That's Life ( Pt 13 )
I awoke that morning with all the agony and torment dispersed after a good night's sleep. My new companion even made a cup of tea and bought it to me in bed...what a treat! I felt like a queen. She sat on the end of the bed asking me about myself, it was hard having to explain what had happened to bring me to this moment, I didn't want to dwell on things too much, but she was so kind I felt she needed an explanation.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd had a proper breakfast, but one of the mums had gone out and bought some bread – bacon and eggs, so we had a full English...what a gratifying surprise that was, as we all chipped in with either the cooking or the washing up.
We sat around, as my companions told me their husbands were coming in that day, apart from one lady, who's husband decided he couldn't cope when he found out about his son. Apparently the dad couldn't accept that anything could be done for his son's face that was badly disfigured at birth. His Mum said it was sad, but hoped he'd come back once their son had the many operations to repair the damage.
It was after breakfast, that I said I'd cook the evening meal, deciding to go shopping before I went to see my son. I got dressed and left the other mothers to their own devices. I decided to cook chops and two veg with gravy, nothing very inspiring, but money was tight. The shops were not too far, so it was a nice walk before returning to the ward.
After dropping off the food at the caravan, I made my way over to the ward, the nurse told me she'd already fed my son, which was a great help. “Did you have any problem with feeding?” I inquired, worried about the hole.
“No!” She informed me, “we're used to all these problems. Your son needed feeding, I hope you don't mind.”
“Not at all,” I said. It was nice to be able to leave my son in safe hands with someone I trusted. She'd also changed his nappy for me, so there wasn't much for me to do, but play with him and chat to the others.
The surgeon came around in the afternoon, he was a nice man, but quite serious as I suppose all surgeons are, he informed me that my son would be operated on the next day, then asked if I had any questions?
I asked him if there would be any problems with my son's speech after the operation? He told me that my son should be perfectly normal and that there wouldn't be any speech impediment, which satisfied my curiosity.
After he left, one of the nurses let me know that if I hadn't made any plans, it was best if I did, as the operation would take quite a while. Then she said there wouldn't be anything I could do hanging around. “Take yourself off somewhere and treat yourself, so you don't dwell on things.” She said it so casually, I almost felt at ease, but to be honest, I really wasn't sure that was what I wanted, I would have rather hung around and waited for my son to come out of surgery, but the nurses were insistent that wasn't a good idea, that it would upset me.
“Can't you get your hair done?” Said one of the nurses, trying to come up with ideas.
“Not really,” I said. “Can't afford it. I suppose I could go window shopping.” To be honest there wasn't anything I wanted to do, but stick around.
I stayed with my son for the rest of the afternoon, then decided to go back to the caravan and have a shower before cooking the meal. The others were off doing there own thing, so I was left to my own devices.
After my shower, I turned the television on for company and began cooking. It wasn't long before my companions arrived back and were ready to eat. They all said they enjoyed the chops, not a morsel was left apart from bones.
The others washed up, then we sat and gossiped over coffee, it was nice to be able to share some time and chat about things, I couldn't believe how fast I'd formed such a strong connection with these women.
After a long, hard talk, they finally convinced me to go swimming the next day, saying it would take the stress out of me and wasn't too expensive. I kind of agreed with them, knowing it would relieve any tension and was only a bus ride away.
The next morning I was up bright and early and made cups of tea for my companions. After some breakfast, I made my way over to the ward and asked if I could see my son.
“Okay!” She informed me, “but this is the last time for today...you get out and enjoy yourself, treat it as a break.”
So after giving my son a cuddle, I wasn't able to feed, due to him having a premed, I kissed him goodbye and left the ward feeling totally lost, but determined to make the most of this freedom time.
In the end I went swimming on my own, but it didn't feel right, although the swim did relax me, I just wanted to get back to the hospital. Looking back, I suppose I could have gone and visited someone, but I didn't want to get into conversation with any old friends that might start talking about the past.
There were local charity shops close to the swimming baths, where I purchased a couple of books to read. I always loved charity shops and today I felt was an ideal opportunity to scout all of them, even if I didn't buy anything. I was addicted to bargains, where I could pick up some items that would normally cost a fortune in the normal clothes stores.
As morning drifted in to afternoon, I felt my mood clearing and realized the nurses were right about taking time out. I felt my son was in safe hands...at least I hoped he was...but then!
Suddenly all the fears came back, as I again realized how close that hole was to his vocal chords. 'What if he lost the ability to make any sound? Supposing he grew up never being able to talk?' All these thoughts suddenly started going through my mind!
I needed to get back pretty pronto, no time to waste...what was I doing walking around stupid charity shops and enjoying myself, when my son was in such danger? With my imagination on overdrive, I caught the next bus back to the hospital armed with my books.
The nurse informed me that my son wasn't back yet, but it wouldn't be too long now. “Did you do anything exciting?” She asked in a nonchalant way and grinning like a Cheshire cat.
“I went swimming and looked around the shops,” I replied. “How is the operation going?” I desperate to know.
“I really think your son's doing fine.” She said. “The other mums are in the ward, why don't you go and chat to them.”
That seemed like a good idea. Making my way down the corridor, I noticed that they had company, so decided to go back to the caravan, not wishing to interrupt there conversations.
I sat in the caravan reading, though I couldn't really focus on the book and had no idea what the book was about. Trying to take a nap, something I never did normally, laying there, I couldn't take my mind of my son, so decided to go for a walk around the grounds, finally ending up once again at the ward.
But the nurse stopped me in my tracks. “What are you doing here?” She said. “Your son's back from theater...but It's not a good idea that you're here.” She sounded worried.
“Why!” I voiced. “What's wrong? Was there a problem...is he okay?” I would hardly give the poor nurse chance to answer.
“Your son's fine, but you understand he needs to rest and so do you. It's better if you come back tomorrow.” She seemed firm on the matter, but I wasn't having any of it.
At that moment, who should walk down the corridor...but my son's father. This was all I needed, I had to escape before he caught sight of me. So leaving the nurse without any explanation, I ran down to the exit doors and back outside. The air was still cold, the caravan awaited me, but not wishing to cry again, taking some deep breaths, I started to walk, but had no idea where I was going, I just kept walking out of the hospital grounds and down the street, my mind once again all over the place.
To be continued...