Par For the Course

I didn’t rate the doctor’s bedside manner very highly. She measured Mother’s oxygen levels and seemed more interested in asking what we were giving her to drink than getting her pain relief sorted. I asked about the oxygen. She said a number that meant nothing to me in the context. What does that mean? I asked. Well, par for the course she said. I’m sorry, I said, but you need to spell it out; how is it par for the course? Near death, she said.
Then she disappeared with the nurse to get the patches to help dry the secretions in Mother’s throat and to give her relief from pain. They seemed to be gone ages. I rubbed Mother’s hand, kissed her and told her the pain would soon be gone. She had been whimpering with it. It is not a sound I ever want to hear her make again.

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One Foot Out of the Grave

Probably a stress fracture, said the nurse. They often don’t show up on x-rays.

I spent a dull afternoon in Minor Injuries. There were only two members of staff on duty. The television was on. That mindless daytime diet that atrophies the mind. I found I could not read. Two of my fellow waitees struck up a conversation. It was mainly about footwear; heels versus flat shoes.

I kept quiet and tried to stop my eyes from closing. Continue reading