I am still in my dressing gown and sorting out Mr B’s choice of breakfast cereal (Mr B has a greater choice of breakfast cereal than almost anyone I know) when I see the District Nurse walking purposefully along
the garden path towards our front door. I realise immediately that I am going to have to revise my plans for the morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I am indebted
to the District Nurses for their attentiveness to Mr B’s various health needs. I just wish I knew what time they would turn up each day. There are times when they don’t turn up all day, then someone phones to say we will be visited on what’s
known as the “twilight shift” which is any time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. I can’t tell you how grateful I was on my recent birthday when our visit was fitted in just before the end of the afternoon shift; I had feared the Nurse would turn
up just as we sat down to my Birthday Dinner. Steak it was, too, and you can’t keep a good steak waiting, now can you?
Nurse Maggie explains that Friday
is the busiest day of the week so she started at 8 a.m. I silently thank my lucky stars that we were second on her list, rather than first. It would have been chastening in the extreme had I still been in bed when she called, eight o’clock being my usual
Rise & Shine time. The reason we never know what time to expect our visit, she tells us, is because it is up to each Nurse to look at the list of patients she has to visit and work out the most sensible, time-effective route to take between patients, always
allowing for timed injections and the like. This sounds eminently sensible to me compared with the Patient Transport Service, whose drivers never know where they are going to be sent and can end up criss-crossing the entire county, so wasting many journey
hours, not to mention fuel costs. Just saying...
Nurse Maggie’s early start means, sadly, that I can’t get to my Singing for Pleasure choir session.
I have to comfort myself, after she has left, by singing “The Hippopotamus Song” in the shower. You know the song I mean, I hope, made famous by Flanders and Swann, with an unforgettable chorus beginning: “Mud, mud, glorious mud!”
No! This is absolutely no indication of my need to shower. I can’t believe the thought even crossed your mind...
Having an unexpectedly free morning does
have its advantages. I manage to get all my washing done for a start and finish reading my library book. It always pays, don’t you think, to look for the positive in any situation?
Mind you, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Standing on the doorstep, waving goodbye to Nurse Maggie, I notice that Someone Unknown has clipped the bloom off my beautiful lily which has been gracing with its presence the
flower bed nearest the road. Why, oh, why would anyone do such a thing? It was so perfectly formed, so pristinely white. Standing at my kitchen sink with my hands deep in dish water I used to see lots of passers-by admiring its beauty. In its short, perfect
life, I like to think it gave a lot of pleasure.
All I can hope is that whoever plucked it bore it home to give to a Loved One who is having a hard time. That
it has been put into a pretty glass vase which stands on, perhaps, a bedside table where it continues to give pleasure.
It’s not always easy, thinking positively
- but it helps.