Thursday, 12 March 2015

Bedside manners

Day 1:  The first thing (well, after the kissing and the crying and the questions: "How are you? What have they said? Has the physio been yet? Are you moving your legs? Have you eaten?  Are you drinking enough?), the first thing is the weather and the rain ( it's Wales - everyone expects it to rain) and the disappointing view from the bed.

Then after five hours I have to leave.  Will they look after my brother properly while I'm not there?

Day 2:  He's sleeping.  Shall I wake him?  I have to kiss him.  He's really fast asleep.  So out with my iPhone, catching up on messages, one handed of course, cos I have to touch him, have to hold his hand, even though he still doesn't know I'm there.  It's funny really. Odd. I sit staring at him and am reminded of the time almost fifty years ago when we thought he'd swallowed our grandmother's pills. I remember the rush to hospital and the doctors' insistence that he needed a stomach pump.  Who did this 20 month-old want at his side?  His mother?  No.  His grandmother? No.  He wanted his sister. Of course.  Me. I won't describe it - your imagination can work it out for itself.  

But at least the weather had improved.  So when he does eventually wake, we can admire that old familiar view and reminisce about our photography exploits in the mountains and at the seaside.

That's a better view from a sick bed!

Day 3:  Hand holding. Teasing with the nurses. Reassurance that all is as it should be under the circumstances (this is my big sister routine). More reminiscences.  

Why do I depend on you so much?  Because you did as a child.  Why?  Because we shared a room so if you woke in the night I tended to you and got you back to sleep. (Then I would get up for school!) 

Don't fall out of bed.  I've never fallen out of bed.  Oh yes you have - many was the time when you were first in a bed and I would wake up at your bedside holding you, stopping you from falling to the floor.  

Such a long time ago, in the mists of the past. Then look out of the window on the present!

Saying goodbye again is painful, tearful and heart-wrenching.  Where's the magic wand when you need it?

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