Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bad English Patient

By Belinda

I had gathered up my briefcase and turquoise lunch bag and was heading out the door, when I saw Paul heading gingerly but purposefully into the bathroom. I sensed a mission in process.

I'd been trying to anticipate his needs and keep him safe so I wondered what I could do to help.

"Paul, what are you doing?" I demanded, in my best ``she who must be obeyed`` voice.

"I was going to wash my hair," he said. And it turned out he had plans to kneel down and put his head under the tap in the shower.

``Oh, no,`` I said, ``You are not supposed to bend your back. I`ll turn on the shower and if you take off your t shirt I`ll shampoo your hair.``

So I turned on the shower to warm up the water, took off my coat, and with his head and my arms in the shower stall, I did the honours with the shampoo, as we both got a generous spraying of stray water.

"Ahh," he sighed, his eyes closed in ecstasy, "That feels so good."

I smiled, and thought, ``Yes, we have reached the age when it has come to this.``

When we were at the hospital on Monday, the nurse told Paul to make an appointment with his doctor after a couple of days to get his dressing changed. Originally he was going to wait until Thursday, but decided he would go a day earlier at about noon. I was concerned and Brenda was worried about him driving so soon, and she left for work hoping she could get the time off and come home and drive him.

``Make sure you leave your cell phone on, so I can reach you,`` were her parting words.

I left and drove north for my meeting and it was during a break that I turned on my cell phone to check for messages. There were two. One was from our pastor. He said he`d called to see how Paul was but couldn`t get him on the phone. The other was from Brenda. She wondered if I knew where her dad was as he wasn`t answering the phone.

I called home and Tori, who was home from school with a sore throat, answered the phone.

``Tori, do you know where Grandad is,`` I asked.

``No,`` she said, ``His car isn`t in the driveway.``

The eagle had not landed but had vanished. Brenda was on her way home to drive him, but he was long gone.

When I got home much later, Paul was safely back where he belonged, with a new dressing in place and looking much better--and taller. He had even been for a walk around the block! I can`t believe how much difference it makes now that he is standing erect. It`s amazing how much he had hunched over with the pain he was in.

We continue to thank God for gifted surgeon`s hands and release from pain for Paul.


Marilyn said...

`Yes, we have reached the age when it has come to this.`


Brave Raven said...

Love the title!! Laced with the perfect injection of reprimand.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I understand, deeply, the desire to do what one can - freely and without assistance. I also understand the need to be where no one knows you are. Those are two of the lovely bits of adulthood. Go Paul!

Susan said...

If it was your raincoat, you should have left it on! :)

Theresa said...

LOL, loved the "we are at the age where it has come to this." Too funny.