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Friday, August 09, 2013

Lisa's first words to me when I opened my eyes at ten past six yesterday morning, were "Have you got any sick cover for today?". I was slightly concerned that if I said yes, she might kneecap me for not doing the washing up, but fortunately the answer was no. I was due at Horsham Hospital, and this being holiday season, there was no designated understudy.

Unfortunately, the way Lisa looked, she could have been due at hospital herself. The mastitis had worsened overnight, the knife attack was more frenzied, and the accompanying flu-like symptoms meant that she couldn't get out of bed. Which limited her childcare skills somewhat. So it was a straight choice between my patients and my family.

And I chose the patients. I told Lisa that under the circumstances, I really couldn't afford to take a day off work to look after her and the kids, and then went to have a shower. She accepted that decision, in the way that people do when they're too ill to argue, but within half an hour she was crying with extreme pain, and having weighed up the situation, I came to the conclusion that she was likely to shed more tears than either my patients or my boss. So I stayed at home.

It meant a more exhausting day than one spent at work, as I wrangled two kids and a sick wife, but somehow I managed to get Amelie to nursery on time. Although I forgot to brush her hair. Toby didn't have his vitamins either. To be honest, they both looked like street urchins by the end of the day, but I successfully kept them alive, which was my main aim at the start of it all.

We spent a lot of the morning at the marina, buying Belgian buns and Monster Munch to cheer up the invalid, and browsing the children's books in The Works. I bought Amelie some 19th century literature in the form of two books by Edward Lear, so she's now reciting the The Quangle Wangle's Hat from memory. She generally talks a lot of nonsense, so it comes quite naturally to her.

As for today, I'd already taken a day's annual leave in order to escort my family to Washbrooks Family Farm in Hurstpierpoint. One of Amelie's nursery friends is having a party there for his 4th birthday, so we'd planned it as a Gardner family fun day. Unfortunately, Lisa's no longer going. But unlike work, I have a designated understudy standing in the wings. Having spent yesterday preparing myself mentally for the prospect of taking the kids on my own, my Mum has kindly offered to come. We're leaving in half an hour, and I still haven't wrapped the boy's present, written his card, or dressed the two kids. But my Mum can do that when she gets here.


Zed said...

Poor Lisa, I hope she gets better soon. Give her my love.