Like me, do you frustrate yourself? Friday was a case in point. Why do I think I know better than those who know? Why am I not patient? Now, in mitigation, I thought all was well therefore headlong into the throng I threw myself, even though I’d been told my mission wasn’t important. It was to me. Okay, okay I admit I’d made my mind up and the lady wasn’t for turning, as someone once said.
Following instructions to take it gently for a couple of days following the lumbar puncture on Wednesday, I did on Thursday. Friday was a young friend’s 21st birthday, I’ve known him since he was four and I needed a gift. It’s just not the same if delivered after the Big Day, is it?
Daughter, freshly back from a chicken farm in Leicester over-nighted with us before heading off to Bath for a couple of days. Ventured out to drop her at the station and continued into town. First time I’d been out since returning from hospital. Parked in usual place, disembarked and headed for the shops. Luckily, I had an idea what to look for and hit W H Smith as the dizziness simultaneously kicked in. After lurking behind a fixture until danger of losing consciousness ebbed, I made my way to the nearest watering hole which was BHS – where was Costa (other brands available), when needed? Ordered a drink and sat down before I fell down.
Surveyed scene. Youngest in situ. Two old couples in the far corner discussing hospital visits. Old chap entered, stage right. He looked how I felt – sorry sir, but it’s true. Walking with two sticks he slowly made his breathless way to a table and, with considerable difficulty, sat down. Now, had I not been in a debilitated state, I’d have rushed to his aid myself but fighting rising nausea and lightheadedness, chose to summon a pleasant looking man in his thirties tasked with table clearing. It didn’t feel comfortable sending someone else to this veteran’s assistance but didn’t explain. (I don’t know he was a veteran but he looked like he’d seen a campaign or two.) How could I say: “I’m unable to move from this table, even though I give everyone else in here a couple of decades, because I’m pig-headed, won’t listen to advice and think I know better?
As always, someone was guiding me because I managed to return to W H Smith where exactly what I wanted awaited purchase. Paper on next rack. Gratitude flooded through me as I reached the car, drove home and made it to the sofa. Thirty minutes passed in a second – yep, must have dozed off – but then managed the wrapping, short drive to deliver gift, immediate return home and then gratefully retired to my bed to recover.
I’m working on being more patient, I truly am. At the moment, there’s much room for improvement. I’m wondering if impatience and stubborn tendencies are congenital? My Mother, also aware she carried the impatience gene, wondered whether she’d developed rheumatoid arthritis (which slowed her body but not her brain which revved at full throttle all her days) to teach her patience. Stubborn? Oh yes, she steadfastly refused to give in, no matter what. When Son started school I recall a conversation with the head
teacher, Mrs Pennington, who pointed out to me that when someone sticks at something we want them to do we call it ‘perseverance’ but when they carry on doing something we don’t care for, we call it ‘stubborness’; she was right, wasn’t she?
And even when Mum went from full sight to total blindness, not even being able to distinguish between light and dark, all within the space of a week she still refused to give in. My dear Dad often asked: “Why you, Kath, when all you’ve ever done is help people”? Mum’s reply was always, “Why not me”? I hope that if ever it’s called for, I also have her courage.
Just heard the words of Robbie Williams’ song go through my mind: “And through it all, she offers me protection, a little love and affection, whether I’m right or wrong… ” and in my heart, I know a very courageous angel now with the enhanced vision of another dimension has my back.