Hospitals bring out the best and the worst in people it seems. The ward I have been visiting recently is a prime example. It provides temporary respite for an elderly fat fussy gentleman without a single manner to his name. He has a regular female visitor, a neighbour or helper, perhaps a housekeeper or carer. The relationship is not one of great friendship, and definitely includes some financial component as they spend a bit of time each visit working out what is going to come out of “the account.”
Neither of them was blessed with the “whisper” gene either. This communication method is particularly useful in places like hospitals when you want to talk about financial movements or bowel movements or your genitals. Apparently though, it is not for everyone. He is rude to the nurses, the doctors and his regular visitor. In the two days he shared the ward with my son, I didn’t hear a single thank you or please.
I know more about him than I care to know, and yes that includes all the movements and the other details mentioned above. His every malady seems to be someone else’s fault, or problem. He hates the ward, the hospital, the staff and you won’t believe it but even the food is not up to scratch.
Well, guess what chubster? I have news for you, no-one wants to be there and it’s called hospital food for a reason. The doctors and nursing staff are battling to save your life. They are not turning up to work just to listen to you bitch and grizzle about things that they can’t change. (Bless those wonderful staff)
It was a great reminder to me that if you surround yourself with misery, you get miserable. My son is a terrific cheery young guy, facing a pretty tough medical challenge and being forced to listen to this egocentric fat fool is just bringing him down. And it is so important to be able to whisper.
Where is Mr T when I need him?
I was sitting at my local cafe enjoying my start to the morning while at the next door table a mum and her two young children were playing “gift giving”. The girls were 12 and 10 and it was the older girl’s birthday. As she unwrapped present after present, a pattern was forming. The watch wasn’t quite the right one, the Lego was more suited to someone a little younger, the clothes were not quite what she was looking for and the camera was, well, “what would I need a camera for?”
The cafe floor was strewn with paper as she unwrapped a dozen presents and broke her mother’s heart with every one. I know it is difficult to be a twelve-year-old girl. There was no sign of dad. Though somewhat conspicuously all but one of the presents was wrapped in the same paper, so I’m guessing he supplied that one.
All said and done, the present unveiling was not a stunning success. She was totally underwhelmed. I didn’t understand if she was spoiled rotten and wanted more, or she was hoping dad would appear inside one of the parcels, or she was just out of step with what was going on for some reason. The only real success was the pair of fluffy slippers that immediately went on her feet.
Mum had certainly gone to a lot of trouble to make the birthday presents special and the other daughter sat and watched the gift giving without a single grumble or jealous gripe which makes me think the birthday girl just expected something else perhaps. For whatever the reason, it was heart wrenching to watch the mother give it her very best shot and come up way short.
It was heart wrenching because today as the day my son comes out of hospital where he has been recovering from what was supposed to be a routine day surgery “home by lunchtime” procedure. Three days later, he will be coming home and I can’t wait. I will want to give him a big hug, but he will be both too big to do that with any real effect and still too sore to do with any real gusto.
I hope in years to come the birthday girl will come to realise that, as Mick Jagger has been telling us for years, we can’t always get what we want and that a parent’s love, may be all that you need.