My husband returned from hospital today.
He was taken ill on Sunday last….he has a foul nasty now -after years of diagnosis, misdiagnosis and stabs in the dark – known as CANOMAD and has had attacks from time to time over the last thirty years.
While it might sound like a variant of rabies the easiest way to describe it is that if he catches a ‘flu’ bug, instead of his antibodies attacking the bug his antibodies attack him, destroying the nerve sheaths and rendering him paralysed.
It starts in his lips, progresses via his tongue and throat and if not treated in time would paralyse his lungs….so we have to live near a hospital that can treat him with immunoglobulin – the only treatment known to medical science – which costs an arm and a leg.
Thus at three thirty on Sunday morning we were belting along in a CAJA (Costa Rican national health service) ambulance which swooped down the switchback curves of the road to the capital at a speed far in excess of that proposed for the conditions – which was fine until we hit- in every sense – the intermediate town.
With a view to winning the elections the outgoing mayor had installed speed bumps on the main road through the town centre.
‘Bump’ is not an adequate description…think Big Dipper.
Our driver had not passed that way since the bumps were installed so we hit them at a speed which achieved a fair semblance of lift off, Leo flying into the air from his stretcher and descending with an audible thump while I picked myself off the floor and extended my vocabulary by listening to the driver’s commentary.
I wish I had written it down….certain phrases had an almost biblical intensity, with use of the ‘selah’ at key intervals.
Unloaded at the Emergency department, into a scene which Cecil B de Mille would envy…patients, family of same en masse, Red Cross staff trying to reclaim their wheelchairs and stretchers, cleaners wielding mops, catering staff in hairnets distributing coffee while nurses, doctors and medical students produced organisation from chaos.
Luckily my husband is an inpatient at the hospital, so his dossier was available, diagnosis made and treatment ordered – as soon as there was a bed available in the Emergency department – no good looking further as the hospital was full to bursting point.
Bed finding was the speciality of a senior female doctor who bore a great resemblance to Granny Giles – without the hat.
She stalked the wards and corridors in search of prey…and pounced.
A gentleman in his sixties, safely esconced in a bed, was complaining loudly that no one would bring him a coffee.
Granny Giles studied his file and summoned a porter.
Get this gentleman back in his own clothes, give him a coffee and send him home by ambulance. If his lungs are strong enough to bellow like that he can bellow at home….
So Leo’s treatment commenced…
On Monday he was transferred to another ward….and I discovered the visiting system….
First, you have to obtain a visiting card. This card resembles a zoo entrance ticket in that it firmly forbids feeding the inmates.
Then you have to turn up at visiting hours: for anyone who remembers the NHS of the fifties and sixties this springs no surprises.
But this hospital has its own way of running things. There is a check point where staff make sure that no illicit pork scrachings, booze or sticky sweets are being smuggled in – and the queue runs outside the hospital and round two blocks.
Unless you are a pensioner. In which case you wait on specially reserved seats and are let through first to many cracks about age before beauty and give the young ladies priority to have the time to titivate themselves…
Thank goodness for Danilo who held the fort while I took the bus to the capital…a three hour round trip apart from the visiting. Alone, trying to close up the sheep in the dark, I would have been pushed to the limits.
Still, daily life went on regardless so late in the week I ‘phoned my mother to get her shopping list which would go online to Tesco and in due course be delivered to her door.
After close consideration of the merits of gammon as opposed to a beef joint business was concluded and mother got down to the events of the week.
Mother in Southampton, when on form, can give Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells a fair run for its money and she was loaded for bear.
Sport mad, she cannot watch cricket as she will not pay for Sky but she was up to date with the news.
What’s all this about the West Indian Under 19 team running about naked?
Mind boggling gently I seek further particulars.
Well, they’re not wearing anything and the umpires are letting them!
How do you know…you can’t watch the match on the box.
They’re talking about it on Test Match Special….they’re running out men wearing no clothes.
Who is doing the running out?
Someone naked. His name begins with M but I can’t remember it…
A cup of tea later I attempt to unravel the mystery.
It appears that the West Indies Under 19 team’s bowler ran out an opposing batsman in a way which was within the Laws of cricket but which was deemed unsporting.
The thing is called a Mankad– after the first chap to try it in the modern era.
What mother is thinking of is a Mankini…..
I agree that players wearing mankinis might well encourage audiences…but what I would like to know is how mother discovered the mankini…