Thursday, 19 October 2017

Don Jose Maria did a good job.





At the hospital the charming elderly surgeon , Don Jose Maria, asked me if I needed help getting onto the operating table.
It's  a mark of respect to call a doctor in  Spain 'Don - whateverhisfirstname -is. 

'Ha,' I said.   'No thanks, with my 2 new hips I can do this easily now.'

We’d exchanged a few pleasantries before this question.

'Did you get the new hips here or in England,' he asked seriously. 

 'Here,' I said.
 'Aha. ' he replied.  'Well then, when Brexit happens, we might have to ask for them back.' 

I’m Irish I said.  'Can I keep them?'

It was so great to be in the hands of a  gentle doctor with humour. This won’t take long he reassured me.  The 6 hour wait was immediately forgotten. 




The first two waiting hours were spent in the tiny hospital chapel.  

 It’ll be quiet there I said to my friend.  It was,  and we both did some meditation.  I’d already done my 20 minutes at home by real candle light.


I was interrupted by a piercing thought. Better charge my phone.   Another friend’s coming to collect me, and she’s not sure where to come. 

There were two sockets in the chapel.  With  the phone successfully plugged, oh dear, the box of electric candles immediately  went out.

We couldn’t stop laughing.  Not loudly. Honestly.

I then showed my friend the wonderful large new cookery book called Kaucasis that I’d packed in my ‘going to hospital’ little ethnic backpack.  It matched my new sweater nicely. I felt unusually stylish.


Fab brill photos and amazing seasonal recipes delighted us on every single page.  I was not expecting to show her the book in a chapel.

 We sat side by side and revelled in the deliciousness of the  shared  excitement of the probability  of trying new recipes.  Then Marie Carmen arrived.  She  slid quietly into the chapel and  dropped her 20 cents into the 'candle box.'    The candles didn’t light up.   

AHH!!

I nipped over, yes I can nip now, and apologised for the disappointment.
My son says if you put in 50c , all the candles light up she said.  I immediately gave her 50 cents.  Two  candles lit up.
  
‘Oh’ we all said deeply disappointed.  Then followed one of those profoundly poignant and brief and beautiful encounters.  


 Marie Carmen’s  husband has been in intensive care for 10 days. She comes every morning to see him, and ligh a candle in the chaple. She’s afraid he’s going to  die.  And he may. I tell her I’m here to have the little implant in my chest removed, it was where the chemo was put into my body I explain.

She smiles and I feel such tenderness for her. Then  sliding out into the corridor, she heads for the bedside of the man who has given her children.


I think we then looked at a few more recipes before going to the day ward for people needing small operations.
I didn’t look at the cookery book anymore because it was  now 16 ours since I’d had anything to drink or eat.



My friend leaves to collect her young son from school. I'm completly fine about this.

I’m sitting enjoying observing life in the day ward, but also remembering what it was like being hooked up to chemo 29 months ago, when all of a sudden a terrible cold came over my body.  Panic.

Jezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh NO, how could this have happened?

I  don't remember blowing out the candles after  doing my ‘Jane Meditation’ this morning  in my rented farmhouse - here in Spain. The house could already have burned to the ground.Then what would I do?

 It’s very windy.  Any of the windows could have blown open and at this very moment my little  house could be smoldering in rubble. 

Ohjesusmarymitheroofgod! I don’t swear these days, so this is my strongest expletive.

This was not a nice feeling. 



The young male nurse had taken my blood pressure just five mins before. Menos mal as we say  here. That translates as...just as well.  Now it was probably sky high.
 I was a mess inside.  Brain  freeze and dollops of how cold I have been so incredibly careless surged.

I believed ( when I had this though) that  I was about to be called into the operating theatre. Oh how quickly the body chemistry can change from peace and calm and even a touch of joy, to CRAZY/HORRIBLE/FREAKY/panic.

Little did I know there was another 3 hour wait to come.  

 I called my policeman landlord, but forget to tell him where the spare set of keys are hidden.

Don’t worry he said super calm and lovley as ever.  I’ll go now, and if necessary I’ll take the screws off the back door and get in that way.
Look through the widow first I said, you'll see if the candles are still alight.



By 2.30 I know the house hasn’t burnt down and all is well, but  the day hospital is completely empty. I’m the only remaining patient, and I’m still sitting hooked up to my drip and I’m very cold. 

 I now have three blankets wrapped around my body.  It’s an extremely  odd feeling being alone in an empty ward !!  


Slightly sulky Tamara a nurse from Almeria arrives and says she’s now on duty. Then she disappears for  ten minutes, well may it was just three.
The day ward closes at 2 .30 when the surgeon go off to eat, so I’ll probably be done at about 4 she says.
I could never ever grudge a surgeon a siesta, but I got that  wrong. 

 Other  surgeons start their day at 3pm. So why did Tamara tell me they would come back and  do me after  lunch?? Malentendido ( misunderstanding) on my part.

I’m done at last. It doesn’t hurt much.  Don Jose Maria  does a good job.

 It's not as easy as he thought it would be. Remember that children's story of pulling the turnip out of the ground?   Bit like that.  The little metal implant seemed to have grown roots.

Tamara and I bond. 
My friend gets lost but eventually finds  the empty ward where I’m waiting, miraculously I'm not hungry. 

Adios I say to Tamara, and suerte ( good luck), which means I really hope you find work nearer home and a job that  you love.  She is destined for greater things  than little operations. 

 Her parting smile was unforgettable.




First 3 drawings are mine,  the photos are all thanks to Pinterest, except the last one, which is my little house that could have burnt down, if that had been my destiny!.