Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Waiting to go home from the hospital

There were many mad cow jokes about these pyjamas, not least by the donors of them, Ronaldo and his preternaturally beautiful woman, M. I can’t remember this photo being taken thanks to the miraculous powers of morphine. (In the pic I am lying in the hospital reception, waiting for Ronaldo to tell the receptionist that I promised faithfully to pay the bill before whisking me back home.)

Mercifully, I remember very little before it was taken either, when I was seized by a powerful back spasm as my damaged spinal disc ruptured and flung to the floor, bereft of breath but generously gifted in the hysterical tears department, necessitating a rude interruption of Johann’s spiritual health for a speedy and tense drive to the hospital. There, excessively costly medical personnel did all manner of interesting things to me involving X-rays, MRIs, scalpels and anaesthetics, after which (again, thanks to morphine) two of the only things I remember were being able to pee for the first time in countless weeks without screaming in agony and vomiting copiously into my father’s lap. (Sorry, Dad.)

A measure of the lengths my friends and family went to to help me through this awful time was the spine specialist telling me that surgery was necessary immediately, and not least because ‘it is clear your husband is at the very end of his tether’. Morphined to the eyebrows (and I can’t tell you how much I love morphine, really), I said in dreamy tones, ‘My husband? But I don’t have a husband.’ The spine specialist said, ‘Well, the man who checked you in was in a state of near collapse. He simply can’t take it any more.’ Johann.

Before hospital I was bedridden for almost six weeks. Johann came every single day. He lay in bed with me while I moaned and groaned and occasionally cried frantic tears of frustration and pain (and also fetched and carried kids, brought supplies, made meals, etc etc etc). T (Maxi’s Mom) was in constant contact and cared for me, my dogs and my children in equal measure. And my daughter Bella, who at the time was studying for her matric exams, took over the day-to-day running of the household, and when I threw tantrums (and I did, I am sorry to say), had the amazing (and very un-teenage) compunction to not only not take offence, but ignore my pathetic behaviour and just keep on keeping on.

Simply astonishing human beings.

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4 comments:

Juno said...

Very fine pyjamas Mur.

Nicle said...

They are not COW pyjamas they are DALMATIAN pyjamas from Woollies. I also have a pair and my daughter (6) identified the pattern after watching 101 Dalmatians.

Juno said...

Whew, so glad you set the record straight Nicle. I will let Muriel know that she should be much more careful about the patterns on her pyjamas in future.

Muriel said...

You are RIGHT! But 'mad dalmation' doesn't have the same ring as 'mad cow'. Especially if you're me.