Before I actually knew anything about Chelsea Handler, I already had a preconceived opinion of her; a dumb blonde, female comedian on the E network? The channel that is responsible for intellectually challenging television such as “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. I thought this has got to be an extremely unfunny women talking crap about self destructing celebrities no one even cares about, taking the piss out of peoples fashion faux pas and putting herself on some kind of self-built Hollywood pedestal. I was right about Chelsea’s show consisting of people talking crap about self destructing celebrities. What I was wrong about was that Miss Handler was stupid and unfunny. I found out during my 5 day stay in hospital that Chelsea was actually a highly intelligent comedy genius, who’s extremely honest and blunt approach to life was just the answer to all this celeb culture crap that I had been looking for.
After my first delightful evening on a haunted ward, I was desperate to be discharged. It was also a Friday, which meant if I wasn’t discharged that day, I would be in over the weekend and God only knows when I would get out or how many other dead bodies I would find myself in close proximity to. This caused me great concern as the following week was the Glasgow Film Festival and they were showing, for the first time ever in a cinema, Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut (this will be explained in a letter post). Even if Kevin Costner had to carry me into Cineworld in a hospital gown with my ass hanging out, I was not missing this epic moment in Superman history.
That morning I was offered the chance to wash the smell of death from me. When you’re in hospital and don’t have use of your legs, again for health and safety reasons, the Nurses don’t let you do what I had previously been doing to clean myself; sitting on the side of the bath tub, throwing myself in and hoping to God I didn’t bang my head and drown, then getting Demi to help me back out. Instead I had to get a Nurse to help me undress, put me in a gigantic bath tub, help me back out, dry me and put my clothes back on again. Many people have said to me, when you go to hospital you lose all dignity, but I feel this is an understatement. Being a 23 year old who had to be washed and dressed by a Nurse, is definitely a memory that will stick with me for the rest of my life, as a low point. If this was a film, this exact moment would be the point that changed the course of the movie. Under no circumstances was Darth being allowed to control me like this again. This was the moment I swore to myself that no matter what, M.E would never again put me in that situation again. All that coupled with the fact my hair has a natural curl to it and I had no hair straighteners, meaning I had to sit looking like and an extremely bad Susan Boyle impersonator, pissed me off even more! I couldn’t wait until visiting hours.
Just before my visitors were due, a lovely Physio came to see me. She was Irish so from now on she will be called Lois Walsh. Louis seemed to be the most clued up person I had spoken to with regards to why my legs just stopped working. She said that over the past 6 months, on and off, I had spent about 9 weeks in bed not well and not moving my legs. That coupled with the severe muscle aches, led to my legs (which once ran 4 miles everyday) to waste away to practically nothing. She followed that with, “I can’t help your M.E but what I can do is help build up your legs again without sending you to the point of exhaustion.” I was referred for Hydrotherapy and was shown basic exercises I could do; wrapping a towel around my feet and using my arms to lift my legs, to try and get them moving again. To this day I still continue to do these exercises three times a day, although I no longer need a towel or the use of my arms.
Visiting arrived at 2:30pm and with it came Demi, Posh, Rumor, Jennifer and Kevin. Just as they walked in the door, an orderly, armed with a wheel chair, came to take me away for an MRI scan. I couldn’t believe it. I had just went through one of the worst days of my life and the one thing that had kept me going was knowing I would soon see some familiar faces and now even that was taken away from me. Two hours later I returned and my visitors where gone. Left in their place, however, was Jennifer’s Kindle. Now before this I had never been particularly enthusiastic about the Kindle, but after turning it on and reading “1984”, I was hooked. I grew to love the Kindle so much, that only a few days after leaving hospital, Kevin Costner turned up to my house to gift me my very own, Thank You again Mr Costner. The Kindle also helped me keep my sanity when the doctor returned and told me, that due to it being Friday, the results of my MRI would not be made available until Monday and that I would have to be kept in over the weekend.
During that evening’s visiting hours, Ross Kemp showed up with a portable DVD player and seeing as I am a massive Audrey Hepburn fan, he also brought me “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on DVD, which I had been dying to see again since reading the book 600 times in the past 24 hours. I later texted Jennifer to thank her for saving my mental health by leaving me her Kindle; it was going to be my best friend over the weekend. Yes I do realise that you are not meant to use your phone in a hospital but I thought that since the only critical patient on the ward was already dead it would be OK. She replied to tell me to read Chelsea Handler’s books as they would cheer me up. As I said before, I wasn’t that sure aboutChelseabut thought, “I have already been bathed by a women today, so what have I got to lose?” This was the best decision I have ever made.
When a book is entitled “Are you there Vodka? It’s me Chelsea” and one of the first stories you read, is about how Chelsea gets arrested for a DUI and ends up in a state penitentiary for identity fraud, being pursued by a women who just murdered her boyfriend, then it’s right up my street. I was hooked. For the rest of the evening, I sat, laughing out loud at the ridiculous situations Miss Handler had gotten herself into over the years, while my fellow inmates, sorry, I mean patients, looked at me while thinking “clearly the psychic ward is full”. Soon I was trying not to pee myself again, but this time due to laughing so hard.
Thank You Jennifer and Chelsea, you both brightened up my extremely shit day.