Marrianne always had a loved one at her side throughout her 7 months in hospital. We decided to document some of the daily occurrences by having a visitors book. Visitors could scribble down messages and thoughts on what was happening. At the time it was hard for some to write in but now Marrianne can look back andsee just how far she has come. Below we have posted just a few extracts, so you can gain a tiny insight in to the horrendous ordeal that is SCI.
Sunday 18th July 2004
You were very sad this morning. You didn’t sleep much and you were in a lot of pain. You got very angry with everything. You told me you couldn’t be bothered anymore. I told you that I need you as much as you need me. You promised me you wouldn’t ever stop trying.
Andy (Marrianne’s partner)
Monday 19th July 2004
Dear MazI came to work this morning looking forward to coming to work as I knew I was in the ventilation bay with you.
Although I’ve probably had more tears and filled up more over the past few days whilst I’ve been with you, I’ve loved looking after you.
I relate to you because of your age and your outlook on life and have loved helping you.
I’ve put your ‘fenestrated tube’ in your trache so you can now speak and your voice was there immediately. Things are starting to improve gradually and you’ll be off the ventilator very soon.
To be able to make a difference and help people like you was the reason I came into nursing and I hope I’m delivering this!
Love, Emma. (A nurse on the spinal unit)
Tuesday 20th July 2004
You were well peed off today, you shed a lot of tears and asked me to take you home. It breaks my heart to see you struggle so much, I wish I could swap places with you or try to take some of your pain away. You try and keep your spirits up around the nurses and doctors but I know you are really angry with the world.
I pray every day for you, just to make you that little bit braver and stronger.
Love you lots, Mum xxx
Saturday 24th July 2004
Its been a good day considering everything you have to go through on a regular basis… Turning, drugs, suction, pain, drugs, more suction, itches, eating whilst flat on your back, constant bleeps and buzzing, the list goes on and on.
You’re still smiling. Of course we have lots of tears but one day they will be tears of joy. Until tomorrow.
Love Andy xx
Tuesday 27th July 2004
Mazda, when I came to see you today I couldn’t believe how well you were looking. You have been off the vent for a long time and don’t seem at all exhausted.
I plucked your eyebrows today and made your head very red!! Mum and Dad are annoying you with a crossword, so I can see you sarcastic face has come back..good good!!
Love as always, Sarah x (Marianne’s sister)
Thursday 29th July 2004
I came to the hospital with uncle Paul, it’s the first time I’ve seen you in a while. (6 weeks in fact) I’ve missed you and I still will when I go home. Don’t worry, you will come out on top because you’re a fighter and my aunty no matter what.
I love you and always will, see you soon, all my love and hugs,
Karl. (Marrianne’s 11-year-old nephew)
Saturday 31st July 2004
Sorry that I couldn’t come andsee you last weekendbut I had a stinker of a cold. I am SO impressed with you. No drips, no trache, no food bag.
You’re looking as gorgeous as ever, you are such an inspiration with your positive attitude and beautiful smile.
Paul, Michele and the kids say hello and send their love. In fact everyone I speak to sends their love..you are so popular.
Love you loads Maz, keep going,
Kev xx (future brother-in-law)
Saturday 31st July 2004
I’m glad to be back…
I’ve missed you!
Once again, you’ve impressed me with your developments.
Go Maz go.
Shaz xx (future sister-in-law)
Wednesday 4th August 2004
You were very pleased with yourself today and rightly so. Not only were your Mum, Dad and I proud but all the staff were chuffed to bits. There was a buzz around Osborn One… and all because of you!
Every five minutes a nurse or doctor would pop in to say well-done Marrianne. They love you to bits up here. Why all the fuss?
Well, last night after I left, they tried to put you back on the vent but you refused. “I don’t need it’ you said. They rang the doctor to see what to do and said “good on her”. You have been off the vent and breathing on your own ever since.
Friday 6th August 2004
What a C**p day. Poor Marrianne has been in pain all day. The only time she wasn’t crying was when she was sleeping. If the painkillers work for a while, we then have the sickness to worry about.
Gail (a nurse) has been lifting Marrianne’s head to try and take some pressure off the neck but it doesn’t help much. (Gail is nice and always worried about Maz)
On top of everything, we’ve had lots of negative talk today. You said you often wished you didn’t wake up in the mornings.
I’ve found today one of the hardest days so far. I hope tomorrow is better!
Love Andy xx
Friday 13th August 2004
We arrived to a lovely surprise. You’d had your traction removed, you were all smiles. You had some dinner…seven spoons of potato and stew. Your progress is amazing all the nurses are excited.
Keep getting stronger darling. You have a toothache though and it is causing you a lot of extra pain.
Sunday 15th August 2004
I received a call from Mum this morning saying you had a horrendous tooth ache and that you didn’t want to see anyone. I’d just driven 5 hours to see you…so there was no way I was going without saying hello! You look a lot better than last time, you’ve made such a great improvement already.
Love you loads Aunty G xxx
Tuesday 24th August 2004
Well done you’ve just got back from surgery (on pressure sores) you were gone for about two hours. I must dash off to call Mum to let her know you are ok. (You still had a toothache though)
Love you Sarah
Wednesday 26th August 2004
When I arrived this morning I was really sad as you were breaking your heart to me. You told me how much you missed your life and cuddling everyone, especially Andy. You cried because you just want to be able to move your hands.
I love you more than life itself. I promise we will get through this.
Love you so much, Sarah xxx
Thursday 2nd September 2004
You were in surgery until 2.00pm today. One of your elbows had to be stitched up and the other one ‘cleaned’ again. Surgery means more drugs, which means upset tummy and sickness. It also means no physio.
Love Andy xx
Thursday 14th October 2004
Marrianne has had a bad start. Constant sweating, hot and cold flushes all the time. You were very low, crying and wishing you’d died in the car accident. It breaks my heart.
Love Mum xx
Tuesday 19th October 2004
You were very low today. You had to move wards. This meant new staff and leaving all the nurses you have made friends with behind but it is a step closer to coming home.
Love Alwyn and Linda xx
Friday 22nd October 2004
As you know, poor Paul lost his battle against cancer. Kev and I have been very sad but seeing you has certainly lifted our spirits.
Love Shaz xx
Saturday October 23rd 2004
I had such a lovely 60thbirthday today, spending it with my special family and the day was made even better seeing Marrianne sitting in a chair looking so beautiful.
Love you all, Linda xx (future Mum-in-law)
Sunday October 24th 2004
We had another great day today with Marrianne. She showed us how she can move her arm..VERY impressive, keep it up. I love you very much.
Alwyn xx (future father-in-law)
These are only a few extracts but we hope they give you a taste. We would recommend to anyone who has a family member in a unit…have a visitors book for them. It is a great way to look back on things in the future and remind everyone of the progress that has been made.