I almost killed my old man

He was lying on his back screaming in agony. “What in hell is wrong with you?” I lovingly enquired.

“Argghhh, ohhhhhh, OMG.” He replied.
I have no time for this kind of bollocks, I thought, and went back to my sons bedroom, he was mid-way through a stomach bug and was inadvertently puking up. Meanwhile, the washing machine was going bananas and my one-year old was busy sitting in the, dead and cold, ashes of the fireplace.
“SHIT!!!” We had friends arriving and my plan had been to scrub their bathroom and bedroom and put clean linen on the bed. This was scuppered by one puking child and one screeching husband.
I went back upstairs to the screamer. “What is wrong with you – your still on the floor…”He declared that his back was in agony and every time he tried to move; it hurt like hell so all he could do was lie there: unmoving…”Bloody Hell – We do not have time for this shit today,” I informed him and wondered off leaving him in his noisy agony.
Fortunately, we had a very thoughtful neighbour who kindly drove my man to the doctors – we eventually managed to get him out of the house and lay him horizontally in the boot – like a plank of wood.
When he returned he was still in great pain having been subjected to a quack doctor who declared the pain was in his mind, told him to think himself better and sent him home. The next three days he continued to screech until we realised he should go to hospital.
At the hospital – the French staff were shocked he had coped for so long without painkillers and prescribed him a shedload of strong tranquilizers.
That evening as the sun set I doubled his dose and gave him a beer to swallow them with. At the time I had no idea the staff at the hospital had already given him a large dose of morphine.
An hour or so later he crawled onto the kitchen floor, his eyeballs rolled into the back of his head and he lay there absolutely comatosed. I assumed I had killed him and watched horrified; my children’s father was so doped up; would he ever resume consciousness again?
He did. And spent the next few days enjoying his legal drug haze sedated and lying on the sofa smiling in his dreamworld.
We later learnt that the British doctor he had originally seen had been struck off in Ireland but was, legally, treating people in France.
The drugs do work.

The tablecloth

After suffering four days of excruciating pain, tension and frustration, he finally let go and accepted his fate. Day five saw him arise, tablecloth around his waist, tea-cup in hand, “any cake left?” he enquires.

In the strength of his manhood – my boy – last week severely damaged his back whilst dragging a water jet up and out of a sunken pool. Spraining, straining, tearing call it what you will – the medical profession don’t care – the agony is the same. As is the remedy; drugs and rest.
At the height of this pain, his disabled movement and helpless presence stirred great fears in our bellies. Was this what we had to contend with in old age? My once fit and agile man suddenly aging before me bent over, shuffling, incapable of getting dressed, hugging our children.
Stubborness and foolishness stopped him getting help until the day loomed when his screams and angst for recovery finally propelled him into action.
The French A&E staff, amused by this most common of accidents, pumped him with pain-killers, and, with a serene smile on his face, he began to walk with more agility. The drugs do work.
Pain, discomfort and illness are desperate states which the human body will naturally contend with. Accepting them and allowing yourself that moment to stop and recover, to let go of the world around you and force yourself to look after yourself is incredibly important.
This 24/7 world we inhabit does not tolerate excuses, accidents or problems, yet recuperation and rehabilitation are essential to maintain a physical and emotional recovery and equanimity.
Wear your tablecloth with pride and eat your cake in peace. Time out is time well spent.