Wednesday 07 November, 2007 – 12:04 by Swannie rambling along.
I escaped from hospital on March 22nd this year, by simply reminding them that I could refuse service and leave. They wanted me to stay, because they didn’t want to admit giving me MRSA, nor admit they had no reason they could use to explain away my crippled state. I reckon that if had not escaped, either I would have been thrown out for being unmanageable (and described as "not cured though my own fault"), or I would have despaired even more and tried to answer the ultimate quesrtion (and probably failed: the hospital had tried to kill me and had managed to bring me back to life in order to further torture me, several times; why should I manage what the experts had failed)?
Sometime in April I decided to stop asking Margaret, my carer, to stop making me coffee, by simply no longer asking her but trying to make my own. Not that I minded being waited on hand-and-foot! But there were disadvantages. Because Margaret is hard of hearing, what began as a normal grunt became by the fifth repitition a very loud, wake-the-neighbours yell. So I tried to do it myself (and it did stop her hovering around me).
The first step was to take the first step! Hobble to the kitchen sink. put the water into the mug, then spoon in the sugar and coffee (initially spilling all of them each time unless I guided each step…think about trying to put sugar into a mug, blindfolded, simply obeying instructions whispered in your ear…and doing it separately for every spoon of every ingredient). Then I had to hobble around to get the milk, put it in the mug, stir it, then sidle along the kitchen bench to the microwave, open the door and put it in without spilling it (or toppling the microwave, which I did manage once…thank God they are cheap).
While the microwave was running (110 seconds at 1100 watts), I sidled back along the bench, collected the milk and my walking stick, and hobbled about 3 metres to the fridge, and then back again. By the time I was back, the microwave was pinging at me. A few weeks ago, I noticed I ha to wait, and by experimentation I discovered tha the mik-return trip was only taking about 50 seconds. I also noted I was no longer spiling all the ingredients! What onbviously hadn’t changed was the time it took me to return to the lounge from the kitchen using my walking stick and the furniture for balance, while not spilling the coffee (itself early on a rare event). The trouble was, the once boiling coffee had had enough time to become tepid! In spite of other small progresses, all this time later, the return trip is still as long, and the damn coffee is still tepid!
I thought of solutions, but all proved impractical. Margaret vetoed another microwave on the coffee table, because it would be messy (as well as blocking her view of the TV when she watched "Home and Away"). A small hotplate was deemed too dangerous, because of my need to lean on things to move around. I tried to compromise by asking Margaret to fetch the coffee when the microwave pinged, but while occasionally it allowed me to enjoy my hot coffee sitting down (Margaret refuses to make it the way I like it: strong and sweet), most times the coffee still arrived tepid.
Two problems here. I would ask Margaret to get the coffee, and she would start on the journey and get distracted by something else (me being stuck on the lounge has become an easily-irnored fixrue, it seems), and the coffee would eventually arrive chilled. Otherwise, her hard-of-hearing becomes a problem. I make noises at her untill I get her attention, the sound level rising with each failure. When I get her attention, I gently but politely make my request. If no action occurs after a while, I assume she is just being polite, and I respond with a less polite but louder request. Again and again. Eventually she yells back at to say she heard me but can’t understand me. By speaking very slowly (like a North Queenslander trying to remember the night before today’s hangover), I eventually get her to understand.
The coffee is still tepid when it arrives, though *sigh*. How bad can life be when you can’t even enjoy a hot cup of coffee sitting down to watch some mindless entertaiment? No wonder I get angry when a cuppa I pay for in a restaurant arrives tepid…it only costs me aggravation to get the same service at home!