Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I finally got a drink when a different nurse came in with a fresh jug of water, with ice cubes in it—wow—service at last.
“Here we go, Cathy, have a sip of this,” she held the straw for me to suck on and it was cold but delicious. I took two or three slugs of the water and although it felt cold in my tummy, it felt good.
She sat herself on the edge of my bed holding a form and a pen. “The docs are mystified about why you should get the bleed. You haven’t had any injury, have you?”
I shook my head.
“You’re not taking any anticoagulant are you—warfarin or even aspirin?”
“No,” I croaked.
“Are you taking anything?”
“Oestrogen,” I croaked and it burned a little but not as badly as before.
“No vitamins or herbal stuff?”
“Cod liver oil.”
She wrote it down. “Anything else?”
“Can’t remember—high strength, I think?”
“How long have you been taking it?”
“That could be it—strong allicin thins the blood, making haemorrhage more likely.”
“But why now?” I asked my voice feeling a little stronger.
“You had a chest infection, that and he associated coughing might have started it. I suspect the doctor will want to check you for allicin.”
“Another blood test?” I sighed.
“Yeah, good fun, innit?” She laughed and left me taking her clip board and pen with her.
I though garlic was good for us? Perhaps I did over egg the pudding somewhat, I was taking several a day. Oops—have to think about this in future. Still it kept vampires at bay—until this lot with their syringes—doesn’t work against nurses.
I was fed, can you believe? Soup and rice pudding. I tried to tell them my teeth still worked it was my lungs which were the trouble. Still it went down well and I once again went off to sleep. If ever it becomes an Olympic event, I reckon I’m in with a medal chance. I’ve certainly had some practice recently.
“Hello stranger,” said a familiar voice and I opened my eyes to see a blurry Stella standing by the side of the bed.
“Hi,” I said back to her.
She bent down and kissed me on the cheek and gave me a hug. “I was under strict orders to do that from a whole herd of children.”
“A flock,” I corrected her.
“Flock?” she looked at me strangely.
“Yeah, you, you and you.” I managed to get out before it hurt to breathe again.
“Ewe, ewe and euch—God, that is so corny, Catherine Cameron.”
“Baaa none,” I said, and wished I hadn’t. Stella roared with laughter.
“So they haven’t treated your sense of humour then?”
“No—it’s still baaad.”
“I thought you looked a bit sheepish lately, now I know why,” she said seriously.
“Um—you couldn’t do me a favour, could you?” I asked her.
“Get me a bed pan—I need a wee.”
“I thought I gave up all that up a few years ago—bloody bedpans...” she chuntered to herself as she went in search of a proper nurse. One came back with her bearing a papier mâché one which they slid under my bum. At least I could lie there under the covers taking my time to wee and something a little more solid.
“Finished?” Stella asked.
“Uh huh,” I nodded as well and she handed me the toilet roll. I wiped myself fore and aft—you really wanted to know that didn’t you? I then wiped my hands with some wet wipes and rubbed antiseptic gel into them. Once I’m out of this blessed bed, I’m going to spend an hour in the shower.
“I brought you in some clean nightdresses, some slippers and some toiletries. There’s a book in there as well—one of your Belgian detective ones.”
“Venetian,” I corrected.
“Brunetti, he’s Venetian.”
“Not a Martian then?”
“Men are from Mars Brunetti’s from Venice—nah doesn’t sound that good does it?”
“What?” she asked.
“No it doesn’t sound very good.”
“I also brought you in some squash—Ribena, if I remember correctly,” she said and I nodded. “Plus some—chocolate.” She produced a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk with a flourish.
Not my favourite chocolate, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I might be able to use it to bribe the nurses.
The nurse came back and removed the receptacle from under me—I began to appreciate how a car feels after an oil change—yeah okay, altogether now—flushed.
We chatted and when she noticed me starting to nod off, she took her leave, giving me a final peck on the cheek and mentioning something about shopping.
When I awoke a nurse was standing by the trolley thing that they can raise to go over the bed. “Food, Cathy?”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Curried sprouts,” she said and laughed.
“Need this bed do you?”
“Because I’m off if that’s really what you have there.” I began to make out I was getting out of bed.
“Okay, you made your point—it’s a tuna pasta bake.”
“Oh, that’s different.”
“Indeed it is, a restaurant down by the quay sent it up for you.”
“I believe they said a Professor Agnew had it sent in for you.”
“My boss,” I smiled.
“Ha, lucky you, my boss wouldn’t even send in a used wrapper, let alone a meal.”
“Have a piece of chocolate,” I said pointing to the bar on my locker. She did and I got my supper—at least I think it was—time wasn’t that important in hospital, seeing as I could sleep any or all of it. It was daylight—I think.
I could hear ticking as I ate my meal after the nurse enabled me to sit up. Unbeknownst to me, Stella had brought in my little travel alarm—according to that it was six o’clock, presumably in the evening.
I tried to read my book but couldn’t concentrate enough. At seven, Simon reappeared looking much better. For one thing, he’d shaved and his clothing was no longer rumpled, it also looked as if he’d slept.
“You look better,” I said smiling at him.
“So do you,” he replied.
The nurse came round with some teas and we both had a cup, then he helped me clean my teeth. No he didn’t take them to the sink and brush them—they’re still attached to the rest of me. Stella had brought in a tooth brush and tooth paste so I was able to clean them and he handed me a paper cup to spit in which he held at arm’s length to tip down the sink and deposit the empty into the waste bin. For him that was the equivalent of changing a dirty nappy—which he always managed to con Meems or Trish into doing for him—when Catherine was using them. It’s only at night now and she was staying fairly dry even then. When I get home it’ll be trainer pants for her.
He brought me up to date on each of the children and showed me a clip on his Blackberry of them all sending me a get well message. My eyes were very moist after that.
Then he conned me into recording one back to them from my hospital bed. I must have looked wonderful—greasy hair you could fry chips in, probably dark rings under my eyes and talking in whispers. He was pleased with the outcome—perhaps he was trying to get them all to leave home.
When he went, I was exhausted and zonked out like I’d taken a pill.
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