“Will you be the same?” Miss9 wanted to know when she phoned me in hospital.
After last year’s efforts with Tracey, hospitals are officially scary for this household. They create change and have the potential to remove a parent from your life. Naturally, we’re working to alter this perception because what they really did was bring Tracey home to her family, but some things are more about perceptions than facts.
So when Miss9 woke up and found our bedroom empty, despite knowing I was in one hospital recovering from having my gallbladder removed while her mother was on her way to another hospital to speak to a different surgeon about more operations of her own, our daughter panicked and a call was put through.
“I’ll be exactly the same,” I assured her. “Only a tiny bit lighter because I’ll be missing my gallbladder.”
I knew the drugs they had me on were hospital grade because my gallbladder wasn’t the only thing I’d woken up missing. Despite not having had a coffee for thirty hours, incredibly I didn’t have a caffeine headache.
Not that I was going to sit around waiting for it to start.
“Any chance I can have a coffee?” I asked every nurse who trotted by to take my blood pressure.
Which I found out was the wrong question because the answer was universally no. What I should have been asking was when can I have a coffee?
“We can’t let you have anything but clear liquids until you break wind,” the nurse explained when I finally got around to asking the right question.
“Pass wind. Gas.”
I knew what all those expressions meant. Of course. I like to believe I’ve actually played a part in increasing their common usage. I was just a little gobsmacked they’d been waiting for me to vocalise them.
“Fart?” I said. “I’ve been doing it all night. All. Night. But I’ve been squeezing my butt cheeks together every time a nurse came in to take my blood pressure and temperature so no one would hear.”
Unlike old mate in the bed next to me who could just about claim to play jazz.
“Oh, we don’t worry about that here,” scoffed the nurse. “I won’t stand for them at home but I don’t mind man-farts at work.”
If I’d known all this I’d have trumpeted out reveille at first light.
“So I can have a coffee?” I pressed.
“You can have whatever you like.”
“Coffee it is then,” I grinned.
“No, I’m on a health kick. But you better throw in an extra shot.”
So by the time I spoke to Miss9 I was feeling more like myself. Not least because I discovered the coffee was real and free, so I was onto my third cup.
“But will you be the same?” Miss9 was insisting.
“The same? Yes. I’ll just have some bandaids on my tummy,” I told her. Again, I guessed she was relating this back to her Mum going in to hospital with a sore tummy and eventually coming back out with bags and hernias, and a lot less energy. But I thought I better make sure. “What do you mean the same? I’ll still be me. I’ll still be daddy.”
“But will you still be an idiot?”
“I sure will,” I assured her.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”
Sharing is caring.