In the turn of a minute…

At the beginning of July I spent a week with my Mum in Cyprus. I had nothing to do apart from read, sit in the sun, swim and eat nice food. That was it. I was already worn out from a hectic run up to my time off, and needed to switch my brain out of work mode, and turn that dial mainly to ‘OFF’. I mostly managed it.

On my last night there I got an email from Beloved Husband, saying that he was in hospital. The reasons are not for here, but my brain was switched, then, firmly to ‘ON’ again.

Contacting the cab firm that was collecting me at the airport, and changing the destination to Hospital. Calling my boss to let him know that probably I wasn’t actually going to make it into work on the Tuesday. Letting various people know what was occurring. That done, I fell into bed, ready to get going the next day. I wasn’t in Cyprus any more, my head was in a hospital in London.

Of course the flight was delayed. That was more or less a given! But I chatted in gentle tones to the lass next to me, letting her talk about her mum who has passed away just before her holiday, and needed to let it out somewhere. It’s easier to bare your grieving soul to someone you don’t know, who has no connection, as you don’t have to worry about them getting upset, too.

From the airport it was hotfoot to the hospital. The taxi driver knew I was worried, and put his foot down.

Beloved was fully compos mentis, but very tired, very hungry and thirsty having been nil by mouth since the Sunday afternoon, and it was now the evening of Monday the 10th. After some badgering he was allowed ice cubes on the Tuesday – it was ridiculously hot in the ward – and started some small amounts of food on the Wednesday. I nearly swung for the guy in the bed opposite who ordered in fish and chips, and ate them in a ward where everyone was nil by mouth.

Eventually, on the 20th, after various Procedures, he was allowed home. To say I was delighted was an understatement, but then the fun began. An infection set in on the evening of the 24th, so Tuesday morning we got antibiotics from the hospital. By the Tuesday evening his temperature was rising by the half hour. It got all the way to 38.3C and we were prepping to go to A&E. Bags packed, we checked it again – I think I was getting a little obsessive at this point – and it had dropped. A lot. All the way to 36C.

He chose to stay home – and who wouldn’t? A&E is as far from restful as you can get.

Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th were days full of pain for him, alternately running with sweat and shivering with an inner cold that wouldn’t shift, that rattled his teeth in his skull. I have never felt as hopeless and helpless, watching him go through this, just waiting for the double dose antibiotics to kick in, checking temperature on the hour, making sure he ate something, watching him while he slept just in case of…whatever my brain decided it was going to worry about that that moment. Anything outside my immediate life was on hold. Nothing mattered more to me than being by his side.

Friday things seemed to lessen slightly, and the weekend was spent with him in bed, resting as much as he could. The shivers/sweats had eased, but the pain was stabbing him and doubling him over with alarming regularity.

Finally things got better. As it stands, he is still not well, and might not be for a while, but he can feels ok enough to be left on his own.  We have more medical things coming up, but for now…he’s ok. I feel secure enough at the moment to come in to work, to go away for a weekend with my best friend, just to relax and recharge a bit – but make no mistake, there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for this man. Since I laid eyes on him in January of 1992 I’ve loved him more each day. If a doctor came to me and said the only way to save him would be for me to give up an organ, then without query I’d do it. I would, quite literally, lay down my life for him. People might not be able to see why, but they are not me, and I don’t need anyone’s approval or understanding for how I feel about this tall, straight talking, honourable, quiet man.




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