Mr B is feeling decidedly miserable. He has somehow managed to pull a muscle in his back and, what’s worse, is looking for Nurse Jaqui to wave her magic wand and make it all better.
He has forgotten that I never was a very good nurse when Our Foursome were small. It was a running joke (well, I think they were joking) that they would have to be on their death beds before they would
be allowed a day off school. (As a result, they were the very healthiest of school kids, hardly ever ill - or at least not by my strict criteria...)
know that the best way to make a bad back better is exercise but this, sadly, is not possible for Mr B. I dole out the painkillers, promise him I will buy Deep Heat and a hot water bottle and ask if he feels up to his weekly pamper session. A long soak in
a hot bath may well do wonders for his Back Related Problems, we agree. It is unfortunate that he will have to endure a bumpy ride in the Dial-a-Ride bus first.
good nurse (in fact, every mediocre nurse) needs Time Out in order to be able to respond appropriately to the demands of a Patient With A Bad Back. So while Mr B is soaking in his hot bath (with added bubbles), I take myself for an amble along Worthing Pier,
enjoying the warm sunshine, the sparkly sea, the sight of littl’uns enjoying running up and down the beach pursued by parents exhorting them not to get their clothes wet by splashing in the sea. I buy myself an ice cream (two flakes, please! I ask) and
study all the beautiful stained glass windows along the pier. There’s a whole section devoted to the town’s history, with additional illustrations provided by local school-children aged between 5 and 18. Later this year we are hoping to celebrate
the installation of a window to commemorate Voluntary Action Worthing, the organisation I was proud to chair until earlier this year.
Back home, I rub Deep
Heat on Mr B’s painful back. Oh, that smell! It reminds me so much of the early weeks of each cricket season in those days when Mr B was an enthusiastic bowler - who inevitably paid the price of rather too strenuous net practice. There are, I know, other
proven ointments to rub into poorly backs - some may, indeed, be more effective than Deep Heat - but Mr B is a Creature of Habit and would always rather trust to something Tried and True. I like to think that is why he has stuck by me all these many years.
I am, I truth, very trying.
My Little Sister contacts me via FaceTime to find out how we both are. I have just climbed into my car ready to drive home from a fun
afternoon playing cribbage, having left my poorly patient at home. I told you I wasn’t a good nurse. My sister says there is nothing like a hot water bottle for the treatment of almost anything; I think she is rather surprised that I don’t own
one already. Thinking about it, I am quite surprised myself. I visit the pharmacy on my way home and pay out the princely sum of £4.99 for a small white water bottle. Mr B will be so pleased with me, I tell myself. Hopefully.
So, my fella (like the entire house) reeks of Deep Heat and has a warm hot water bottle tucked, comfortingly, into his back. He says the back is “not too bad at the moment...” This is,
Maybe, just maybe, I am a better nurse than I thought I was.
Even without a magic wand...