Monday, 31 July 2017

The usual

Just in case you think we're dead. Or wandering about Northumberland moors, lost, contemplating eating raw sheep.

Yes, the holiday in Northumberland. Thank you. It rained. We sat around and glared at each other. Tiger did a jigsaw, Squirrel read a book, we watched The Full Monty, and then we all went out and got wet.

Northumberland is beautiful, and never disappoints, not even when you can barely see the hand in front of your face and the rain has made gutters of your face. Did all the routine things. Visited the tiny, Polly Pocket-sized Aunty M. (Not even a real Aunty.) This year, no-one dared say See you next year! Back at the holiday terrace, I hid and cried.

Dig. Wonderfully stitched together. Argumentative and behaviourally non-compliant, so is almost fully back to normal. Wobbles and weaknesses remain. Still on the 3-month recovery phase. The dietitian instructed him to eat crisps and biscuits, full fat milk and ice cream. (Me, I have a proper 3-month belly thanks to that.)

Tiger. Throwing herself twixt success and failure. Tries hard, often, to snatch failure from the jaws of success, then fails to do so, thus perversely bringing about a twin success. Panics in any case. But! Attended the Cambridge ASNC Department two-day masterclass and open day for Old Norse, Insular Latin, Ancient Greek, Welsh, Celtic. Which she would very much like to attend, maybe 2019. Dear Cambridge, for the mental health of Tiger and all us good folk living on this side of Britain, just take her. If you do not, she will reapply. Again and again and again. Until you give in. I am more pragmatic. I say, doesn't matter if they take you or not. Go anyway.

Squirrel. Reads a lot. Cuts up cloth. Gets distracted by air. Says things like, 'I'm terribly busy right now' while watching dust settle. Delightfully bonkers. Has demonstrated (astonishing, some might say) an ability to rattle out essays that are lucid, well-organised, spring a neat turn of phrase, and nearly make the deadline. (Shows all the hallmarks of a writer if you ask me.) Will probably try and make a career of sieving soil or stitching orange peel while I try and bribe her with biscuits to send off her first article to a national newspaper.

Shark. Heading your way on the Caledonian Sleeper. Soon she will be in the Highlands, saving Osprey by digging holes and slaying midges. Volunteering, huh? She thinks it is all excellent, this outdoorsy life, blown apart by sea spray, lashed by wind, trialled by earth-sea adventures. Bunked school in the last week of term to run off to sea on a ship courtesy of the Sea Cadets. Came home with instructions for diesel engines and tales of porpoises. We are not anticipating a desk-bound job in an office. For my part, I am glad that someone is up for it. Just as I fancy a sit-down with a good book and a cup of tea.

Grit. Condoning truancy by writing emails to Shark's school saying something better is on offer, so she's not coming in. Trying to scam a few quid here and there to pay for Tiger's Ancient Greek habit. Scavenging in bins for Squirrel to acquire well, anything, really. Being nice to Dig. Stitching books and looking forward to dressing up in plumbing gear and leather for this year's Steampunk Asylum. The usual.

Monday, 3 July 2017

After much winding of death sheets,

In short? The patient, he LIVES!

But I was very tempted to put the bastard under the patio. (Also I am now size 18.)

If you require the long version, read on.

Fecking hell, how do nurses cope? Dig, who shall hereafter be called the Patient, went through a very difficult period of spurning all my Nursey help, preferring actual Death to my ministering touch.

Now see here matey, I told him, I have watched American Western films c1973, and they have given me Nursey-know-how to deal with a clapped-out, bashed-up hero with a gut wound and a fever, who looks for dead upon the cabin bed.

As in, the devoted Nursey-wife-woman dresses meanly in worn clothes (done!) and mops the Hero's Brow (done!). Then she stirs nurturing broth and stares at cooking pans, determined (also done!).

Well I can tell you, dear reader, those techniques do not work, not at all. The Patient shows maximum annoyance at the brow-mopping, summoning his last remaining hero-breath to tell the devoted mopper to Get the hell off my face. Then, at the mere mention of sustaining broth, he vomits.

An extremely difficult week indeed.

The Patient declined all food and started shrinking, skeletal-wise. Nursey Grit started to threaten the Patient with Food, or the Patio. The Patient then looked at Nursey Grit as if he hated her. Nursey Grit's food offerings became desperate. The Patient wanted NOTHING. Water was an EFFORT.

Nursey Grit started to panic and weep and regret not forcing the Patient to make a Last Will and Testament.

Nursey Grit also started to wonder about getting the Patient to sign something she had writ, to the effect that Death was not by Nurse Gritty's hand, but the Patient would in fact like to leave her all his money. (This probably counts as Fraud, when actually it should be called Despair.)

Nurse Grit hit the bottle and came out in hives. The children hid. (It did not matter, because by then I had forgot about them anyway.)

But then! The patient demanded a tub of taramasalata and started spooning it into his mouth! Within a day he had eaten half a tub of taramasalata, and Nursey Grit cleared Tesco shelves of this fine sustaining broth before ordering 30 packs for online delivery. A corner had been turned.

Soon, we were surrounded by empty tubs of taramasalata and biscuit wrappers.

Nurse Grit started keeping records of what the Patient actually ate to wave in evidence at the dietician.
  1. Offered : milk, tea, hot chocolate, fruit juice, toast, egg, porridge, pate, probiotic drink, carrot, cucumber, mint drink, pomegranate, creme caramel, kangaroo steak, ostrich arse, puffin noses, anything you damn well want.
  2. Taken : One teaspoon porridge.
But now! Now! We have seen more of the hospital doctor; a further scan has been taken; Dig's innards have been declared a mess but not cancer, and he has been told by a lady dietitian to eat chocolate pudding, biscuits, crisps, high-fat foods, full-fat milk, ice cream, a daily slab of butter, and more chocolate Complan. Garnished with extra chocolate.

Hurrah! We are, after the false start and the plunge into despair, truly on the road to recovery!

We are all supporting The Patient, who shall hereafter be called Dig, in his new diet regime. (He has gained 5 ounces and we have gained 5 stone.)