Saturday, 13 June 2009

Going Home

Mr Hadjiminas doesn’t have any days off. He’s in the hospital every morning. But on the weekends he visits wearing casual consultant attire: an open necked shirt; chinos and, you guessed it, boating shoes.

Today I am going home. It feels disconcerting. After a week, the hospital feels like home. And home feels like a scary place where I will have to cope with doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping and bathing. To be honest, I only just about manage those chores at the best of times.

Nick is still in London, so I’m going home with him. And that seems disconcerting too. Only four days ago Nick dumped me out of the blue for no good reason whatsoever. I know it was some kind of emotional short-circuit that caused him to freak out. But I don’t know that he won’t do it again. I don’t feel that I can completely rely on him the way I did a week ago. So I’m feeling somewhat ambivalent about going home.

Nevertheless, I’ve been in hospital long enough. There comes a point when one begins to pace one’s room like a caged animal. I’ve reached that point.

Mr H removes the chest drains with the assistance of nurse Tiziana. I keep my eyes firmly averted. We don’t want anymore fainting. “The wound will fill up with fluid now,” Mr Hadjiminas tells me, “you will have to come in to have it drained once a week.” Nurse Tiziana gives me a strong painkiller. I gratefully accept.

Every day brings its own opportunity to try some small thing that takes me forward in my recovery. This morning I will have a proper bath, rather than a sponge wash, for the first time. I turn on the taps and lay out my clothes: the silver sparkly top and black leggings.

Nick won’t be here to collect me until lunchtime, so I slowly begin to pack up the room. I’m astonished at what an accumulation of stuff one can acquire in just a few days. There are cards; an assortment of vases; the crazy clock; an array of Tupperware containers; my laptop; clothes; boxes of teabags, snacks, biscuits and so on. The painkiller has done its work. I happily fold things into perfect squares, making neat little piles whilst I hum away to myself. Some time later I remember to check on the bath. The bathroom is ankle deep in water.

I press the nurse call buzzer. Nurse Sarah pops in. Nursing can sometimes be a thankless profession so I hope that it makes Sarah feel good to know how just much I, for one, appreciate her plumbing skills.