with my routine of medication, ice packs and having DVD’s on in the background to listen to. My eyes were still really heavy, so I could not watch much. Mum would sit with me a lot and talk to me but she was so exhausted from the sleepless nights she would often drop off to sleep for 30 minutes here and there.
Over the next week the highlight of my day would be to have a bath. I was still not sleeping and by week two, the pain was at the same level as it had been the day I woke up from my operation. Something as simple as going for bath had become really difficult and tiring. Each day I would wipe my face with wet cotton wool and clean around my face, nose, ears and neck. The iodine was everywhere and it took quite a long time to get rid of it all. I had bruises on my lower jaw and around my neck but it was not too horrific.
For the first few weeks I spent a lot of time upstairs. As the pain was so intense, I found watching children’s movies to be the best. I could visualise the characters in my mind and I did not need much concentration to follow the story. As I was unable to move unaided, I would often have to watch these movies on repeat until mum came up to check on me or woke up to give me my medicine. My favourite films to watch at this time were Happy Feet and Madagascar. They have a lot of music and funny adult humour. I was unable to think straight and I would text Sophie and Dash very brief messages. Mum would keep in contact with my others friends and give them updates on my progress. Luckily mum had booked three weeks off to help me recover so it was great to have her around being able to help me.