Tales from the Ward, Chapter 48

Bite Marks and other dramas

It’s gone two hours since neurotic Noelle swept dramatically into physio demanding extra treatment because she was having an MRI on Monday.

Loudly she announces: I think I have a brain tumour.

I snort in derision.

The idea is so preposterous I want to laugh out loud. It’s an unfortunate part of her condition. If she really was that sick she would not be here.

I can’t laugh at her, so I bite my arm hard to stop myself.

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I’m shaking in hilarity. Pilar is grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Eventually I calm down enough to continue with my session, but I notice the teeth marks on my arm.

In perfect alignment. The result of two years in braces.

Noelle’s drama – real or – most likely – imagined is not the only one.

Quadriplegia’s back to quadriplegic status after fitting for two hours following a virtual walking marathon out of the gym and around the lobby twice last week.

Her exhausted brain shaking the night away and shutting down her body.

And then Pilar disappeared to Spain for 10 days. Family Emergency.

I figured, I told her on her return: Either someone has died, someone is sick or someone has committed a serious crime.

She smiled. My mother is unwell, she tells me.

Lunch arrives but I’m not hungry. My bite marks are still fading.

Tales from the Ward Chapter 44

New Year’s Eve

 

fireworks2

Rehab is no one’s preferred location for New Year, but you’ve got to make the best of what you’ve got.

Thank God then I’d saved a bit of wine, as Noelle’s extravagant promise of free-flow champers to 25 patients, most of whom need help eating and slurping liquid of any kind, proved a non starter.

But when hubby left at four (presumably for a party with grown ups) and even the Party Queen herself was in bed by five thirty I knew it was game over for a night of debauchery or even mildly tipsy on bubbles.

Notwithstanding what alcohol might do to people’s meds. (Not that that has ever stopped me) 😂

I wheeled round to Quadriplegia, who I’d not seen for a few days, and together with fellow Quaddie Terry we plotted a midnight skinny dip in the hydrotherapy pool.

The fact that we had only one fully working limb out of the 12 available between us, a mere detail.

Stealing key fobs needed to get us there no problem. (Lets forget the fairly Herculean task of getting us all out the Ward first, then down the lift, across 25m of carpeted floor, and through three sets of doors all opening against us before even before we got to the pool)

How do we get into the water? I ask. Easy, throw ourselves in, of course. Doh, says Terry.

Oh silly me, didn’t think of that, Captain Obvious

snorkel

What about getting out?

We’ll worry about that later.

We could just let the plug out, says Quadriplegia. Now admittedly it’s been a while since I dived. But…

But it is Karin who provides our biggest laugh.

A diabetic, she narrowly avoided death after getting her insulin/sugar levels wrong. She passed out and was not breathing for some time. No one knows for sure how long, but now she has only a short term memory.

Which is why she’s always going home later or tonight or tomorrow depending on the time of day.

So you’re going home in 2018 then?

No tomorrow

Ok then next year.

No tomorrow.

We do several rounds of  this year/next year, and I know we shouldn’t but we do anyway.

I’m trying not to but we begin laughing at her confusion.

I’m struggling to hide my mirth. Quadriplegia picking up when my giggles falter.

We’re in a feedback loop of self induced hysteria.

Until my lips begin to feel numb and the rooms begins to spin. Shit I need oxygen. I can’t breathe. I’m going to pass out, I gasp. Which only makes quadriplegia shake even more.

Not. Fucking. Helping.

My eyes are screwed tight and tears stream down my face.

laughing

You two are so funny, Karin says, oblivious.

If only she knew.

I can’t take anymore and I retire hurt.

My sides ache.

 

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