Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Flora's appendix made me appreciate home

This has been quite a week in the Purple Passages household. On Monday Flora complained of a tummy ache and I, being steeped in the Welsh work ethic, thought she might be swinging the lead but was eventually convinced that she needed a day off. The next day she was still complaining of tummy ache and this time was also vomiting up clear fluid and complaining of a pain on the right hand side of her abdomen. I was immediately taken back to my own eleventh year when I had appendicitis and decided to take her straight to the GP, who confirmed my suspicions and sent us to A and E.

By the time we reached A and E Flora was in severe pain and soon we were being admitted to the childrens' ward. And so began a three day holiday in a baking hot ward with nothing to do but log Flora's ever alarming symptoms, ending in her being taken to theatre yesterday to have her appendix removed.

Boredom was our greatest challenge and I tried to tackle this by purchasing a number of magazines. Having not been at home for a while and forced to sleep in my clothes, I looked none too spicy; the irony of reading magazines entitled 'Look' and 'Glamour' was not lost on me. Greeting a smartly dressed, super clever female consultant while looking like an albino version of the Wild Woman of Borneo is somewhat embarrassing and it takes a lot to stand up for oneself in such circumstances. I could only hope she'd realise I was a tired but devoted mother and not a bag lady who had accidentally found her way on to the ward.

Life on ward though presents a number of other more difficult challenges. First there is the heat which results in your skin drying out until you feel like you've been mummified. Then there's the proximity of other human beings. I like people, I really do, but having to live cheek by jowl with them, their habits, smells and noises was compromising to my much prized tolerance of my fellow man I really felt that it was time to go to Tesco's for a new carton of the milk of human kindness as I endured another night of people talking to loud, eating incredibly spicy food and snoring like walruses.

Then there is the wind! Being in such close proximity with people, not eating properly and being stressed all adds up one thing - flatulence. Add in the lack of opportunity to release said flatus and you're in for an uncomfortable few days. Last night I decided to throw caution to, er, the wind and let it go as I lay on my uncomfortable bed. I reckoned that while people shouted into their mobiles I might just be able to let go of a few of the more painful ones and the spicy food might disguise the awful smell. So I lay there farting all night long and hoping everyone would think it was Flora!

And so today we were discharged. What a joy! We are in our own house with our own special smells, noises and habits. Things that usually annoy the hell out of me are bliss today. I am at one with my family and my home - all is good. How long it will last goodness only knows but for now, at least, I am content and, oh ecstasy, can fart to my heart's content. Life really doesn't get much better!

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