Thursday was about 4 days long. Up early. Up late. Lots of travelling. Two hotels. One conference. One hospital. When I do busy, it seems I do busy.
I headed off in the ridiculously early hours of the morning. Some of you may be already at your desks, inhaling the second cup of coffee, but the 7.45 bus is early for me. I was away to Derry to attend a conference. Have you ever been to an interesting, exhilarating, affirming conference, where you’d happily have stayed longer and heard more? I have, now. It was super. It was all about palliative care- the focus was on those who are dying, and death. I was helping with an exhibition; I didn’t expect the experience to be so positive, for me to be so engaged. I was exhausted when I left, but my head was buzzing. After another bus journey, I was ready for a long hot bath.
I’d hate a home without a bath. An early evening bath, singing along to the radio, followed by a glass of wine and early bed is a luxurious part of my week. It may, indeed, be several parts of the week. Hurrah for baths.
Then the phone rang. Girl1 bounded up the stairs, clutching the phone to tell me I’d missed two calls from the nursing home: my heart went down the plughole.
A non emergency visit to the hospital can be more disruptive than you’d think, even without a trauma. Because Herself’s local hospital doesn’t do x ray after 5pm she had to wait 2 1/2 hours to get an ambulance to take her 30 miles west. There, arriving after 9.30 pm, she saw a doctor, got an x ray, saw the doctor again, and was sent home in a taxi, all well. She got back around 2am on Friday. She was shattered and barely able to communicate. Also, because the possible problem had been with her feeding tube, hungry.
I went to the hospital too. (I had got dried and dressed, just in case you were having horrible mental images. Oops, you are now.) It should have taken about 90 mins, but I’d forgotten about the regional agricultural show. It seemed that every horse, cart, sheep and cow in the six counties was on the road with me. Even so, I was at the hospital before Herself, sore, anxious and wondering what the possible problems might mean. Happily, the possible problem wasn’t a problem, and we sat sleepily in a cubicle.
Thursday turned into Friday. I waved herself off in her taxi. Should I follow behind and wake up a relation, make up a bed, and do polite chatting before collapsing in a heap? Half a mile along the road, the answer was ‘no’. I landed at a hotel, with my two arms the one length, and paid them for the privilege of a late night shower, a huge bed and no conversation. Also, as many cups of coffee and morning pastries as I could consume.
I drove to the nursing home, snuggled up on the bed beside Herself like spoons in a drawer, and we both dozed a bit. I left when she had a vital appointment in a woman in a uniform carrying equipment.
The beautician had arrived. Herself still has it.