Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

I'm sitting here in my hospital bed, the sky darkening after a long and beautiful Christmas day. I am in good spirits, having spent the last couple of hours visiting with my friend David, chatting away about how to setup gmail accounts and how we are going to approach our intentionally unplanned road trip in February. I am getting better. I am feeling better.

Hospital on Christmas Day is a fairly quiet place. Not so many staff in the hallways, not so many calls on the intercoms. Certainly meals came and went, yet there were fewer of them being delivered, and if I am any example, even fewer being eaten. David did me another solid, delivering unto me a Christmas gift of a Teenburger.

Katherine was here earlier in the day. She had things to do and places to go, yet still took the time to come and see me. She brought me an orange, peeled and ready. It's the giving kind of thing she does, the kind of thing which makes her such a special person. I wish our visit had been less rushed. Unfortunately she arrived at about the same time as did my first need for the toilet in four days.

My hospital room is an older one, used to isolate patients like me, where diagnosis is inconclusive and potential contagion is problematic. The bathroom is minute and it took a couple of Nurse's Aides to get me out of bed, onto the commode chair, into the cramped washroom, and out again. The commode chair, looking like it came over from Europe via steamer in the 1920's, had to be pushed into place, where I could be left in relative peace to follow the call of nature. The real difficulty was in cleaning myself afterwards. With the size of the commode chair and the cramped quarters of the bathroom, I could not clean myself. This service was provided by the Nurse's Aides.

Rather than going into details about being left naked in a commode chair with the room doorway wide open, or the impact on my colon of someone wiping my ass with a warm cloth, let's just say that the return to my bed was not without incident.

These are the things I will leave behind, the events of the hospital. What I won't leave behind are the memories of visits, from Katherine, from David, from Tonny. I won't leave behind the feelings of being loved, cared for, wanted. I won't leave behind the memory that Christmas Day in the hospital wasn't bad at all. In fact it was quite the reverse. It's been a wonderful day, a terrific Christmas. And tomorrow, if all goes well tonight, they will send me home. If not, I can handle that. After all, with a little help from my friends, I've gotten this far.


  1. So glad you found a silver lining. Likely not all hospital visitors can say same, in particular the ones that glimpsed you on your commode in all your glory ;)

  2. Hi Richard -- loved your post. Always trying to find the positive among all the issues that continue to plague you. Happy Holidays 😊