Oh my. What a difference a year makes. I’m very conscious, and very grateful, that I’ve just watched Great British Bake Off without a care in the world. Well, when I say not a care, my bathroom is a shell and I have the entire contents of my kitchen to find a space for before it is ripped to bits on Thursday, but life is good.
A year ago tonight, I discovered what fear was all about.
It was Bob’s 6th day in hospital and we had had a fair bit to take in. I’d assumed that once they’d pumped him full o antibiotics, he’d be out the door. He was still very sick and weak, but he was showing signs of stabilising.
A lovely Irish doctor explained very gently to us that he’d be in having the 12 grammes of antibiotics by intravenous drip for at least the next two weeks.
We were just processing that when a nurse and an ECG machine came flying into the room. Remember the poor people locked in broom cupboards watching the heart telemetry that Bob had been wearing since Day 1? They had seen that Bob’s heart rate was going through the roof and they had to find out what the hell was going on.
This was a scene that was repeated several times with great drama over the course of the evening.
He was shell-shocked. I can honestly say that I had never been so terrified about anything in all of my life. Now, I’m a worrier who is scared of everything, but it turned out that all the fear I’d felt before in my life added together didn’t touch this. It was obvious that the medics were worried as they did that purposeful scurrying that you see in hospital drams with ever more pills and potions and needles. And if the medics are worried, you know that this could be serious shit.
For hours, his heart rate went nuts and they were trying all sorts to get it down.
I will never, ever forget the kindness and calmness of the nurse in charge that Monday night. I couldn’t believe that when she had a million things to do, she went and brought me tea and biscuits and sat with me radiating all the good and peaceful vibes you could imagine.
Long past official visiting hours, I was so scared. Bless my Mum, she offered to come up. I thought that that might scare Bob even more. Not because she is particularly frightening but just that if random family members started turning up after hours, he might think that there was a reason for it.
The last thing I wanted to do that evening was leave. I eventually did at somewhere near 11. The lovely nurse would have let me stay, but that would have been really cruel to a teenager who had no idea what was going on.
I had to force myself to walk away. I was convinced that the next I’d hear was that he was in intensive care.
I wish I’d known that a year on, I’d be missing his Radio Grapevine radio show (he’s covering for Debra tonight) to watch some bloke put sprouts in a pie.
Here are the Facebook posts.
1 October 2016
Today wasn’t particularly easy for Bob until about 3 hours ago. Since then, he’s been up and chatting and has even given me cheek. Only a little, but it’s a start. I had missed it.
Let’s hope tomorrow continues like this.
This was his first day of what would end up as four weeks on Ward 9. Here was a new set of people to get to know. The nurse looking after him was absolutely wonderful. Every so often he’d spike a temperature and they ‘d do what they could to get it down.
There were signs that he was getting a little better, though.
2 October 2016
Bob continues to make progress although it will take some time for him to recover fully. He has only had two fevers in the last 30 hours which is a massive improvement. He is not in as much pain and is significantly brighter
We were able to watch the Malaysian GP today and to do our best not to take too much pleasure in what happened on lap 43.
The nurses who have been looking after him are so kind. They have a huge amount to do yet they still so obviously care about the people they are looking after even when they present challenges, like singing Danny Boy at 5am. That wasn’t Bob, I hasten to add.
The food in St John’s is unexpectedly appetising and delicious. Bob loved the roast dinner and trifle he had for his Sunday lunch.
I now have the delights of Ed Balls’ Charleston to amuse me before I go to sleep.
3 October 2015
So, this is how we thought it would all pan out. When Bob hadn’t had a fever for 24 hours, they would chuck him out with a tonne of pills.
We were brought down to earth a bit by a lovely doctor who explained that he would be in here for at least two weeks having four hourly industrial strength IV antibiotics.
In addition to that, he has some monitors on which somebody keeps an eye on 24/7. They have all been going a bit wild over the last few hours. Bob actually feels no worse but he is being very closely watched. We both feel very confident in the quality of the care he is getting.
He is eating well – loved the vegetarian lasagne earlier. The food is really good in here.
3 October 2016
What is it about the tea they give you in hospital that is so soothing?