I’m not really one for feeling down too long. It doesn’t suit me and whilst it’s always nice to wallow for a short time and have everyone fuss around you, it’s a dangerous old road to go down, easy to slip onto but much harder to climb back off.
So I had two more weeks (might as well be years) living with the drain in my thigh and one more week of my sister in law. Take a moment reader, to note that not one drop of wine had passed through my lips during this period. I don’t normally even give up wine for a badly advised diet before a holiday. I figure that would put me out of practice for the actual holiday and I am sure this business of alcohol and calories is just a myth.
Having said all of that, I was incredibly grateful to her. She gave up two weeks annual leave from her job to look after me and keep her brother sane. Roger, the turncoat, also fell madly in love with her. I could hear them having a daily conversation in the kitchen. Him trying to persuade her that he needed treats and her trying to tell him to wait another hour. We all know he gets what he wants by fair means or foul – either the sad eyes & the paw in the air, or downright bullying tactics resulting in someone getting an injury.
That Monday morning we took ourselves off to the GP for the dressing to be changed. My GP had gone on hols and I then realised that he is married to the nurse, so she was also on holiday. There was a locum on duty and he appeared – I hope he never reads this – to be about 102 years old. I really felt massively dubious about letting him change the dressings. Of course, more fool me. He was very gentle and told me he had dealt with several ‘lazy S’ incisions in his time. He took time to show me where the staples had been removed and how well it was healing. He cut the new dressing down even further so they were less cumbersome on my thigh.
Having the dressings changed can be painful no matter how gently done, it’s more about the exposure to the air, I think, and the wound takes a while to settle back down. That evening I decided I would treat myself to a glass of red – I deserved it surely? So you know when someone doesn’t actually say anything but you feel their disapproval? That glass of red should have been magnificent, but it wasn’t. I felt like I was letting her down in some way. Don’t get me wrong, I still glugged the lot down, but I didn’t have a second or break out the maltesers for maximum enjoyment.
On most days, when the weather allowed, we went for a small walk. The drain hampered me slightly and the wound was tightening up so some days, it really was only a small shuffle on my part. We would go up to the sea front – I really do live on the Wild Atlantic Way – I’d sit down and she would go for a longer walk, collecting me on the way back. Nearly every day she would come back to find me on a bench with some old couple. I’m sure they wondered why a perfectly healthy looking woman wasn’t striding along the sea front. I wished I was.
She was also kind enough to cook for us, producing delicious home made soups and a variety of roast dinners. My partner was delighted. I’m pretty sure he was considering swapping me and letting her stay forever when she made him apple pie just like their mother used to make them. I’m a vegetarian and have been for nearly four years. This is viewed with suspicion and often derision by my in laws. I don’t blame them – I used to love meat and even now a steak can have me teetering on the edge of going back to the dark side – but an unfortunate incident occurred during wine free bootcamp. My sis in law had cooked up a lovely dinner and mine apparently had a quorn fillet, whilst they had chicken fillets. When I bit into mine, I cannot deny it was tasty. Now quorn products are pretty tasty so I thought perhaps this was a new line I hadn’t bought before. I checked with her that this was definitely quorn. Oh yes, got it from your freezer. I took another bite. This was not quorn. She got the packaging out of the bin and her face fell – yep, three years of never falling off the wagon ruined by a breaded chicken fillet! Not even a steak.
She headed home on the Friday and I was genuinely sorry to see her go. She had been a hero for us. Now it was just us. But only a few more days and the drain would be gone…