Monday, 29 May 2017

It is a slow but steady process. For maybe 3 months.

Dig is home from hospital. He is weak, and feeble, and often makes whimpering noises. (That is my nursing lingo. Obviously, I have become a cracking good nurse! Pfft. I have picked up this nursing lark up in no time at all!)

He is still unable to do much, although some days he can stand up. Then he lies down again. Sometimes he sleeps.

He is also eating! Admittedly, teensy, tiny, weensy amounts of food. Possibly the same amount that Barbie would eat, if she could eat, and you had to serve it to her.

Now, I know a thing or two about food as well as How To Be A Nurse. Having passed through that marvellous teenage moment called, Let Us Starve Ourselves to Death (optimum weight, 6stone 1lb 5oz), I know that it is a start to place in front of the suffering one - who actually doesn't know they are starving - morsels of wondrous tenderness and beauty. Foods the patient may find irresistible. Even when they say things like, I have eaten plenty of water today. Dig's soft spots, in his present state of No Appetite At All, are for chocolate, smoked salmon, beef stock cube and kale juice. Strange one, huh? (And for him, all guilt-free!)

My other nursing duties are walking up and down the stairs a million times a day to tentatively ask, 'Are you alright? Do you want anything?'; disinfecting the bathrooms and doorhandles; taking a knife to paracetamol tablets because whole ones are too big; passing the injection thingy over to be done by the patient (I am not trusted on that manoeuvre); and embarking on missions to acquire any item, no matter how unlikely, that spark a flicker of life-force from my patient in any last hour. Such as creamed rice pudding, chocolate mousse, more paracetamol and a bowl with a handle.

But every doom-laden thunder-cloud, bearing extra-malevolent pixies with cyanide-tipped thunderbolts, has a silver lining, does it not? Then this is ours. (Or rather, mine.) He's not about to board a flight to Japan and South Korea! They're cancelled!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

'I need a brick in a plastic bag'

Dig's operation was yesterday, and it went okay, thank you. I shall keep you informed.

But I am learning a few things about life as I travel through a new beginning.

As in, the NHS is, from my tiny slice of view, working.

Nurses use an old-fashioned technology. This is called A Paper and Pen with A Folder.

Folder travels with the patient. And I'm glad of it. Because if every item of knowledge about the Inner Sanctum was entrusted to the NHS Babbage Calculating Engine, we'd all be stuffed, good 'n' proper. So please let us all hold onto Paper, Pen, and Folder for a bit longer.

The car park is bank-account-swallowing-expensive. By my reckoning, I need a daily ten pound note for car park, to-ing and fro-ing. I can manage a day, but ten days? Fifteen days? Just when our income reduces to zero? Thus I now park at a local housing estate and walk in. I shall probably vote Labour, even though I said I never would again.

Life seems more stressful when there is an emergency. Would I have yelled at the driver at any other time? Would I have politely got out of my car and helped them park? I did in the end, but it was no use. They couldn't park at all. They were trying to park outside my house, and they had just reversed into the little car we acquired last month for the daughters to drive, denting the bumper. Should I say the driver looked about age 80 and demonstrated zero road skills? Unconscious even they'd hit the Daughter Car while their own car was steadying from the impact.

But life carries on as normal! I learn this everytime I stare routine disasters in the face. I know normal because there is always the Family Trifle. Tiger is off to a nature reserve with her frog-bothering chums; Squirrel has joined the Air Cadets and is out marching around the universe with the Duke of Edinburgh, and Shark is propped outside right now on the doorstep with a Physics book. She is guarding the For Sale items we are displaying in the local community venture, Yard Sale!

Which, incidentally, explains the title to today's diary entry.

When Shark is bored, she will wander off, so I have set up an honesty box.

Actually, it is my snake box, the one with the eyeball. But someone will nick it, so I have placed a heavy weight inside. Thus I needed the brick.

Not, as Squirrel suggested, to launch through the window of Number 82. (Even though they deserve it.)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

One way is the right way

Duh, Stupid Grit. Of course you cannot use That Door to exit the hospital after 10pm.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Jollity all round.

The three household students are taking exams.

Sometimes this includes self-harm and sometimes this includes the sort of over-confidence that lands you in court.

It is also A Big Special Day for Dig, the husband who is preserved as mine. The doctors are letting him come home for the afternoon on the promise that he will return this evening and not take the advantage of freedom to do a runner.

Celebrations begin! I have made Dirty Trifle.

Recipe Ingredients
Anything resembling boudoir biscuits.
The remains of a bottle of sherry from Lidl.
Tin of custard. (The cheaper the better. Times are hard.)
Tin of sliced peaches in syrup. (Under no circumstances let standards slip and yield to the temptation of sliced peaches in fruit juice or sliced peaches in brine.)
Something white for the top. Preferably not shaving foam.
A banana.

Recipe Method
Break biscuits/stale bread into bowl. Pour in sherry. Pause to drain bottle directly into face. Ignore Squirrel who covers her eyes. Open can of peaches and tip into bowl. Add custard. Do not remark on strange beige colour. Add white stuff. (It came out in a lump, and was difficult to spread evenly. The decorative banana will sort it.) Time: 5 mins, max.

Recipe Conclusion
Leave Dirty Trifle on table while find bag, keys, credit card for hospital card park. Depart. Shout, There'd better be some of it left by the time I bring your father home.

And Happy Birthday.

UPDATE. Dig is not allowed out of the hospital.

Therefore the Grit and Dig family invent a new sport called Extreme Trifling.

This requires Squirrel to carry the Family Bowl of Trifle through the car park, past the building works and into the hospital onwards, until we find a suitable resting place in the canteen.

Here we demonstrate the thoroughly British Show of Bravado and Defiance in The Face of All Odds.

Next Week! Extreme Trifling sees The Family Trifle eaten in spirited defiance of disaster at the Bletchley roundabout on the A5.