A teenager in loveBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7421.981 (Published 23 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:981
- Andrew Ward, freelance writer
When I came out of hospital, paralysed by a lymphoma on my spine (at T10), my temporary hosts nicknamed me “the teenager” because I didn't do much, had lots of telephone calls, and needed lifts. I was 52 at the time.
The teenager tag was reinforced when I slept a lot and spent mornings in bed. This provoked dinner table comments (“He's a growing lad”) and typical shouts up the stairs (“It's time to get up. Do you want some lunch?”).
During the next two years, as I slowly progressed from wheelchair to sticks, the health service did everything possible to help me to stand on my own two feet, while my hosts wondered …