Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Still ill.

“I think it’s quinsy”, said Hubby, sounding as though he had half a dozen cotton wool balls down his throat. I hung my head in despair. Due to a major relapse, the continuing saga of his sore throat, well, continues. I don’t know what we are going to do when he retires, because quite frankly I am finding it very difficult to have him in the house all day.
“Who are you on the phone to now?” he croaks, or, “Why are you on the computer again?”, or, “Sitting down again?” or, “You drink a lot of coffee”. My patience packed its bags long ago. He has been banished to the basement where the poor sod might have taken his last groggy breath for all the attention he received from me. It was a full day before I ventured down to see if he needed anything, but, as he’d armed himself with bottles of water, even more antibiotics and codeine I considered that he would make it through the night.
By Tuesday I was demented, the daily sight of him struggling to talk as he laid on the sofa, his hair growing gradually greasier and his stubble well past the designer stage, I felt as though I were living with a depressed vagrant. No amount of cajoling could elicit in him an interest in anything to eat and the curdling noises that were coming from his throat were turning my own stomach. The children have sidelined him or, when he was in the basement, gone down only under duress.
The RN has rung intermittently where he has murmured instructions to his staff, before falling back again against the pillow exhausted. So, I Googled quinsy. The symptoms seemed horribly familiar, especially the swelling in the neck.
“Perhaps you ought to go back to the sick bay?”, I suggested, my heart racing. My God what had I done? Ignored the symptoms of a serious illness where the word abscess and surgery are bandied casually? So much for ‘in sickness and in health’. A fair weather wife indeed.
“Will you drive me Alice?”
An hour later, after Hubby had once again been probed and swabbed, he was declared safe of the dreaded quinsy but very much down with a virulent strain of tonsillitis.
“Go back and rest sir. I’m signing you off for quite a while”. Hubby must be been ill as he didn’t put up a fight, nor did he fret about his next assignment, which is due any day. Instead we came home where he returned to his blanket without so much as a whimper.
By Thursday there was an improvement which unfortunately became even more maddening by his scrutinising my every move. The Red-Head was not at nursery due to a cold and my son had gone to school in a foul mood, having overslept on the morning of a modular Maths GCSE exam. I was not in a jolly place. Then, just as I was about to spit feathers as Hubby suggested I hang, quite rightly, although I did not want to be told, the washing out and not use the tumble dryer on such a sunny day, the telephone trilled.
Hubby got to the phone before me, where he proceeded to tell whoever it was how awful the past week had been and how remiss I’d been as wife and nurse. It could only be his mother. Ten minutes later he handed the phone to me, “For you” he said. Oh Boy.
“Hello?”, I offered cautiously.
“Not better yet then?” It was Mags. I laughed with relief, “Slowly on the mend but still driving me spare”.
“I’ve got to go to St Ives on business this morning and wondered if you fancied coming for the ride?”
“Would I ever!” Within the hour I had put a sandwich in the fridge for Hubby – just in case, rearranged the school run, slathered sun block over the Red-Head and shoved some beach towels into a bag. “Tan I take my bad too?”
“But I’ve got everything we need in this bag darling?”
Her lip started to wobble and, as her runny nose was a losing battle, I did not want to add to the secretions with tears.
“Ok, ok”, I capitulated, “Take your rucksack too”.
The roads through Cornwall are greatly improved and we whizzed along although the Red-Head sat demurely in the back, her rucksack very properly positioned on her lap.
I hoped she didn’t feel sick. “You alright there sweetie?” I called back.
I craned my neck and she smiled back at me beatifically. I know her well and that is her dangerous face. She was up to something, but I couldn’t work out what.
“There’s a wonderful restaurant just off this road. I’ve got an expense account. Fancy it?” asked Mags. I may be on a diet but it would be churlish to pass up the offer of a free lunch, so I nodded my head furiously.
There are parts of Cornwall where the credit crunch has yet to bite given that the restaurant was full and the menu boasted a salad at £18. That must be some bloody rare lettuce.
“I’m very sorry. The sun seems to have brought everyone one out” said the maitre d’ smiling, “We can offer you a table inside”. This seemed a terrible shame given that the restaurant terrace overlooked a turquoise sea and so we returned to the car. A low-fat sandwich on the beach would suffice.As I lifted the Red-Head up into her car seat, I said, “Give mummy your bag for a minute while I do your straps up”. She shook her head and clung on to her bag resolutely. Highly suspicious. I peeled her fingers away and undid the zip, where immediately a little, grey kitten broke free. “This begs the age old question”, said Mags, “Kids, cats, rucksacks, wives. How many are going to St Ives?"


Hen said...


Quite a few in your case!

You had me going for a second -I thought you were going to tell us that the bag was full of vomit!

Thanks for the giggles

enidd said...

golly gosh, what happened to the poor kitten?

Trudie said...

Better than the 15 kgs of rocks my son tried to smuggle on to an already overloaded twin engine in the Canadian Arctic. He was some peeved when I discovered his stash - and I guess your little girl was non too pleasant to deal with either...

Anonymous said...

is the kitten still in Cornwall?


Alice Band said...

The kitten came to no harm which is more than I can say for the Red-Head!!! Actually the final kitten has been rehomed as the dynamics of keeping him were impossible due to the fact that his mother refused to allow my two other poor cats into the house.

Sally Lomax said...

Oh how funny!! How on earth did you manage the rest of the day, with a kitten in the bag.... What happened to the restaurant meal??!!!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I was had.

And I, too, somewhat dread retirement. My husband seems to think so much more should be done in a day than gets done. I just know he will keep too close a watch on my computer time.
I think I'll have to get a small part-time job, to give us both relief!

But glad your hubs is on the mend.

Candyce said...

How much can a girl take? Doesn't DH know the limit a wife can take of his being ill?

I remember once I had gotten terribly motion sick and was in agony. DH gave me a peck on the cheek and was off.

Then HE was ill. How could I think of leaving him?? he asked as I was going out.

Your post made me laugh as I could relate with it on so many levels.

I have to say I agree with Hen--I thought the bag was to have that in it too. You must admit a kitten is so much better.

Eloise said...

The kitten in the bag really surprised and tickled me! Glad your husband is on the mend and even happier that you were able to take a day off from your wifely nursing duties. Sounds like it was much deserved!