A Glimpse into my private life

My time these days seem to be taken up by visiting Laura. She has been transferred recently to The Princes Margaret Hospital. This unit is more a rehabilitation stroke facility and just what she requires. They must be doing their work as after her re-education work she is very tired. As an additional benefit for me, it’s located only 1.5 kilometres from our home, it also has heaps of ‘free’ parking. Laura is making slow but sure progress, but sometimes she makes a leap forward for the strangest reason. She had been struggling with her speech, but last night while at the Hospital I was speaking to Mark on the cell phone. He was returning home through The Nevis at dusk. We have a family rule, never too travel through the Inland Passes after dusk in Winter. The reason being all support services are withdrawn overnight. Get into trouble, and you have to get your self out. He was concerned about running into snow in the Lindis and wanted the weather forecast. I held up the cell phone for Laura to say hello. Immediately she burst forth, into an animated conversation. I knew then she was making progress.


Part of her treatment is thickened fluids, this includes thickened coffee, Yuk! But today, I took her for a short promenade outside in her wheel chair, where I fed her an ice cream. All of this was noted by the staff. Nothing it would seem escapes the eagle eyed staff’s attention here. I said later, ‘I only gave her that, as I had observed the same item on her lunch tray’. ‘That’, they said, was not the same, that what we fed her, was thickened Ice cream! Anyway after that escapade, she is now allowed water, just plain water, unthickened. Just as well we don’t know what’s around the corner for any of us. All other fluids that she touches is thickened, coffee, all meals, so plain water is another milestone. Small step I know, but any journey is made up from many small steps.


I went into see her this morning, I approached her bed and what a shock greeted me. Here she was, wearing a fitted plastic oxygen mask, a wet towel over he head, and an alarm and drip and some other apparatus was attached to her body. She was also the colour of white parchment. As I bent over to greet her, I then discovered this ‘Body’ wasn’t Laura, she had been moved out of the ward in the night. This game of musical beds will be the death of me. It has happened before, but this time they just made it a little harder


Yesterday was Melbourne Cup day. I remembered back to one day when Stuart Falconer called to my office. He was smoking a full, ‘long filler’ cigar, by Justus Van Maurik. Dressed to the nines, Stuart was larger than life in everything he did. A colourful fellow who was always doing outrageous things, but always with a flair. A year earlier he had won the Melbourne Cup with a horse called ‘Bagdad Note’, an outsider too. It should never have happened. In fact, he was carrying the actual cup in a dirty old sugar bag with him, which he now, ‘up ended’ onto my desk. Out tumbled the ‘Cup’ much to my pleasure. It was wonderful just to hold it, and listen to his story which he must have repeated a hundred times, of how this New Zealand horse beat everything in Australasia. Unfortunately he wasn’t to keep the Cup much longer, as one night a burglar (probably an Australian) called and stole it, possibly to claim it back. Sure he received the Insurance cover he had over it, but it was much like the dozen Victoria Crosses and other medals stolen from the Military Museum at Waiouru. They are all irreplaceable artefacts, all won by outstanding acts of bravery! I suppose in this case the thief would have melted the cup down for the monetary value of the gold, as all the winners of the Melbourne Cups and their holders are all very well known.


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