Home again

‘Who’s at home with you?’ asks the ambulance man. We are bumping over the potholes on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

‘My wife and whippet.’ This gasped through the pain of another jolt.

‘Lovely dogs’

Through the pain, I think that the ‘Wife and Whippet’ could be the name of a Yorkshire pub. I picture a sign with a broad shouldered woman in an apron, her arms folded, and beside her a little lean, grey, miserable-looking whippet. ‘Ee, I’m off to the Wife and Whippet for a pint, luv.’ I check myself. This fantasising has to stop. Maybe it is a side effect of all those pain killers. Or maybe it’s a memory of all the fantasising you hear from other patients in hospital ‘I remember when…’ , ‘When I get home I’m going to….’ and saddest of all ‘I wish I hadn’t…’

It is always a strange feeling returning home after an absence. Some things are not quite as you remember them. And the ambulance men as they heft me through the front door see things with a stranger’s eyes. ‘Nice house, lovely garden.’ They are being polite, of course, but I suppose I’m seeing things afresh, too. That threshold at the bathroom, for example, the one I stumbled over a few days ago, when life was pain-free. That now seems deeper and more forbidding. Certainly if you’re negotiating it with a zimmer.

Some things are constants though; Johanna’s love, Archie’s tail-wagging welcome, the kindness of neighbours.

In order to give the thing a bit of humanity, I have christened my zimmer ‘Cedric’. Cedric belongs to the NHS of course, and I’ll be a happy boy when I can return him to his rightful owners. There must be thousands of Cedrics out on short or long-term loan throughout the land, and an army of their temporary owners wistfully remembering the days when they could roam free and didn’t require this metallic companion to accompany them about the place – slowly.

There I go, fantasising again. It must indeed be those painkillers. Which reminds me. It’s time to ask my ever faithful wife and whippet to bring some to me.

About Eric Sinclair

Writer, stroke survivor, whippet owner, music lover, charity volunteer
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2 Responses to Home again

  1. Kevin N Power says:

    Ah, Eric, I’m with you 100% on this one! I had my zimmer frame for the guts of six weeks after a fall in Kevin J’s/Ann-Marie’s garden in Kerry on New Year’s Day 2019. I had taken Ben for his last pee/poo in their garden and was cheerfully chasing him back into the house when I tripped on the little decorative raised concrete edge that separated the garden from the patio. Down I went, whacked the knee, cracked patella and winced all the way back to Cork that night, Maeve driving the car – wince caused by pain, not Maeve’s driving. Up to the Orthopaeic hospital next day, xray have me the patella news, zimmer frame provided by the hospital, I was wished good luck and come back in sixe weeks. It was a right pile of the smelly brown substance, as i had to wear a brace 24 hours a day and keep the leg straight even in the shower. The zimmer frame became a blesing and a curse, but you get used to eveything. Six weeks later the xray showed I’d healed nicely and my zimmer frame was whipped away and a Middle Eastern doctor looking remarkably like the original carpenter chap gave me the equivalent order of Arise, take up thy bed and walk, which, somehwat haltingly I did. So, dear lad, I wish you a speedy recovery, knowing that the love I got from Phyllis and Co. and Ben dog is going to be replicated by Jo and Archie. Aren’t we lucky, the two of us? Oh, by the way, I’ve been busy with a piece of writing and neglected to do that audio for your blog. Will catch up on that in the next few days.

  2. Eric Sinclair says:

    Thank you, Kevin. I was about to place a bet of £50 with you, that you wouldn’t get the audio recording to me before spring was over. So not long to go and consider the bet placed.
    Without wishing to get into a game of ‘Who’s had the worst knock’ with you, I can’t even get into the shower.

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