Hospitality operates!

When mysteriously the house is cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom and the fridge and larder are suddenly fully stocked, and when the laundry basket is empty and all drawers are full of clean and pressed garments, then a carry-all of nightwear appears in the bedroom, it could only mean one of three things. We were about to have another addition to the family, we are having visitors stay for the week or, Sue was going into hospital for her operation. It was the latter.
On Monday I drove Sue to the hospital at 11 am. We had been waiting all morning for a decision to be made by the ward as to whether there was a  bed available for her. After first checking on the visiting hours, I returned home after accompanying her to the ward. There had been a drastic curtailment of hours due to the Swine Flu epidemic, with only one permitted visit a day from 6-7 pm. When I returned later that evening, Sue informed me that the operating theatres that day had been very busy with miscarriages and she didn’t have her operation until 4 pm, she had only just woken up. She looked terrible, a cadaver would have looked worryingly healthier. Having not had a drink since 7 am, she was very thirsty and gulped down 4 glasses of juice in as many minutes. She seemed amused that she had no feeling from the waist down and her legs seemed as if they were up in the air.  The anaesthetic had not worn off yet as she couldn’t feel any pain. By the time my hour was up, she had started to have tingling feelings in her toes and she was able to move her knees. Before I left we asked the nurse for some painkillers.
The following evening, Jamie visited with me and reassuringly Sue looked much better. The paleness had disappeared and she looked refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Her ward had three other beds which were constantly recycling people in for operations or tests. Sue seemed to know all about their occupants, so there must have been enough time during the day to talk. She reported that the food was good and the nurses were attentive.
The following evening she didn’t look so good, she had been out of bed for the first time and I think it had affected her. She wasn’t sure when she was due to come home but seemed satisfied to stay where she was. I kept her up to date with family news, particularly Sarah,  who was away with the RAF learning to glide and also had a flight in a helicopter.
On Saturday Sue came out of the hospital. She had woken up with a headache and wasn’t going to be discharged until the doctors were satisfied that she was ok. I got a phone call to fetch her at 6 pm and Jamie came with me. Sarah had returned home but I left her sleeping as she was exhausted from her week away.
Sue spent the first two days in bed or sat on the chair next to it. I could see she didn’t like the inactivity, but my repeated warnings and those during regular visits from friends, neighbours and family kept a reluctant Sue ‘mostly’ still and relaxed. Jamie and Sarah were not at all happy about Dad being in total charge, but then life can be a bit of a bummer at times. Especially being told:
Take your trays to the kitchen
Tidy your bedroom
Wash the pots
Fill the washing machine
Hang the clothes on the line
Switch the lights off
Switch the TV off
And no you can’t have a takeaway. I cooked it, you eat it.
It certainly paid dividends as they didn’t look starved, or scruffy and were starting to help out without being asked!
After three days I allowed Sue downstairs but kept a close eye on her as she mooched around the house, no doubt checking that under my supervision the place hadn’t turned into a slum. Next-door neighbour Doreen came to visit, as she used to be a nurse they had a long natter about all things medical. Earlier during the week, Doreen had cooked some soup and made a casserole for me, but as there wasn’t enough for everyone I gave it to the kids, they said it was very tasty.
Sue’s first outing was to the supermarket, where together we stocked up with everything that I had used during her convalescing.
Worryingly, Sarah caught a nasty cold and took to her bed. One of the groups she had been flying with had since come down with Swine Flu and eight of them were very ill. Thankfully, by Tuesday she was well enough to register for the sixth form Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Biology as her A levels. She did well in her GCSEs, mostly A’s and B’s with one C, but disappointingly a D in PE (I found that hard to understand as she is so talented at all sports). I was particularly pleased with her A in Science (I put a lot of work into that!).
Charlotte and her family are in the Dominican Republic for two weeks. It is Charlotte’s and Suraj’s birthday and also their wedding anniversary while they are away, what a lovely place to spend it. From the messages we have received they appear to be having a great time, little Lucas is very excited and loving it. The last text mentioned it was raining and the temperature was 19 degrees.
In Bulgaria, David told me that after a day out last week with Genya, when they returned to the Ritya, they came across a group of people who were orienteering through the settlement. After they had left, he discovered one of the derelict village houses in the village was on fire. He and Genya put it out with their only other neighbour, Mark. Less worryingly, they have weasel trouble on their roof. David caught one and kindly relocated further away. Later, he came across a mother and baby weasel wandering around looking for a daddy! Ooooops.

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