So, today I am in fighting mood. In case any of my Aunts of a Nervous Disposition are reading this, please excuse any expletives that might creep into the narrative.
Yesterday could have been a glorious day. At midday, the Oxford Chapter of the Harley Davidson Owners Group arrived at the front of the hospital on their annual toy run. They roared up in convoy, a spectacular sight - all that chrome in the sunshine ... anyway, I did shed a tear or two - just seemed rather wonderful, all these leather-clad toughies bringing toys for the little ill children.
We had a family visit - The Husband arriving with the boys, my brother and parents, which was jolly but afterwards things took a turn for the worse. It started with the appearance of a young doctor, whom we had the dubious pleasure of meeting a few days earlier when she, very cack-handedly, inserted a canula into Madam's foot after a couple of botched attempts. It was not pleasant, and it seemed she had not been practising since. Once again she faffed about while my poor little girl howled. She broke two and had to go off to get some more which she also promptly bent, seemingly unable to find a vein. At this point I called time and suggested that they either find another way of getting Madam's IV antibiotics into her, or go and find someone else who bloody well knew what they were doing.
The duty registrar was summoned and did the job efficiently, quickly and with no faffing whatsoever. I really think Dorling Kindersley have missed a trick. There is patently a niche for medical textbooks with bloody great diagrams and lifty-up flaps.
Anyway, we were both fed up and hungry after the drama, so I went off in search of a sandwich, only to find that because it was Sunday and obviously nobody wants to eat anything on a Sunday, all the sandwich places were closed. So I legged it to the canteen in the main hospital, which I hadn't dared to do before in case something hideous happened while I was gone. It was my first hot meal in 10 days. Absolutely fab and they put it in a polystyrene box like they do at festivals, so I could run back and eat it with Madam. In case you were wondering, it was spinach and chickpea curry, very delicious and only £2.75.
We both fell asleep about 6.30pm. When I woke at 10, Madam was shaking violently. I called for the nurse and asked if she had been in to check on her while we slept. "I didn't want to wake her," she said. "so I just stuck my head round the door and she looked fine." On further investigation (the same investigation the nurse should have done two and a half hours previously), it turned out her temperature was 40.2, her heart rate was 180 and she was a couple of hours late with her meds. "Don't worry," said the nurse, "patients' heart rates always go up when they have a temperature." I pointed out that the doctors are keen for her NOT to have a raised temperature and rollicking heartbeat because it isn't very good for somebody whose heart doesn't work very well and that's why the nurse was supposed to do these checks regularly and give her medicine on time... or words to that effect.
I spent the rest of the night, as I have the previous few nights, with Madam curled up next to me, trying to keep her upright while I attempted to only half-sleep so I could make sure she was still breathing.
So you can see why I began today a trifle Hacked Off.