A Bit Intrigued By It All
How was your evening away?
Good. Phil and Yvonne went off for the evening – to some ‘do’ of sorts, for Yvonne’s sister. The family don’t like for me to be left alone for the night, so I had a night away. Respite care, that’s what they call it.
Where was it?
This place — it has a Maori name — Te Whanau, I think. Down Queen Street I’m told. You can roll up and spend the night there. They give you a feed, and a bed. It’s quite useful.
Did you mind visiting it?
It’s quite impressive in a way. There’s a large building, and a big sitting room, and mobs of people coming and going. And the easychairs, well, they are very comfortable. I like that. But the whole thing goes against the grain a bit.
It’s the cost.
Cost! It doesn’t cost you a thing. The Government pays as a way of saying, ‘Thank you, Mr Leyland, for all the tax you paid during your working life.’ You’re entitled to 21 free days a year.
Oh! Well that’s okay then.
It means Phil and Yvonne can get away when something crops up, and nobody has to worry about you playing up — like having a fall or whatever you specialise in.
I suppose old age is catching up with me a bit. Yes, I had a dizzy spell a few months back. That knocked me about a bit. A bit of a fall you might say. The medical people were here for a while, took my blood pressure and all that. 70 over 35 I’m told.
Anyway, I’ve got two walking sticks, so we’re managing. They’ve got me a nice comfortable chair, and a TV to watch — so I’m enduring it all okay.
Oh, and that brings to mind the bit of a stroke thing — a couple of years back. The background was that Mum had been having trouble for years — with her heart — angina. And she had a gadget called a nitro-lingual sprayer. It squirted some of the contents onto the tongue, and relieved the angina pain. She’d had these puffer things for years. Bright red. Half-a-dozen. One in her bag, one in the bathroom — by the bed — by her chair, over in the corner, by the window. All over the show.
As part of her treatment the District Nurse would come and interview her from time to time. On the morning in question, the nurse turned up, and she pulled up a chair and sat down to interview Mum. I was sitting in my chair, watching and listening.
Suddenly this nurse, she just jumped up. She was looking at me, and she called out, ‘Hey! You’re having a stroke!’
She immediately rang the doctor. Five minutes later he showed up — and he didn’t usually make house calls! Seemed like a bit of an emergency.
Now a stroke is a funny thing. You see, the left side of my face dropped a bit — about an inch — and my talk — well I talked a bit funny. If fact, at first I couldn’t talk at all. Not a word. I could still think — but I couldn’t say a word.
That’s not like you, Peter.
Not a word!
In fact I had two strokes — fortunately they were minor.
I can talk okay now — it all came back after a while — but I was a bit intrigued by it all — quite interesting in fact — you see, I picked up a pen with my right hand, and even though I couldn’t say anything — I couldn’t speak — I still knew what to do with a pen. I could bally well write!
So it’s just as well the nurse was there, and noticed, and was able to put a label on it. ‘You’re having a stroke!’
I’m glad the windbag came back.
So am I. But I was intrigued by it all.