A surgical saga, part 5

(I stumbled across some notes that I had made on my phone from my time “in the joint” and they paint a pretty good picture of what life in there is like:

“A new guy who I’ve never met before came and sat on the same table as me. Having never seen him before, I asked him how he was doing, and he preceded to laugh at me for a good 3 minutes. Obviously not a talker is he !

Having said that I did get a gesture of humanity when he almost thanked me for moving my newspaper so he could read his freely.

Already seems like a nicer guy…”


It’s slightly surreal to read back notes and quotes that you wrote down whilst in the centre; but I’m glad that I did as they provide a pretty good depiction of what life in this particular Neuro rehab centre…)

When you’re in the place like this it is hard not to slip into a routine of monotony.

The day starts with breakfast, which comes between about 8 and 9 am. One thing that never happened is that I never overslept and missed breakfast. I have never been a big sleeper and one thing that the accident has done is to heighten these tendencies even further, so that I find it almost impossible lie in.

Then at about 9 or 10 your ‘sessions’ would commence. These entailed a range of different activities, but with one commonality – they were all designed to improve your cognitive function. These were varied in how enjoyable they were, as these things always are. They included, on the basis of a daily, two-daily or weekly rotation, Psychology classes (did I need a shrink?!), Occupational Therapy classes (your everyday activities), Speech and Language Therapy classes (basically mini-English lessons) and last, but the most insignificant ‘least’ possible, were the workshop sessions. These were my favourite sessions for a number of reasons, the first of which was the fact that they were run by a lovely, chipper Scouse bloke called J***. Being a Liverpool fan myself, we would spend hours discussing the Liverpool team and our chances in the Champions League. (This was the period in the year of the run up to the Champions League final, which was going pretty well for months until it that fateful night in Kiev, when Sergio Ramos deliberately fouled – and injured – Mo Salah… SCUMBAG!)

One reason that I loved these sessions is because of what I was making in said workshop, which was a chess board. The funny thing about it is that I don’t really remember the process behind making it, nor could I replicate it if asked to do it all over again! But that doesn’t really matter because I now have the aforementioned chess board, fashioned from oak and teak, sitting resplendently in the drawing room at home. I also bought some fairly suave wooden chess pieces that I found on eBay; so a chess fever is sweeping our house!

Once again, thank the Lord for my parents who, from about March onwards, used to come to Headington every Thursday for what we referred to as ‘movie night’. This basically entailed them coming in to the centre to pick me up, us hightailing it out of there and heading for the bright lights of Oxford. Upon arrival in the proverbial Holy land, we would go for a quick bite to eat in the cinema’s vicinity before settling into a film. Luckily we live close enough to Oxford to make this possible, so it wasn’t too much of a headache for my parents to come in from home. In truth, it also usually happened on a Thursday night so that my Father, (“Simão”), could meet us in Oxford on his way back from work, which he does in Surrey on Mondays and Thursdays.

As a result of our nifty scheme, between the dates of me being an inpatient in the OCE we saw a pretty damn impressive amount of films, with the highlight probably being diving into Guillermo del Toro’s dystopian universe in The Shape of Water.

Never before have I been so up date on my cinema films…I guess there have been silver linings to my surgical saga!

Next week I will round things off with a description of 35 of mine and brother’s closest mates taking on the Tough Mudder challenge in Henley-on-Thames. Stay tuned for hilarity !

Published by luckiestmanalive1

Internationally-minded English journalist.

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