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.

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.

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.


Hal x

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

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