I was reading through recent posts on my blog and as recently as two weeks ago I was saying how well it was going, piece of cake, nothing to it, nothing to report, etc.
How quickly things change.
I must admit that the past week has fundamentally changed my outlook. My hospitallisation happened overnight, in a blink of an eye. I cannot now take anything for granted. Two weeks ago I was driving my van, seeing people, even spending an hour or two in work. I've had to relearn a few things.
My stamina isn't great, but it's a whole lot better than my immune system.
I walk to the shops or drive around. I get tired quickly.
OK, I understand that and can make allowances.
What catches me out is my lack of an immune system. I caught a cold and it laid me low. I developed thrush and it put me in hospital.
I can't plan for that.
Earlier this week a patient died in the next room to mine. Without going into details, the family were from an Italian background. There were fifteen people around the deathbed, from brothers and sisters down to grandchildren. The hospital rightly allowed them unlimited access, so there were always people outside, and although they whispered most of the time, it was still noisy.
During the evening's visiting time I could hear the patient coughing and retching. It sounded like their death rattle, even with the doors to both rooms closed.
Then the fire alarm went off. They said that someone had burnt some toast in another ward. We had to wait until 9.30 for the alarm to be switched off. When the all clear was given, the family came back on to the ward.
One of the nurses asked me to close my door and I agreed. I lay in bed with the lights off, trying to sleep. The patient died at about 11 o'clock and I could hear the cries of grief as I lay in the darkness. It was not nice. Not nice at all.
I'm with Woody Allen when he says that death doesn't scare him. He'd just rather not be there when it happens.
I have no idea about the patient's condition or how long they'd been ill. Who knows if they were carefree and in full health a few weeks or months ago?
I just know that I have a much greater understanding of my mortality and I'm going to have to think long and hard about my future....