The Night Nurse Reports

We’re now into Week 3 of Mr F’s latest hospital adventure, three weeks in which I’ve learned to make it up as I go along. Particularly the nights.

I started off sleeping in my own bed, with the phone by my pillow. Not good. Forty miles is too far away when hell breaks loose. So I decided I’d stay a few nights at my husband’s bedside and the nursing staff were very happy. Until I asked them for something to sleep on. ‘Tee hee hee,’ they chortled. You’d have thought I’d asked them for a four-poster with velvet drapes.

Did we but live in a normal city I’d have gone to a camping and trekking store and bought a little roll-up mattress, but we don’t so I couldn’t. Instead I packed a pillow and a duvet and spent four nights rotating between the floor and a wheel chair until my back cried for mercy and a couple of friends asked me if insanity runs in my family.

That was when I checked into a hotel, five minutes walk from the hospital. A small, basic, air-conditioned room into which I can sleep-walk and collapse. It has become my nest. When we’ve had a bad day I retreat there and eat chocolate. When we’ve had a good day, ditto.

Food is something else I keep revising. After ten days of hospital sandwiches I craved something that required a knife and fork. So I started dropping in to the restaurant next door to my hotel – a lacklustre little joint where the waiter ignores you until he’s finished scratching his Scratch’n’Win card. I think it may also be the local knocking shop, but no matter. No one is going to mistake me for a hooker.

Last night though I couldn’t face a reprise of Tagliolini with Ricotta and Cigarette Ash. Last night I made a picnic of supermarket seafood salad followed by very good nectarines from Nice Stall Holder Outside Hospital Gate. Tonight? Who knows. Maybe Mr F’ll cast off his pyjamas and take me for a Chop Suey at the Hoo Flung Dung.

Leave a Comment