Friday, 25 October 2013


And suddenly, without realising, without wanting, without warning, we have become a community. Complete strangers (except for Rosie*), nodding to each other at first, smiling, gentle waves. Then the odd few words, longer conversations, and eventually we are all on first name terms. All thrown together with one thing in common, our Mothers. And Hospital. That's two things.

Twice a day we meet on the stairs or on one of the long corridors and discuss how each of our loved ones is or isn't making progress. We have become a support group for each other, brothers and sisters in arms. Some of the others live quite a distance away and can only make one trip a day. I'm fortunate to live close to the hospital and can spend quite a bit of time there.

I have become the darling of the Acute Stroke Unit, the older ladies seem to love me, true, they have all suffered a stroke recently, (except Ma), still, despite the bald head, tattoos and hard-man strut (hahaha) the ladies all want a piece of me. I'm as yet not quite sure which piece. Nancy, from Co. Clare has taken quite the shine to me and waves frantically from her bed at the end of the ward as soon as she sees me.

Ma is still waiting to get her pacemaker. She picked up another infection in hospital which is causing the delay. The mood can be very low at times. But yesterday she had me in tears of laughter telling me of an incident earlier that morning. She had just come back from the X-Ray dept where they were checking her leg for possible causes of the infection. As she sat back on her bed a young doctor came to examine her foot. She said he seemed to be getting quite flustered and was saying stuff like "When did this lesion appear? No, this one here, this new strange lump on your foot?" Now, ma is quite blind and couldn't see what he was talking about and started to get upset. The doc hurried off and returned with a nurse and both of them again examined her foot. After a few minutes the nurse says "Sarah, have you been eating chocolates?" Yes, says the Ma, Maltesers. One of the chocolates had ended up in her slipper and had melted onto her foot!

(*Rosie's Ma is one of the other patients. I dated Rosie when we were about 14 or 15 yrs old and didn't think she'd remember me as I used to have quite the head of curls back then, but she did.)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Hearts & Minds

So, we're doing this wedding in a week or so and the bride asks if we can sing 'A Rainy Night In Soho' for the first song? YES PLEASE!!  I quite like the Pogues  thank you miss bride to be.

But!! Then she sends a text... 'my cousin will be at the wedding, he plays the fiddle, would it be OK if he played with ye on the first song? You might have heard of him, John Sheahan?
Yes, that would be FUCKING OK!!!!!! (I didn't say that! BUT A member of the world famous Dubliners on the same stage with me???)

I phoned the Ma last night (from Letterkenny) to ask how she was getting on in hospital. She told me she was getting a heart transplant! I nearly dropped me pint! Turns out she's having a pacemaker fitted (at the age of 88!)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Up North.

We're hoping Ma will be home before the weekend ends, Monday at the latest. Being in hospital is making her very depressed, and it's not exactly cheering up the rest of us!

I'm away for a wee while the day, off north to Letterkenny with the missus.
Back soon folks. Love ya'all.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


Very upsetting day.
Went to visit Ma and was stopped enroute by neighbours who were asking after her.
I have missed a couple of days, what with my own wee problems.
Ma has become delirious, suddenly. She greeted me as if I was my grandfather. Very upsetting.
After a few minutes she realised who I was, and then started mumbling about the people in the wardrobe.
My dear sister hasn't had a decent sleep in a couple of days.
We all tried (including the doctor) to get her to agree to go to hospital.
She became very angry and upset, started throwing things around the room, things she would not normally be able to lift, where she got the strength from ???
Ma is in the hospital now.
My younger brother (for whom she will agree to anything) persuaded her so.
Very upsetting.


Ma is a bit better today. The delirium was possibly caused by an infection, and is hopefully temporary. Thank you all for your kindness.  xxx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Gulp! or - Ya Don't Want That Shoved Down Yer Throat Every Day!

I can't honestly say it was the most pleasant experience I have ever had. It being my first time, having a long foreign object shoved down my gob was painful, messy, noisy and embarrassing for all involved, but thankfully it was all over very quickly and we shall probably (hopefully) never meet again.
(And before you start Chef, no, that was not also a comment from my first girlfriend!)

I had a gastroscopy procedure done this morning.

I had it done in one of the smaller hospitals (for smaller people?) and was in and out before I knew it. (Easy Chef!)
Because I had the procedure without sedation I was able to leave immediately afterwards and drive meself home.

Thankfully nothing 'sinister' was found and the doctor was most reassuring. I will have the complete results next week, but all is looking good.

The staff, from start to finish were just (pure dead) brilliant. Though I wasn't quite sure if one of the lovely nurses was actually stroking me head or trying to keep me pinned to the pillow!