not a nail varnish ‘crisis’

No, this one was a real crisis. A middle of the night phone call, CPR at the nursing home, blue flashing lights, a solemn faced doctor, a meeting in a room with the door closed, ‘critical’, ‘have you thought about further resuscitation’ sort of crisis. Herself was keeping us on our toes with a hefty chest infection. My mantra on the long drive west was ‘Don’t you dare die on your own. Don’t you dare’. (In the interests of full disclosure, there were other, non family friendly, words as well.) For once, she did what she was told, and didn’t die on us. The antibiotics are doing the business, and we’re hoping that all will continue to go well, and that Herself will be back in the nursing home on Monday.

I still haven’t cried about it. When I relax enough to do that, I’ll flood the place. Let me know if you’re in a drought area- I’ll come and help. The Brother came over from Scotland, keeping me sane and boosting Herself. We’re getting through this episode with the support of the many friends and relations- the phone hardly stopped with wonderful texts and calls. His phone is fancier than mine, so he got emails too and was able to google random things we needed to know. On Saturday I got home for the ballet show, the JLS preparations and a night in my own bed. Hurrah.

Picture from here

There’s learning in everything of course, and we will be somewhere similar again. (It will most likely be an event like this that does for Herself in the end.) What will I do differently the next time?

  • Bring a phone charger. There’s no point in having one at home and one at Herself’s house when the hospital is 30 miles away. I had to go and buy a charger, but apparently wards are full of abandoned bits, so ask around before heading off wandering the streets in search of a phone shop.
  • Make sure the phone has all possible numbers in it; I don’t want to have to search for the number of the hospital, GP or social worker again. Maybe also a pizza takeaway?
  • Bring tweezers. Unless stress does awful things to my left eyebrow, hospital light is of a different calibre than in a regular house. I felt like a yeti. (I may have obsessed about this as a way of avoiding the ‘nearly dead’ elephant in the room- don’t call my mother an elephant- but tweezers would have stopped that nonsense.)
  • Leave the hospital if at all possible for short periods. Fresh air, even wet Fermanagh fresh air, is better than too much hospital air. A ten minute walk round the car park when there are other visitors helps.
  • Stop worrying about who I’ve told what to. Nobody cares that I spent days repeating myself. That’s ‘sharing the load’.
  • Learn how to schedule posts on the blog. Turns out that 2am is not the best time to try and work that out. I know some of you were concerned on our behalf due to the lack of posting; that’s much appreciated. I really am a creature of routine!
  • Carefully consider the driving music- I went for upbeat, energising, revitalising Born to Run and realised I had issues with ‘She’s the One’, ‘Meeting Across the River’ and the lyric ‘…take my hand, riding out tonight to case the promised land …’.  I’d never have made it if I’d put on Rosanne Cash’s mellow singalongy  The List, what with songs like Long Black Veil, Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow, and… Motherless Children. Eeek.

I won’t do this one differently, but one of the daftest things I learned is that The Brother will have cycled round west Tyrone for two hours before I’m alert enough to have coffee. We’re all odd in our own way.

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6 thoughts on “not a nail varnish ‘crisis’”

  1. I have been through this, and still the end, when it came, took me by surprise. Keep doing what you’re doing and you won’t be sorry, because being there for our loved ones matters.

    Thinking of you.

  2. Not much fun having to slog down to Fermanagh and back, on top of all the anxiety and emotion while you’re down there. I guess resilience and stamina and love are the name of the game.

  3. You know I’m thinking of you & Herself. Not to mentions the girls & Spurs fan. The Erne hospital is a long way to travel from Belfast. Glad you made it there and back. Please god She’ll be back in Omagh Monday

  4. I think about you a lot during the day (er, may have to come back and re-phrase that) because I’ve been through all that too and know what you’re going through. Feel free to “share the load’ here as often as you want to, that’s why we’re here.
    And keep your sense of humour, it’s helping keep you going. This post is about a very sad topic, but some of it is very funny.

    Take care

    Tin x

  5. Thanks everybody- Herself is well improved and back to giving orders 🙂 I’m home again and everyone has gone out to school. I’m returning to bed, and may get up in time to collect them. Then again, maybe not!

    Tinman, I’m thinking that the blogging itself helps. It makes me think of the story and look for a brightness somewhere; giving a bit of distance rather than being overwhelmed by emotion. That happens too of course, but it’s good for me (I think) that it’s not the only thing…

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