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Patients and patience

Living

ANOTHER BRAVE? One of the aptly titled books Ciara Galvin came across in her father’s ‘man cave’ last week.

Diary of a Home-Bird
Ciara Galvin

‘NO fighting or I’ll put ye out’. That was a warning I gave to The Roomies a few days ago, before we hit for Galway on a little day trip. Pops had his knee replaced two weeks ago, so my days off will be spent cruising with him around the high roads and byroads of the west. And, dare I say it, getting to grips with ‘The Internet’. Again.
The op was long overdue, and we were all counting down to it like children before Christmas.
I was on transport duty for the big day two weeks ago, and the night before, Pops enquired about departure time, for the 40 minute journey.
“What time have ya to be in?” I enquired. “7am,” he replied, adding that we’d leave Ballinrobe at 5.30am.
An hour and a half to get to Galway. In what would be ‘the middle of the night’. Off peak.
This driver protested, and after some negotiations, we settled on 6am. The following morning I heated up the car at 5.45am. Minutes later Pops meekly suggested, “Sure we’re as well off to get going?” I surrendered. After all, it was a big day for him.
We were in Headford by 6.10am, so I took it extra easy on the road, arriving into the hospital car park at 6.27am.
My negotiation skills could only keep him in the car for a further ten minutes, then he was ‘out the gap’. Between being poked and prodded for the morning, he never lost his chivalry, much to my concern. He was offerring every consultant, nurse and doctor his seat, the man with the dodgy knee. We were both starved with the hunger, him on a fast before surgery, me not organised enough to have had brekkie.
Sneaking a battered banana from my bag I wolfed it down, hastily placing the skin on his tea tray. The nurse nearly had a conniption thinking Pops had consumed the fruit. I admitted my guilt to which she replied, “At least it wasn’t a breakfast roll you ate in front of him.”
Surgery went well, and later that night after whiling away hours shopping and going to the cinema, I was reunited with the ‘bionic man’. He was in good form. (It was only till the next day when we had the same conversation as the night before, I realised he was of course heavily medicated. I said nothing!)
His two nurses have been doing their best since he was discharged into our care. We don’t have the iPad to take his daily meal choices, but we try to put on a good spread.
His grandchildren are asking for daily updates. “Did you get your new leg, Granda?” Aoibh asked.
Last week, he spent his time project managing his new-and-improved ‘man cave’ as myself and Madre ferried books from one end of the house to the other. While armed with the entire works of Dickens, Byron and a host of GAA autobiographies, I sensed it will be where he’ll be spending most of his rehab. But if he keeps referring to me as ‘Nurse Ratched’ I fear he may have to make an appointment for the other knee!

> In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.

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