Oh Fig…..

I have been a right miserable cow this week. A nightmare to live with – Paul I hold my hands up and admit it.
Now the reason for this ongoing mood is pretty pathetic – I’m an arm down as I have had a carpal tunnel op. But, in my defence this house is a foot down and a chicken down too. Let me explain.


So, the day before my op Paul falls off the chair he was standing on to do some DIY – no drama.
Back to the carpal tunnel op – no more fizzing, numb fingers. I had to shower the night before the op and the morning of the op with thick, smelly brown Betadine solution – I was given a glossy chart to follow. A picture of a naked bod pointing out the bits I mustn’t miss – arm pits, belly button…..I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
The boys had gone to nanna’s for the night, Paul’s ok. All organised.
5:30 the following morning we are getting ready to leave, it’s an hour drive to the hospital and Paul is hobbling around in agony. Great. We get there, he’s a brave boy.
Admitted to a sunny, spotless private room, newspaper on the bed, wifi and a great novel in my bag. Maybe this inflicted down time is going to be ok! I’m told my surgery will be at 8:45. Then I am transformed into a patient. Papery plasticy robe, pants, hat and slippers. Wedding ring off and wheeled to theatre in a wheelchair with a starchy sheet on my knees. Rewind on the me time, suddenly I’m not so keen. A tagged silent body, in a wheelchair below everyone elses line of vision. Conversations going on above my head. Ouch. At 8:45 I’m told it will start and at 8:46 it begins.
I’m soon back in my room, it’s over – yay. Now 2 weeks of being fed grapes and fanned. Paul gives me a kiss, smiles and then says, can you come to the doctor with me tomorrow – I really need to do something about my foot. Grapes and fans forgotten.
I lay gazing at the clouds letting the cocktail of floaty drugs wear off and daydream about breakfast – this is the girl that needs re-fuelling at least every 2 hours. I’ve been told I can have a hot drink at 11:00 and I’m keeping an eye on the clock. Paul is sent limping off just before 11:00 – by the time he gets back I will be able to drink. A nurse comes in at 11:01 with Paul following behind – she’d stopped him in the corridor. She presents me with hot choc, juice, muffins….. well, I almost had to wait!
The care was amazing, feelings of gratitude flow.
Paul has decided his foot is fine – fine. No worries.
The next day poor mum steps into the official driver, carer, listening ear to my moaning, child care role as after a few hours in A&E we learn Paul’s foot is broken. Now we’re both wonky/wonkier and sore, I’m still a bit floaty….. Can’t drive. Stuck. Why isn’t he miserable? Just carrying on as before it’s just now he’s sounding like a cuban dancer and looking a couple of inches taller thanks to the enormous velcro shoe thing. I’m jumping up and down, tutu and pig tails waving – I wanted to be waited on, for Paul to hold the fort. For Paul to say, I never realised just how wonderful you are. My bad mood hangs on like treacle, I try to be sweeter but soon become sickened, a guilty sickness. I see myself as the self indulgent spolit brat I am being. Nothing to complain about, everything to be grateful for. The treacle sticks.
We laugh, we bicker and as ever get on with it. A team it’s just I’m the moody player.

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Then, I look out the bedroom window and MJ our chicken is toes up, dead on the lawn. I yell, ‘I think MJ’s dead’ and we all run outside to confirm my suspicions. MJ had a good life, she made a good age, was free to roam and was loved.
MJ, incase you were wondering was named after the lead girl in Spiderman. Our cockerel is named Peter Parker – obviously!
Anyway, we decide to bury her and the boys decide we will have a little ceremony.
Paul and I look at each other and smile. Who’s digging? You with your one foot or me with my one hand? We can’ t help but laugh. Paul gets on with the digging, Toby runs inside to get the roses they had kindly asked mum to buy me and Nick finds a suitably good stick to mark her place in the garden, whilst I stand balancing a dead chicken on my good arm. Toby thanks her for all the eggs, Nick tells her to break a leg. It’s all very sweet and Paul and I stand back letting them lead.

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We call my parents to tell them and dad cries. My dad who has been told he risks sprouting feathers he eat so much chicken. Frozen, unfree-range chicken. He despairs with his vegetarian son-in-law and his wannabe vegan daughter but when our happy free chicken dies from old age he cries. Maybe he’s concerned his egg supply will slow down….
Oh, what a week. As I sit and type I watch Paul and his dad working away on the garage. The scene of the broken foot. There is no stopping him clomping around in his ‘shoe’ and I can’t help but smile watching father and son so happy with the remaining chickens running around them. He’ll be self medicating the pain with beer tonight but a bit smug that a broken foot isn’t going to stop him. Boys.

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Hal x

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‘Looks like it down to us Toby….’
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‘Yep. Cwtch and I are on the corn. Watch your fingers with that knife.’
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‘This is good, the boys can cook again’
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From an empty box to a…..
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…..kitten hotel!

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