Not only was our hotel directly across the road from the aforementioned desired hotel of preference, I could in fact lie in my bed to view it in all its whitewashed glory. Oh, lucky me.
We tumbled into the hospital reception area ten minutes early for our 6.30 am appointment, miracles of miracles, only to be handed one of those buzzers they hand out in pubs to summon patrons when it is time to collect meals. We were told Mr FD was fourth on the surgery list and we would be called.
After what seemed an age Mr FD asked me the time and we both realised that we had been there for a total of 15 minutes. An hour and a half later Mr FD got “buzzed” to come on down! We were directed around the corner to the right and to another set of chairs.
On the way Mr FD spied the toilet and detoured which I knew was going to cause complications, and it did. No sooner had we settled, we being me and a very small boy with his father, when an ancient female volunteer appeared to take us downstairs. I apologised for Mr FD and she settled in a chair to await the bathroom escapee. I belittled Mr FD in his absence, as was his due.
Never one to disappoint, Mr FD arrived and as way of apologising announced that it was a fine thing he had gone to the bathroom as it had allowed him to discover that his boxer shorts were on inside out. I mumbled something about “too much information” with which small boy’s father agreed with a smile and nod of his head as we shuffled behind the old woman into the elevator and descended into the depths of the surgical area.
Another half hour of trying to not cough phlegm over anyone (in a hospital!) and to blow out the mucous factory in my nose somewhat discreetly and less like a trumpet passed by until Mr FD was finally handed more paperwork, asked more questions and then taken beyond the swinging doors.
While Mr FD was whiling his time away in surgery, I went for breakfast in the hospital cafeteria where I treated myself to a bang up breakfast of pre-prepared bacon and hard poached eggs and the flattest toast I have ever witnessed. I had been kind enough not to eat in front of Mr FD as he had been nil by mouth from 8pm the night before and this is how I get repaid! It did only cost $8 which was considerably better than the $23 the hotel wanted for a “continental breakfast” of single serve all bran cereal, artificial milk, muesli bar and dried fruit mix.
After my hospital grade repast it was time for the morning constitutional, or in my case a slow, huffing, puffing, coughing stagger through the Roma Street Parklands across the street from the hospital. We lived in Brisbane for 10 years and in all that time, despite numerous self-promises to do so,(hello, anyone there? Am I even listening?) I had never visited the Parklands (sacre bleu!)
So, being a country visitor to the big city I turned tourist and took in the local sights, not only the parklands, but also some of the quintessential original Queensland architecture.
At 11.30 I got not one, but two phone calls from the hospital to say that Mr FD was in recovery and could be collected at 1.45pm. Two calls, because the nurse forgot she had already spoken to me and called again! Mr FD was not allowed to walk the 100 metres back to our hotel, so I drove out of our hotel, turned left, turned left again and then turned left once more, with a final left into the hospital entrance to park at the front door. Does that qualify as a square route?
I asked very nicely for Mr FD at the front desk as instructed, but apparently they wanted him a little longer so I was forced to wait in the lobby. After about five minutes I looked at my arm and realised that I had pulled my pullover on inside out! I thought I could probably carry it off as a fashion statement until I realised that the laundry tag would be exposed at the neckline and so pulling my scarf a little looser to camouflage what I could I slunk over to lean, back against the wall. (Now you know why Mr FD and I are such a match – we are challenged by dressing. I have to honestly admit that it has happened more than once or twice…)
Mr FD was wheeled out in a wheelchair, right to curb’s edge, something I had only ever seen previously on American television shows. Last time, Mr FD two knees had been operated on in the very same hospital and he had been forced to hobble out to the car park. I have undergone cancer operations and the loss of body parts and never been offered a wheel chair for Big Whatever’s sake!
I was handed back a very chipper Mr FD who, if it is humanly possible, was even more talkative than usually. He was feeling no pain, but I soon was as he talked and talked and talked. His medication was working a wee bit too well and would continue to do so all day. It was about this time that I regretted my suggestion that we take the hotel room for two nights in case he needed an overnight stay in hospital, and was now trapped in a very confined space for the rest of the afternoon.
There was no escape, and so a woman has to do what a woman has to do. I drove out of the hospital grounds, turned left, and then turned left before turning left into the underground hotel car park and depositing Mr FD at the car park elevator.
Mr FD really enjoyed his surgery. He told me (again and again until bedtime) about the various conversations shared with fellow patients, the caring nurses who had seen to his every need and ha ha ha about the many jokes he had cracked with the doctors (and yet he escaped a lobotomy). A little social butterfly was he, as he worked the operation theatre.
The surgeon is not sure how long this repair job will last, eventually Mr FD will require a knee replacement. I think the poor man is actually looking forward to it. Do you think he needs more care and attention at home?
I’ll talk to Augie Dog, perhaps he will care and attend…