Home from hospital

I feel as if I have just landed from another planet. I am back to a world I hardly recognise. I have been in hospital. It was not COVID related, I feel we must clarify that these days. It is wonderful to be home, but nothing is the same. For a start it is dark by five o’clock, fungi have taken over the garden and the ash trees are bare and shivering with their clothing of leaves on the ground.

I have had a long-awaited operation. I went for a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test three days before my op. I drove into an open sided tent. Then there was a tap on the car and the test was done through the open window. I didn’t hear any more and so there I was at 7.30 one morning alone in a room waiting to be called. I had an empty stomach and a bag of nerves. But I had cleverly brought my e-reader.

Not such a clever choice of story though – ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf – I needed something easier and not so thought provoking. Then the e-reader announced that it had updated, and would I like to look through the new features?

I was not too bothered about new features just now, so I gave up on it. I decided instead to practise counting down from 100 in sevens. A friend of mine told me she had to do that and answer some questions, when she was coming round from an anaesthetic. I thought I might remember the name of the Prime Minister if they asked me, but today’s date would be harder. Since lockdown, the dates have come and gone without great significance.

After the op (which was easy for me as I had nothing to do, all the work was done by the skilled surgeon and anaesthetist with the kind intuitive theatre nurse). Afterwards, I did not have to do any of those tests either, my friend had a different type of operation. All I had to do was to get stronger with the smiling hardworking nurses coming backwards and forwards to the steady pulse of the patients’ bells. I used my phone video calls to contact friends and relatives, thankfully there were no updates.

And now I am back in the real life at home to another change. The news is all about COP26. What does it mean? I guessed ‘Collection of People’ and I wasn’t far wrong it means ‘Conference of the Parties’. It is the 26th meeting. Strange that I cannot remember what happened after the other 25 meetings. Perhaps it is the anaesthetic?

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)



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