Sunday 7 October 2012


As I was saying, I was in hospital for eight weeks and have been home for three. The scarlet swimsuit - and the Guru - missed their sea-side holiday and the beloved four-legged friend was left with nothing but depression and memories for all that time, explanations being impossible though the Guru did try. Hospital was an amazing experience. Which is to say, that which I experienced was. Much of the time I took leave of myself and have no recollection whatsoever of where or what I was part of. At one point, early on, I had to change hospitals. I have only the vaguest recall of the father of my children explaining this to me and of drifting awake in surroundings different from those in which I had drifted away. Acres, hectares,even, of time had disappeared. I remember wishing I were unconscious, that I could be given something to remove me from the pain, but, the reality is that I was unconscious a lot of the time. The mind boggles reflecting on what happened to me in that darkness. What about bodily needs, acceptable and unacceptable? Fine when one is elsewhere: distressing if one is present. Eventually, when I was, for the most part, alert, I discovered a method: take yourself out of yourself and observe from above. Things were being done for and to me that had last been done when I was between eighteen months and two years old. I kept thinking of my own little ones and hoping that I had wiped and creamed and cared for with  respect and tenderness enough. I have a clear memory of being strip- washed and the discomfort of being cold and damp at one end while being briskly rubbed down at the other. I used to beg my Mother to dry as she washed. Sadly her empathetic memory provided no tenplate for doing this so I tingled and wriggled in vain She must have wondered what the fuss was about. After all, how long does three feet of human need to be dry all over..
I was fed via pipes and stuff in my veins. I didn't miss food much. I missed my favourite drink, a mixture half of grapefruit juice and half of water. I pictured a glass of this and held on to it through all the terrifying dreams and imaginings. What do the little  ones picture when they are hungry or thirsty? \No words to describe things to themselves nor to catch the attention of The Fount of All  that is both Good and Bad.. You can scream or mew, if that is the sound  your voice makes, but, basically, you are dependant on the intelligence and imagination of those with whom communication is not easy.. My Goodness, how differently I would have treated my little ones had I had this insight at the time they needed it.
 It was strange to be told I had nearly died. I didn't die and now I shall have it all to go through again when the 'right' time comes. Strangest of all, though, is to have gone through a happening that encompassed babyhood and old age  together, contemporaneously and jumbled up in a kaliedescope that shook down at eleven months or seventy nine years or both. Was it the baby or the sick old lady being given a blanket bath or yet both ? Think Russian dolls. Must be some vital philosophical revelation in there somewhere: discuss   Prynhawn da

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