Yesterday morning Barb came early to have a muffin and coffee for breakfast with “Rumpole ” and I, before she took me to the retinal surgeon for a follow up visit. It was a glorious cool and sunny morning, fresh feeling and a beautiful variegated green world to be driving into town. Traffic was fairly easy and once we got to the destination my “parking angel” was in customary attendance, for we got a great spot in front of the building, with some paid time left on the meter.
The slow moving crowd in the waiting room and outside in the hall holding up the walls moved in and out of the examining room with the regularity of soup cans moving on a conveyor belt. When it was my time to be summoned by the surgeon, i groped my way past the reception desk where the surgeon grasped my hands and led me into his sci-fi equipped examination room. “You are such a sweetheart, Mrs. S” he announced, “let’s look at how things are?” “Sweetheart” had a momentary urge to throttle the poor man, but restrained herself, being somewhat dependent upon him to be in good shape to provide the necessary ongoing help.
“I don’t like what I’m seeing here,” he said, “this infection is not clearing up!” He did seem pleased that I saw shadows when he blinked the bright pin-light on and off, but determined that this upcoming Thursday I would have to go back into hospital for operation #3. “Now, get your friend to take you downtown to the Eye Care Centre for another Ultra-sound” he ordered, as he placed a number of legal release forms in front of my nose to sign off on. He led me by hand out into the waiting room to meet up with Barb, “sweethearting” me all the way in a most off-putting manner. Had he called me “my little thunder-cloud” he may have hit closer to my state of mind at the time. I was overcome with momentary rage!
Barb and I descended in the elevator kvetching and commiserating, and also giggling about the surgeon’s unnecessary obsequieousness toward me. “Helps to have a lawyer for a husband, eh?” ventured Barb. “Not for recurring eye-infections!” I opined.
We made record time downtown to the Eye Care Clinic, “parking angel” accompanying us. The short walk from our parking spot led us by stands of mature azalea hedges in magnificent purple bloom; the various spring greening deciduous trees were delicious harmonies of lemon, pale yellow-green and tender apple green, sun dappled, glorious! The few clumps of dandelions were joyful, jaunty wildings amidst this cultivated urban landscape.
No long waiting time for the ultra-sound, what little time we had to wait we whiled away looking at the fabulous art on the walls of the waiting room. The doctor who came out to shepherd me in is a pleasant Pakistani man of middle years, and he did his pokings in the eye with the ultrasound wand with skill and care. He took pains to reassure me that the retina looked good and I should be encouraged. For this I am extremely grateful.
Barb and I grabbed a couple of Mango smoothies to slurp on our way back to the car. We admired the shrubs and trees in sunlight, and lounged on the tail-gate of her car to call “Rumpole” and report to him about proceedings so far. Then we drove to my favourite Pho Hoa restaurant. We were quite ravenous and polished off smallish bowls of Pho with brisket, quite delicious.
On the way home, Barb and I debated on the wisdom of not continuing on with the evening’s painting class. She figured that she and L. would be happy to come and drink vast quantities of green tea with me, but couldn’t see the wisdom of me hanging about the studio with solvents circulating in the air. I made her promise that she would spend her time at home this evening working on her painting, which is at a particularly interesting stage that she should capitalize upon.
Once we were back at my house, she walked me inside and gave me a long and loving hug, saying I should do little more this day except rest. We had spent some considerable time during our hours together discussing her trials and tribulations with her 17-year old daughter and her current anxieties with the whole parenting business. Barb is a very smart and caring wife and mother, and her reactions to her family circumstances are based on a great degree of thought and heart, as well as with humour. We determined that what we each had to do is to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other, pause from time to time, and keep going.
“Rumpole” cut his workday short and spent the evening with me quietly lounging in the living room. We are determined to persevere, hopefully with some grace!