Thursday, January 01, 2004

So here we are in 2004, the old year ended on a familiar note for me yesterday with a hospital visit! Over the Xmas period my dad suffered a heart attack, luckily it looks as though it was only a mild one, so hopefully things should be alright in the long run.

Mark kindly let me take yesterday morning off, so I set off at 8am for the hour journey to the hospital in Taunton. Orynthia was working, so for the first time in awhile I found myself heading off to a potentially traumatic family situation without her at my side. I have to admit that I was quite pensive during the drive, but was delighted to find dad up and about and in good spirits. The facilities really are excellent. Alongside his bed he has a strange sort of pod, which houses TV, radio, Internet and E-mail access along with a phone, which enables us to call directly to his bed for a chat at any time. He is in a large room of his own, with en-suite facilities, so we were laughingly comparing this with some of the lower grade hotels, which we have both stayed in over the years. It’s good to see the much-maligned National Health Service coming up trumps.

Nature managed to provide a stunning diversion for me during the journey. The day had dawned clear and cold in Bristol. However as my journey took me into Somerset, the spectacular low lying fog over the Somerset levels made for some beautifully mysterious images, as several feet of fog hovered over the fields with the pinkish glow of the winter sunshine peeping through both above and below.

So in next few weeks, my sister will be starting the next phase of her chemotherapy cancer treatment, Orynthia’s mum will be having a heart bypass operation, Orynthia’s dad continues to come to terms with being in a wheelchair, and my dad will be recuperating from this incident. No point in us getting despondent though, it’s just one of the natural consequences of aging, inevitably people of our parents generation will have more health problems. As we can’t actually do anything about those medical issues, we just have to offer the help and support which we are able to and carry on enjoying our free time as much as we can.

We spent last night at home with Caroline, Jane (John was involved with the big Blowpop party) and from about 11:15 Jon and Katja joined us to see the New Year in. With the exception of Jane they all stayed over, although poor Katja had a rather disturbed evening and morning, requiring several visits to the smallest room, not a pleasant way for her to start the year, but I’m sure many others found themselves in a similar situation this morning.


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