Celtic Illumination, part 405, He who laughs last, laughs longest.
They tell me that ‘blogging,’ I still don’t like that term, anyway they tell me that blogging is a two way affair. So protocol demands that I mention the fact that Colonialist has been trying to be funny. Normally it’s just barbed comments, meant to hurt and annoy me, that he posts, but this time it’s actually humour he’s attempted. Despite the fact that I’ve been pouring my little heart out, recounting the nightmare situation I’ve just been through, Colonialist has decided that my near death experience, for isn’t that what Man Flu is, would be a fair subject for humour. His approach was quite decent, as in, he not only used humour but he set it up with a little smattering of timing. Perhaps one day I’ll give him a real lesson in timing. He started off by trying to wrong foot me, which is always a great precept for a joke, by saying that the medics were taking so much blood out of me that my poor little body didn’t have time to restore the blood so cruelly taken.
So you think, “Ah! How nice, and perhaps there’s some truth in it?” then you read on and realise that he wrong footed me because now he states, “Searching for veins in vain doesn’t help.” What a clot. This is a very serious subject and you won’t find me making fun of it. I simply want to tell my tale so that any other person, male of course, who suffers Man Flu, will know what to expect. So let’s just skip over this unfortunate incident and hope no one was too badly insulted. I had all sorts of interesting stuff to tell you about instead of having to deal with this literary hooligan, for whom I shall have to apologise, for as the old saying goes, you can’t choose your family, but you can choose who joins The Illuminati, or was that Ghandi?
Many people think that the grandest time of day for the patient, like me, near death in the hospital bed, is visiting time. On this ward there were two periods of visiting time per day; one was three to four o clock in the afternoon. The second period was in the evening between seven and eight o clock. I have always been a great believer in the saying that rules were meant to be broken so every morning at half past nine my son James, that’s number two son, would stroll on to the ward beaming his infectious smile. You could see all the nursing staff go weak at the knees, even the female ones, for James was just like his father at that age and is exceptionally beautiful. He really is a gentle giant and all six foot six of him would stroll down the ward and grab me and give me a huge bear hug. He would sit on the floor beside the bed, so that no would could really see him and try to get me to agree get into a wheel chair so that he could take me for a whizz around the hospital grounds.
James, of course is a man’s man, and doesn’t really know what to talk about in hospital. We couldn’t really talk about much anyway as there was a constant stream, of nurses coming to the bottom of my bed, ‘reading my notes,’ which when James was about seemed to become very interesting reading. Irene and sons number one and three would visit during the prescribed times and bring sweets and fruit which they would then sit and work their way through. I knew if I attempted to eat any of them I would immediately start throwing up so I opted for the choice of lying back and listening to descriptions of them eating the goodies for me. The one person who didn’t visit me in hospital was my daughter Jane. No excuse really, although she seems to think that by living over four hundred miles away gives her some sort of legitimate excuse. She also seems to think that I should mention her more in this blog as she claims to read it every day and says that she finds it exceptionally funny.
I don’t believe her for one moment, I mean yes, it is exceptionally funny, well; according to Ken Clare, but as for reading it every day, we’ll soon see. She’s home this Friday and I’ve prepared a written test for her; we will soon see who’s telling the truth. I meanwhile, being battered by the staff and mal-treated by my family, kept my spirits up by continuing my social experiments on the ward. I noticed that the day staff and the night staff seemed to be somewhat permanent. The same faces kept popping up. The staff seemed to be as bored with the routine as we did. Despite this they went through each procedure in their professional way, but that didn’t mean that I had to. The ward was always quiet, ish. So you would have a nurse stood standing at the end of your bed, perhaps pushing a huge medical cabinet full of pills, tablets and lotions, with probably the odd unction or two.
It was the same situation when you are in a room of people and something ‘funny’ is on the television. You watch the programme and suddenly everyone is laughing, while you are sat sitting there wondering what just happened. I especially hate the American programmes where they tell you when to laugh. I will laugh when something funny happens or is said, not when some fecker pushes a button, like feeding fecking monkeys at the zoo. So the ward is quiet, ish. I have a nurse, female, stood standing at the end of the bed. She opens my file and begins to flick through the pages. She then sets the file down, with the appropriate page open, and begins to drop pills and tablets in to a small paper cup. Now and again they would ask if we wanted a sleeping pill, an offer which I would immediately accept, although I felt asking for some Prozac and a small single malt might be pushing it.
Then came the question, every night, the same fecking question, which surprisingly I found rather embarrassing and, for me, unnecessary. “Have your bowels opened today?” I know it’s not a social situation and wouldn’t exactly fall into a chat up line, even of the worst variety, unless of course you went to one of them specialist clubs. It wasn’t the old, “Did you hurt yourself much?”, “Pardon?”, “Did you hurt yourself much when you fell from Heaven?” I know it was medical and perhaps relevant, or appropriate, but really I could have been handed a piece of paper and asked to tick a box. So, on reflection, I suppose when she would move on to the other bed I would do the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and humming as she ran through the motions, if you get my drift. So, as I was suggesting, different people react in different ways to various situations. Many sheeple simply follow the crowd, and good for them, not everyone can be a world leading go getter, like myself.
It had been a long day, drifting in and out of sleep, watching family eat my sweets and fruit, simply wonderful having the grand children bounce on the bed and trying to get to know my new neighbour in the bed on my left. The fellow who had been great friends with the chief executive of the hospital had been released and he didn’t know if he should go home or not. He I found very interesting for I had gathered that he was a sixty ish year old male who lived on his own. We were having great craic on the ward and there was no power in his flat. It was apparent that he didn’t want to leave, strange how you can feel sorry for people when you realise there isn’t a pill you can take to combat loneliness. We encouraged him to go home and waited to see who would take his place. Again, the most interesting thing was to sit back and listen and watch how a person introduced themselves.
One of the guys opposite was mid-seventies and an old truck and crane driver. He was great fun and told excellent stories; he had no pretence about himself or airs and graces and was a lovely man. The new fellow was wheeled in and I drifted off to sleep. I wasn’t being ignorant I just didn’t want to be the one who would have to tell him that he had his hospital gown on back to front. He wasn’t friends with the chief executive of the hospital but had ran a pub somewhere in Spain for ten years. I have never wanted to visit Spain, which is a lie. I want to visit Spain and pay homage at Salvador Dali’s house, all of them, and I want to experience a bull fight. I am a huge fan of Dali’s work but more importantly loved the fact that he bought his wife a castle where she could live, while he lived in cottages and shacks, but that she would write to him once a week, asking him to visit her at a specified time to perform his marital duties.
Every time someone would attend to the new fellow in the bed next door he would, by the third sentence, or response, have told them that he used to run a pub in Spain. You can’t help it when you are lying there on your bed with nothing to do but listen to what’s going on all around you. I was even tuning in to The Scouser who was showing people how to march and stand still which he had been taught to do in 42 Commando, although he didn’t quite finish basic training as there was something wrong with him. I didn’t wish to make any suggestion as to what might have been wrong with him as I am sure the doctors and consultants who were encouraged to watch his marching and standing still skills had their own prognosis at hand. So it was now my turn to be listened to. She asked the question and then looked at me. “Have your bowels opened today?” “Opened?” I asked, loud enough for the ward next door to hear. “They broke the feckin world land speed record.”