I’m not patient. I always arrive on time, if not early; if someone tells me something will take 5 minutes and it takes 10, I reserve the right to be irritated; I hate it when someone says “I’ll be there sometime in the afternoon – no! I need to know a time. Quite a precise time would be good. Get it? I’m not patient.
My lovely dad had his operation yesterday. He had to be at the hospital for 7am and then wait until it was his turn to go into theatre. I watch enough hospital documentaries to know that this could be a long time and that it might not even happen depending on beds, emergencies, etc. I know it was far worse for him (and mum) to be waiting around in a stuffy hospital in a hospital gown. But I swear to you that yesterday was one of the longest days of my life. I picked mum up at ten when dad got taken along to theatre (where he had another hours wait on his own – he must have been pretty nervous) and she had been told to call at 2pm to see if he was back in recovery. We managed to hold out until 1.30pm and thankfully were given the great news that he was indeed back in recovery and coming round well from the anaesthetic. However, they were unsure how long it would be before a bed became available and so to call back in another hour. By this point I couldn’t sit still any longer so cleared the bird feeders of nuts (no good this time of year – baby birds might choke) and cleared the bird poo off the deck. I literally had nothing else to do and clock watching was driving me mad. The hour eventually passed and the call was made. A bed was now free but wouldn’t be ready for another hour and half. Call back then. Argh!
Please understand I am not complaining about the NHS. I have written before about my admiration of anyone who works in public services, and how lucky we are to have such amazing people looking after us. I just hate waiting. Especially when it’s for news about someone I care about so much and who I was just desperate to see for myself so that I would know for certain he was fine.
We finally got to see him around 5pm after battling the crappy traffic. He was fine. He looked older, but hospital gowns, beds and tubes will do that to a man. He was a bit pale and looked knackered but he was fine. He was pleased to see us, he managed a few jokes and he still had a twinkle about him. My dad may not be the life and soul of a party – he’s an easygoing, friendly bloke and he is happy to chat (his hearing gives him a bit of grief and makes it tricky for him these days but he just about manages ok) – but he has a definite twinkle about him. He plays things down, he doesn’t like a fuss, but he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to medical things and he’s really not a fan of hospitals. We’ve all been a bit worried how he’d cope with it all – he’s only ever had an operation once before and that was in his early twenties (motorbike accident), and stitches to close a huge gash on his forehead (he walked through a patio door) in his forties – but he seemed pretty chilled and was taking it all in his stride.
We knew he’d be in overnight and were expecting him home today at some point. Unfortunately, when he tried to get out of bed (with help) this morning he fainted and was unresponsive for a few moments (woke up to a crowd of about 15 medical professionals around him) so they’re keeping him in another night to keep an eye on him. Reassuring really but unsurprisingly he’s a bit fed up to not be coming home yet.
So we carry on playing the waiting game. (Far worse for him, stuck in a hospital bed and being woken up every hour for obs.) We just want him home and recovering and being his usual funny, twinkly self.
It’s his fault I’m so impatient, by the way. I get it from him, like the punctuality. He was at the hospital at 6.40am yesterday as he didn’t want to be late. Some might see it as a flaw and it can be annoying being so irritable about other people’s timekeeping but I like that we’re so alike. Because he’s fab.