Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part 17)

18 08 2012

Whenever mother has had to go into hospital, which isn’t often thank goodness, it’s always been a case of carry on regardless on her part. As is the fashion now with all those ‘keep calm and carry on’ cards, I have often thought about designing one which reads ‘Keep calm and pretend it isn’t happening.’ Who knows perhaps one exists already, in which case I would present it to mother. Anyway last year mother had to go in for a hip replacement. As is always the case, mother kept calm, unpacked her dressing gown and slippers, and was soon settled into her hospital bed. Not long after a Philippine nurse arrived, drew an arrow pointing upwards on mothers arm, both nodding and smiling at each other as it happened, the nurse then leaving and taking her felt tip pen with her. Subsequent visitors remarked on the arrow, with mother explaining that it was there because she was going to have a head replacement. Someone else suggested that perhaps it was there to inform the surgeons about which way was up. Either way the arrow caused much merriment. Even I smiled, although through gritted teeth as I couldn’t wait to bring the ominous arrow to the attention of a doctor, which I did. It transpired that mother had been mistakenly marked up for a shoulder replacement. Heaven knows what would have happened if I hadn’t mentioned it. But that’s mother for you – trusting both doctors and nurses on the basis that they have trained for many years and know what they are doing. Having disproved mother’s theory another nurse drew a new arrow pointing downwards on mother’s side, and soon after mother had her intended hip replacement operation with out further complications. Her resulting quick recovery meant that she could have visitors again the next day, the first being her best friends, Joan and Eileen. Delighted to see mother sitting up, drinking tea and tut tutting at ‘Loose Women’ again they chuckled, their titters making mother aware of their presence. She turned, spilt her tea, and then burst out laughing. “Whatever? All my gawd”. “We were told we had to wear them”. ‘What a surgeon’s hat, a mask and a gown?” Whatever do they think you are going to catch?” More laughter, this time mutual, followed by a huge collective sigh of relief – relief because despite everything mother had been through she was showing no signs of diminishing eccentricity.

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