The Return to Normal

“The Operation” went so well that rather than the predicted five days in hospital recovering, he was home in two and a half. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been allowed to visit and only ever saw him in bed hugging a hottie so how the hell they thought he was good to go was beyond me, but at the appointed hour I turned up and waited in the empty parking lot outside the front door. He came out walking beside the nurse who was wheeling the chair containing his bag and dressing gown. I couldn’t bloody believe it.

He lasted all of five minutes before he started to flag. I think it was the low seat in the car. And the bumps in the road. The corners didn’t help either. If it hadn’t have been for the known potency of the drugs we had to wait for at the chemists, I think he’d have been flagging an uber back to the hospital. I took him home and it was Round One. “I can manage; I can do that; It’s fine the way it is…” Really? I thought, watching him clutch his gut and ease himself into the chair. “Go to bloody bed!” But no, he hung out for a while pretending he was the same person who’d walked out carrying his own bag three days previously and not the one who’d been told to avoid lifting anything heavier than his shoes. Which itself was an issue because he couldn’t bend in the middle.

Round Two was his. I hadn’t thought about food. Well, I’d thought about my food but not that he’d be restricted to something called a low residue diet. Basically, anything white and mushy that isn’t going to give his teeth something to do, is permissable. I went shopping. I got chicken and fish and yoghurt then went for a swim at the gym. Three laps and fifteen minutes alone in the spa. That night we had so many pots I thought I’d need an assistant. “I can do it…” came from the chair in the corner. “Go to bloody bed!” was the reply.

We’ve now settled into something that resembles real life but isn’t. I’ve got used to his sudden, silent appearances as he walks around to prevent clots. I’ve taught him how to do an injection so he can arrange for himself the timing of his shots. I ask a lot about things I don’t really want to know about – and he tells me. Today he found the love letter in his hospital bag that he was supposed to read in case he died. I don’t know what to do about that. It’s like everything in our lives at the moment – out of step and strange. Yesterday I re-read the rules on his diet and came to the conclusion that he was possibly nutrient deprived for a few days. I’ve added another pot containing mashed things that are orange. Green is a long way down the track.

I’ve also hired someone to come and mow the lawns. He’s at Uni and a bit busy and it won’t be turning up for another week. By then Mr ‘I can do it’ will probably be out there with a pair of scissors. But the upside of that is that they are lighter than a pair of shoes. And if he goes the way he’s going now, he might be able to chew on a few nice green clippings.

Thanks for all your support. It’s been grand.

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