3/16/2009

Anatomy of a Day

This post serves no purpose beyond my attempt at drumming up sympathy and to wallow in self-pity. So you know, FUN!

6am: Alarm goes off, signalling the start of the last hours The Dude will have the right hip he was born with. I intend to go back to sleep, but...

6.15am: She awakens, shouting, "I am stuck in my bed!" She wasn't. She was, however, awake for good. Shit.

6.30am: The Dude leaves, on foot. I don't drive, and obviously he can't drive to his own hip replacement. The logistics are frightening and will be explored later, as will The Dude's family's complete ignorance of manners and reciprocity.

7am: Feed P porridge for breakfast, do dishes. Feeling oddly productive.

8am: Prepare P for school, which includes medicating her busted toe and applying a Spongebob band-aid. P rebels, bumps Easter Island head on my cheekbone, causing my sinuses to explode all over the lounge in a mess of snot and the bull weevils which have surely been burrowing into my head for the past week and a half.

9am: Make appointment to see a nurse at my GP surgery to get blessed relief from sinusitis limbo. Told no appointments exist for today, yet 10 seconds later, one does. Hmm...

9.30pm: Drop P off at nursery, walk to GP surgery for 10am appointment.

10am: Already out of appointment, clutching prescription for antibiotic which I desperately hope will be my savior. Walk to high street for prescription filling and purchasing diversions for the patient. Buy three magazines with a distinct male-focus, and bow the pressure of three books for myself at a charity shop (Crimson Petal and the White, Middlsex, and The Little Friend, if anyone's interested).

11.30am: Walk from high street to ferry port. Yes, you read that correctly. I have to get a mothertrucking ferry to go see The Dude at the hospital. This follows the 2 mile walk I have already undertaken to get to this point. The ferry takes all of 5 minutes. I wonder what the point is.

12pm: Reach hospital resembling a Victorian asylum after walking a further 3/4 mile post-ferry. Legs ponder rebellion due to week-long atrophy through disuse thanks to sinusitis infestation. Decide that inflexible Rocketdogs may not be the best choice in hiking footwear.

Go to the recovery ward, no husband to be found. Instructed by pissed off nurse to wait in the "Day area" - a place where light always shines regardless of hour? I don't know. It has some tatty old chairs, so I sit down and read a Total Film magazine. Old git with very few teeth shuffles in and phones his wife on his mobile. Loudly. Apologises to me post-phone call for interrupting my reading. I kick him in his good hip and go to find lunch.

12.30pm: Lunch is a cheese and onion sandwich from the hospital shop. Sit on bench in lovely courtyard gardens of at-places ruinous looking hospital. Try husband-seeking mission again.

12.45pm: Pissed off nurse number two tells me to go away and have lunch and then come back to look for missing husband. I wander the labyrinthian corridors again, never seeing one person, wondering if I'm stuck in some sort of localised 28 Days Later situation. Periodically stop to read plaques detailing the numerous 18th and early 19th century mass graves on site. Somehow, I find this endearing and suddenly the hospital is way cooler than originally thought. Talk to brother on mobile in courtyard from earlier, wondering how many old soldiers I'm trodding on as I'm speaking to my sibling from 4000 miles away.

2pm: Head back to ward. No Dude. Wondering if they just decided to do both hips since the other one is shit anyway. Sit back in the Day Room, sans toothless old guy. Stroke my new book purchases.

2.15pm: Nurse 1, spirits doubtlessly buoyed by depriving patients of morphine, pops her head into my room of endless light to say that The Dude has officially arrived.

I expect to see a wan, near-lifeless version of my husband in the bed. Instead I'm greeted by full-on Dude, albeit it very slightly high. He tells me that he was out during his surgery despite the lack of a general anesthesia, which I find a bit confusing. He is oddly jovial, and I fear for him once the epidural wears off.

4pm: I depart, as P needs collected from nursery as I have a long commute ahead of me. He promises to call later in the evening once the pain kicks in, and settles down with an MMA DVD on his portable DVD player.

4.15pm: Another 3/4 mile later, and I'm back on the ferry.

4.20pm: Reach the other side and decide that I deserve a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Any guilt is alleviated courtesy of a card I possess which gives me a free cup of coffee every day after 1pm. I revel in my power.

5pm: After a further 2+ mile walk, I reach P's nursery. She is happy to see me, patting my face and yelling, "FACE! FACE! THIS IS YOUR FACE!!"

5.15pm: We reach home, and within five minutes I am treated to both P peeing on the floor and a subdued phone call from The Dude groaning about THE PAIN ending with him hanging up on me so he could throw up. In the rushed phone call I understood that he could feel both of his legs and that was no good thing. The morphine, as he predicted, was alleviating the pain but making him repeatedly sick. This is not a phone call a worrier should get, especially a worrier who hasn't had relief from a constant sinus headache in four days. And this, my friends, is how you make your husband's painful hip replacement all.about.you.

7.30pm: P's bedtime. I love this child more than a fine cheese, but toddlerdom is not great when your head is splitting in half.

8pm: Spoke a few words to Molly on Gmail chat, then drew my bath. Added new Lush product, lit a candle, and prepared Cat's Eye for some heavy reading.

9pm: Got out of blissful bath and ran upstairs to catch the newest episode of America's Next Top Model. We're still a season behind, so no spoilers please.

10pm: Not sure. It's 11pm now, what did I watch for an hour?

11pm: Confused, head throbbing, ready to go to bed. SVU has other ideas, the conniving bastard.

Yeah, so that was dreadful for pretty much everyone for me, sorry about that. I wanted to go through that just to get to my main point - that of The Dude's family and their complete disregard for common decency. The Dude had to wake up dreadfully early, walk to the bus stop, get the bus to the ferry, cross the water in said ferry, walk 3/4 mile to the hospital, all before 7am! To get his fucking hip replaced! Do you think anyone in his family offered to drive the poor soul? No, no, too much trouble.

The Dude has a close-knit family , though obviously that doesn't extend to favours. We often loan money to his parents and two sisters, and it isn't a problem. They pay us back when they can and that's that. We also go out of our way to help with anything else they might need help with because that's what families do. At least, that's what one part of the family does.

Both of his sisters have kids, but if the situation were reversed we would find someone to get P to school so that they could be driven to the hospital for their major surgery. Speaking of which, not only did no one offer to drop The Dude off at the hospital, no one suggested that they drop P off at school so I could go with him. I would do this for an acquaintance I don't know that well, let alone family.

Is this only shocking to me? Am I far more versed in the arts of Emily Post than I thought? Fretting about it is only going to make my headache worse, so I trust you'll all just agree with me for the sake of argument. We wouldn't want my eyeballs to pop out from all the pressure now would we?

15 comments:

Molly said...

Yeah, that's just annoying. Why wouldn't anyone even offer, even if they weren't being entirely sincere?

Meh.

V. jealous of your coffee card.

Beautiful Mess said...

I agree with you! It's a bit selfish and unfair. Poor Dude. Hope he's feeling better soon! I second Molly's comment about your card. Can you photocopy them and send them to all your bloggy friends? Or maybe the ones who just agree with you? ;o) Hope your head is feeling betetr soon, also.

Magpie said...

completely and utterly agree with you. they should have helped...

Brigindo said...

Can't quite believe The Dude's family. Mine is certainly mega-dysfunctional but we still come through with things like that in a pinch.

Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

BTW, haven't read the other two but loved Middlesex. Please do let us know what you think once you start reading. And how did you sit in the "day" room without starting at least one of them?

hairyfarmerfamily said...

The Dude's family should really be hanging their collective heads in shame. Like yourself. I would and sometimes do help a family out I don't know that well. Family deserve a bit more effort.

What is this Starbucks card you speak of, and where can I obtain one?!

hairyfarmerfamily said...

Hmmm. I appear to have unintentionally substituted my intended comma after 'yourself' with a full stop instead. See how it changes my meaning in an amusing-if-person-is-not-stressed-out-by poor-post-operative-husband manner!

Betty M said...

No excuses for such appalling behaviour. Absolutely standard in my mind for people to help out in such circs - no excuse. Particularly as all lift giving duties will have ended at 7.30 at latest. Plenty of time for school drip offs etc. Cross on your behalf.

OvaGirl said...

Yes Pru. That sucks the big red dog. The thought of the Dude doing that commute in the hip that will within hours be replaced is gob smacking. And frankly we al know whose gobs need to be smacked.

Helen said...

His family sound like they're related to my family.

Poor Dude. Poor you. Morphine blows.

And as a totally pointless and potentially cold-hearted aside - The Little Friend, it sucketh. Middlesex is like finding god all over again. Or Margaret Atwood. Same thing.

calliope said...

good lawd! All that walking just makes me sore to read about. I can not fathom that no one in the Dude's family thought to offer a ride. Are they clueless or did they just think help wasn't needed??

& that coffee card?? DAYUM! That is mighty fancy!! Go you!

xo

ms.bri said...

That is hideous, the family bit. Mine might do something similar.

My favorite bit of this post:
"FACE! FACE! THIS IS YOUR FACE!!"

nutsinmay said...

What a day. Poor poor Dude. Give him my best wishes. What is the bloody point of morphine if it makes you hurl - how is hurling with great big incision in hip going to alleviate the pain thing anyway? It isn't, is it? So what is the point of adding morphine-induced vomiting to the mix? Has medical science really nothing better to offer?

Gah.

Also, the Dude's family? Can kiss it. Because, really? No offers to help? I'd march round their place and DEMAND help, but sheesh, having to ASK, when THEIR loved one is having major surgery etc? I shake my head at them, really I do, also best Librarian Eyebrow of Frosty Disapproval.

Best of luck for the next few weeks.

elizasmom said...

Wow. Thoughtful family FAIL.
That kinda blows my mind! I hope The Dude feels better soon.

Isabel said...

His family kind of sucks. Sorry.

wheelsonthebus said...

just catching up. yep -- that's pretty rude. hope his recovery is going well.