Know what you mean

Wednesday December 29, 2004

I suppose that, in a way, it’s been a bonus additional holiday because my planned excursion to the bright lights of Boston [that’s a bit of joke: ‘bright lights’ and ‘Boston’ are not commonly associated] was cancelled very early in the day.

I’d been sitting at my desk for a while, quietly, waiting for the rest of the household to wake and start sharing the day. Harry Cat was the first, as always. He came to sit by my side while he recovered from the dizziness of sleep, and then meeped to be picked up and cuddled for a bit. He got it. Gladly.

Then I heard a muffled sound, perhaps a groan, perhaps a growl, or perhaps both of them, with a bit of a meep added for good measure.

“Are you alright?” I called.

The sound was repeated, louder, so I got up, snuggled Harry on my arm, and went through to the bathroom. There stood Graham, doing a really good, doom-laden aghast.

“Whatever’s the matter?”

He turned to face me and then I saw the problem for myself.

“Oh, you poor soul,” I said, with extreme feeling.

It was a return of the stye, absent for so long we thought it had given up and gone away to plague someone else. His poor eyelid was so swollen he could hardly open it at all.

“Does it hurt?” I asked, feebly.

“No, not yet. It will do, though.”

“Right. I’ll make you some tea. You get on the phone to the doctor’s and organize some antibiotics and stuff.”

The doctor on triage duty was most helpful, prescribed the appropriate tablets and drops, and promised they’d be ready to collect in an hour.


Then, the snag.

The phone rang, Graham picked it up, and the lady from the pharmacy told him there’d be a delay while they obtained supplies from the distributor. “It will be ok, though. Don’t worry. Call back at four this afternoon and we’ll tell you what’s what.”

So we didn’t go to Tescos. We had another day at home, doing quiet things with our Christmas toys and hoping the stye wouldn’t get worse.

It did, of course, in spite of frequent application of cold, damp tea-bags, and by four o’clock, we were getting desperate. Fortunately, the sleepy British pharmacological supply system had shifted its bones a little by then and coughed up a box of pills so we shot down to Spilsby to collect them.

I reckon it was only just in time. The first drops and pills kicked in and began to work some four hours later and, while the pain was enhanced, the inflammation was reducing steadily.

Last thing, before we tumbled into bed, I asked if he’d want to do Tesco’s tomorrow, knowing the answer.

“I don’t think so. I shall still be looking like Quasimodo and feeling worse.”

“Oh. Poor chicken. Not to worry—I’ll go do a minimal shop and then you can come join in the fun in a couple of days, all ready for the big New Year holiday.”

“You know what?”

“No. What?”

“I’m getting fed up with all this holiday.”

“Yeah. Know what you mean.”



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