Twice now in our twenty years together, Madame Padre has had to spend a few nights in hospital.
The first time, early on in our time together, she was working in a garden centre and was required to wear steel-toed workbooks. Her hastily purchased pair pinched her toes, a problem she solved by wrapping her blistered toes in tape and gauze and soldiering on, without complaining. She’s a trooper, that girl. However, I was increasingly concerned and on day four, noticed first that she was acting erratically, and second that her feet smelled brutal. I rushed her to hospital and the verdict was compression gangrene. Miraculously, she met a doctor who was willing to throw a broadband of antibiotics at her rather than consider amputation, which was a very real possibility given that she is a Type 1 Diabetic. After a few days, things got under control, but for the next six weeks she took the drugs through an intravenous line, or PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) that ran through her arm and up into her chest cavity.
Despite this impediment she sneaked out of hospital to sit an exam at the local college for her Landscape Design diploma, and afterwards, basically ignored her doctor’s warning not to do any lifting because the line in her chest could be disturbed and damage her heart. One day I came home from work and found her moving 20 pound rocks to relay a garden bed. Perhaps those sorts of antics are why I love her.
The first time she was in hospital, I would bring the Scrabble game and we would while away the evenings. Scrabble is our favourite game, though neither of us is very good at it. We have siblings who memorize ten words a day and play competitively. We’re not like that. We muddle through at between 200-300 points each per game. I won all those hospital games, though she claimed the medicine made her lightheaded and she was at a disadvantage. I say I won, fair and square.
This week we had the chance to play Scrabble again in hospital. Madame Padre had been experiencing cramps and pains in her nether regions form some time, and an ultrasound led her doctor to believe that the culprit was an ovarian cyst. Best have the lady bits out, he told her, since you’re not really using them anymore. It was a longer and more complicated operation than we had been led to believe, which meant an incarceration of three days and nights. She felt up to a scrabble game on the second night.
Madame Padre’s game is not off to a good start. Here she adopts the post of Rodin’s “Thinker” to intimidate me.
Here’s the reason for that furrowed brow. What a terrible set of tiles to draw! I almost felt sorry for her.
Madame Padre is home now and getting stronger and peskier by the day. The surgery discovered a few more problems than we had been led to expect, and the way ahead will be arduous, but I have no doubt that my girl will push through in her own stubborn way. I would be grateful if you would keep us in your thoughts.
Oh, I almost forgot. I won that scrabble game, but in the words of the Duke, it was a damned near thing.
Blessings to us all.