This is the twenty-third part of a guest serial, in 824 words.
Ewan came to visit me again on Monday, Mum was slowly getting better but still unable to see me. I already had the speaking valve connected before he arrived. After we had a long hug, I asked if we could FaceTime anyone, I wanted to try and speak while the coughing was minimal.
First, we spoke to Mum, my Nan was also with her. They were shocked when they heard my voice and cried. Secondly, we spoke to Ewan’s Aunt, I remember crying when she appeared on the screen – I will refer to Ewan’s Aunt as Auntie J – ever since I met Auntie J, we’ve had a close relationship and she’s an amazing woman. She helped me through some of the darkest of times. I managed to say “Hello” but Ewan spoke throughout the rest of the video call as I couldn’t stop crying. I can’t remember who else we called.
I had a little nap not long after we finished speaking to everyone. I felt really overwhelmed with how tired I was from just saying a few words. I woke up an hour or so later to realise that Ewan had gone, but it turned out he just popped outside. Another nurse had appeared during my nap, not sure why I ended up with 2 nurses.
The male nurse began writing on my whiteboard, I was looking at Ewan thinking, “Oh God, what now?” When the nurse turned my whiteboard around, so that I could read it, I was taken aback and tears filled my eyes as I finished reading what he had written.
“Do you want to go outside?”
I really couldn’t believe it, the thought of being able to go outside, to see different surroundings, to feel the cold air, it made my heart fill with so much joy. It’s the little things we take for granted, my head was telling me this would be the last time that I would get to go outside, but it was my heart that was saying, “No, this is a new beginning”.
Ewan held my hand as I gathered my thoughts, and truth be told, I was excited and I didn’t need to be asked twice. I nodded, as my speaking valve had been disconnected before I had a nap earlier, and the nurses rallied round to get everything prepared, I was wrapped up in a blanket, had 2 small oxygen tanks beside me on my bed, a portable monitor that was placed by my side. Once all set, we headed down corridors, and lifts, until we approached a door.
I’d never been to Addenbrooke’s before, this was all new to me. The female nurse opened the door, and the male nurse pushed my bed outside. We were in the middle of a small garden with a few benches, lots of greenery too. The garden was empty, it was just the four of us. The nurses moved my bed into the centre of the garden, put the brakes on and then walked around.
Ewan leaned on the bed rails to be closer to me. He looked at me, and I to him. His eyes were the most beautiful colour of blue, he leaned close enough so I could see all of his facial features. These little moments felt like we were back on the bench, 5 years ago (now nearly 8), where we shared our first kiss. It felt like the world around us had stopped and it was just the two of us.
I may have been slowly getting better, but looking at all the equipment, and the tubes, it bought me back to the reality of how close I was, to losing everything. But this moment, with Ewan, right here, if this would have been my last then I would be happy.
Our gaze was averted as the male nurse approached my bed; he had picked a few flowers from the garden. I think they were purple. He handed them to me, I looked up at him and smiled, and mouthed “Thank you”. I had lost the use of my grip and I found it difficult to hold the stems, but I really tried.
I didn’t realise my iPad was on my bed, I thought it was left inside. I turned to Ewan and mouthed, “Can we get a photo, please?” he smiled and asked one of the nurses if they could take a photo.
Once the photo was taken, the iPad was placed back on my bed, I wanted to wait until we got inside to see the photo. I looked up at the buildings around me, only to find out 10 months later that this was only a small part of Addenbrooke’s, it was huge! and despite all that had happened in the last few weeks, all the scary stuff and not knowing if I’d make it, I made a promise to myself that things would change.
I would make things happen from now on.