I experienced a rather different me last night.
As i mentioned a while ago, one of my ladies is in hospital with a broken elbow, the consequence of a rather nasty fall.
The elbow is now mended, but she has other complications, so she is still in hospital, over two months after the original fall.
The last time i visited her was New Years Eve, and while i was there, i asked her if there was anything she needed.
'Warm clothes please- my son has brought in all my summer stuff-he hasn't got a clue..'
I knew what she meant.
'And as many pairs of knickers as you can find.'
Well, a girl can never have too many pairs of knickers, can she?
So, yesterday afternoon, i scurried off down to her house, dressed like a yeti (it was still minus two at 3.00pm) and started the mammoth task of finding some 'winter clothes.'
I have been telling her for over two years that we need to sort her clothes out-she has more clothes that don't fit, than clothes that do-but after an hour and a half later, i had found what i'd hoped was a 'warm clothes selection.'
Because of this winter vomiting bug, visiting has been reduced to one hour a day- between 7-8.00pm, so me and Darling Daughter set off in the Arctic conditions at 6.30.
Roads are trecherous, but we skid our way into the carpark of the most monsterous place you have ever seen just before 7.00.
We finally find our way to the ward my lady's on, and wait to be let in.
They lock the doors on the wards there now- and if there are no nurses around at 7.00 to let you in, you have to peer mournfully through the glass until you catch a glimpse of one and then hammer like buggery at the door in the hope they will hear you.
A nurse finally saw us at about 7.10.
As we scurried in, me clutching the bag of stuff, a loud voice boomed out at us from nowhere;
'YOU HAVE NOT USED THE ALCOHOL SPRAY-PLEASE USE THE ALCOHOL SPRAY'.
Darling Daughter yelped and i dropped the bag. A disembodied voice was telling us we were unclean.
Actually, we had used the spray twice on the way to ward, but i suppose you can't be too careful.
I was also in agony from using this spray- my hands are cut to ribbons at the moment (not too sure why, but there you go...)and everytime the stuff hit my hands it felt like somebody sticking my hands on a broken bottle.
I couldn't find my old lady.
There are at least four wards and eight or nine side rooms, so i tracked down a nurse and asked her.
'She's moved- either to the day case unit, or to the building over the road.'
Darling Daughter and i scuttled off through to the day case unit- on the other side of the hospital.
We found a nother nurse.
'Is she here?
'No, but i remember her...she's over the road in the other building.'
I was impressed that she remembered who my lady was, but as my lady was a nurse herself, i'm not sure she was remembered for the right reasons....i bet she's making their lives hell.
We grabbed the bag, and made our way down the stairs and across the carpark to the other building.
This was after trying to find someone to tell us where it was, with no luck.
Darling Daughter found a discarded map on the floor on the way out, so that helped a bit.
By now, it's 7.20pm.
And i had anticipated visiting for just half an hour, so we are now looking at ten minutes visiting.
We get to the other building and find the ward we are looking for.
More Alcohol spray.
As i approach the nurses station, i glance up at the patient board.
And, ominously, i can't see my ladies name.
No nurses around, so i ring the bell on the desk.
Bloody hell, you'd have thought i was starting WW3.
They came from everywhere, looking so mutinous that i checked behind me to make sure one wasn't bringing up the rear with a bedpan, ready to smash over my head.
'You haven't got my lady, have you?'
One picked up the phone while the others melted away.
'She's in the main wing on the top ward.'
'But that's where i've come from- 20 minutes ago- they said they hadn't got her'.
'Well, that's where she is.'
Back to the main building.
Up the stairs.
More alcohol spray. I could have cried.
More peering through the glass on the ward door.
We were spotted and let in.
'My lady- she must be with you..' i gasped.
'Oh, yes. Over there.'
And there she was, in the same place as New Years Eve.
But in a different bed.
We mooch over.
'I wasn't expecting visitors.' was her opening line.
Odd, i thought- she had asked me to bring these clothes in for her tonight.
' i've brought your clothes in for you'.
'What clothes- i didn't ask for any clothes.'
'You'll have to take them home again.'
Darling Daughter was cowered in a corner- i was getting worried about her.
I glanced at the clock.
Time to go- half an hour after i had wanted to leave, and the time visiting ends.
'I'll take them back home for you.'
We left the ward.
More alcohol spray.
In the foyer, i put my parking ticket into the machine.
£2. bloody 50 for up to two hours.
Darling Daughter hadn't said a word while all this was happening.
We got back out to the car, de-iced it, and drove to the barrier.
The barrier was up.
I needn't have paid £2. bloody 50 to park.
As we left, and got onto the bypass, a car cut me up. I didn't comment.
Darling Daughter squeeked.
'What's happened to you mum?'
'What do you mean?'
'We have just had the worst nightmare, and you haven't exploded yet...does that mean you are saving it all up ill we get home?'
She looked terrified under the lights on the bypass.
'No.' i said.
And i meant it.
For some reason, i did not 'Go Off On One'...and i really have no idea why.
The whole hospital experience was enough to send a saint over the edge, but not me. Not last night.
I'm wondering then, if this is going to be the year i try to be a calmer, more focussed Sprouty.
It would be nice.
But i guess it depends what happens to day really.
Till next time,
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