On Thursday, our merry band of fellowship, brought together in comradeship; and kindred spirit for a few days and nights spent together in a closeness that many would never experience, began to break up. First to leave was Mrs C. We parted company with hugs and good wishes given as if we had known one another for a lifetime. Even her close family, who’s acquaintance had been made at visiting time, made fond farewells as if we were all close friends. It was strange. We would in all likelihood never see each other again.
Mrs C was soon replaced by C who, following the very swift cleaning of Mrs C’s bed following her departure, was soon its new occupant. We hit it off straight away. She was a teacher in Halifax at a High School, so really not all that far away from me in the grand scheme of things. In the meantime, M was very down. Remember that she had hoped to have keyhole surgery and therefore be returning home on Friday at the latest. As it had turned out, this was not to be, and she was very down and upset, Of course we other members of the Ward 8 fellowship tried our best to console her.
Personally I was not in a bid fat hurry to be discharged from the hospital. In practically the opposite scenario to M, where she had a large family who were all eager to get her home and would be no doubt assisting her, I would be arriving home to an empty flat until such time that I could arrange for K to return from respite. Not exactly a pleasant prospect I am sure you’ll agree. In fact the best day for me to be discharged would be Monday, as the Day Care staff could then collect K from respite and then bring her back home in the afternoon.
Br was the next to depart. And to M’s delight, she was also allowed to leave on the Friday, which left me and C the sole occupants of Ward 8. Mr N paid me a visit that day to announce that I could go home on the Saturday. I asked if it was possible for me to remain until Monday and explained my dilemma about being able to get K home. I was in luck. There were plenty of empty beds over the weekend and hardly any admissions, so I was free to remain until Monday. I would make the best of it and have a wonderful bath every day! With lots of bubbles!
C and I ( she had had her keyhole surgery on the Friday) were now firm friends. It was during one of our conversations about the fact that I would be having follow up chemo, that I learned that she had had chemo following breast cancer. She told me about the wigs you could have to wear, and showed me a picture of herself with long hair before her chemo therapy, one taken after she had her hair cut very short for the chemo, and a recent one at a wedding. All of her photos were on an iPhone. I was very impressed by not only the quality of the pictures but the iPhone itself. Hmm, I thought. I wonder if I could get one when our current contract runs out? I was very impressed.
During Friday night, we had a scare. The fire alarm went off. It didn’t scare me as I was already awake, but C nearly jumped out of her skin. It seemed ages before the fire brigade arrived to turn it off. It turned out it was a resident up in the Penthouse suite who had accidentally knocked the alarm whilst showering. ( Yes readers, this Burley Suite has a sort of hotel on the top floor where people can stay.)
The weekend flew by. I still wasn’t eating much, I still wasn’t sleeping very well, spending large amounts of time at night walking around the corridors and usually frightening the nurses as they sat at their station. Just a good job I didn’t have a white nightgown!
Both C and I were going home on Monday. After breakfast, we packed our suitcases and were ready for the off. My transport arrived and C and I promised to go for a coffee if we bumped into each other when she came to our town, as she frequently did.
The journey home was uneventful. The ambulance driver carried my suitcase upstairs for me, and I then spent time unpacking and putting all my things away. It was strange to be back home. I longed for K’s return in the afternoon. It was no fun being home alone.