the grandad update
He’s doing well!
Thanks so much for all the lovely comments you sent – I’m sure all those kind thoughts and prayers have helped Grandad make a good recovery and he went home this morning stronger than ever.
After a battery of tests, the doctors concluded it was a mild heart attack – well let’s face it, not even Grandad could have calmly sat through a biggie – and the angiogram revealed that there were no large clots in the major arteries and he is best treated with medication. But, he has been visited by all manner of para-medics – nutritionists, physiotherapists, specialist cardiac nurses – and is going home armed with information and advice on how to prevent another such attack. No more bread with your butter Grandad!
It was a peculiar week – no semblance of routine for any of us – but there were some lovely moments. Thursday – the day of the angiogram – I was booked in by the aunties to visit Grandad before the procedure, so as to help reduce his anxiety as he waited for his turn. I diligently arrived at 11.05 (visiting hours started at 11) only to find that he had already had it! He was first off the rank at 9am. Never mind!
The poor old thing had to lay motionless for four hours following the procedure, so as to reduce the chances of developing a haematoma at the site of entry in his groin. Lunch arrived soon after me, and Grandad was starving (he’d been fasting since dinner the previous evening at 5pm) so under the nurse’s watchful eye, I chopped up the lunch – a thin slice of roast lamb, mashed potato and bread and butter pudding – teeny tiny and slowly fed it to him, as I stood by his bed. It took over an hour and a half – but it was wonderful! – as he chatted and chatted and chatted – and occasionally chewed and swallowed.
All the old stories came flowing out – effortlessly without any fuzzy moments or lost words – the afternoon old grandad George (my great great grandfather) fell into the vat of boiling tallow at the slaughterhouse in Nambour with only a wee grandad Keith to pull him out and then walk him 2 miles home across the sugar cane fields; the Boyd brothers of Cooloongatta who spent their days in the pub with the youngest brother perched at the lookout on Greenmount watching for shoals of fish whereupon they would race to their wooden row boats, row out to sea, cast their nets and then bring their catch back to the beach where wee Grandad would be waiting to buy a fish for dinner; the feuding Boickes and Stringfellows of Canungra – Mrs. Stringfellow set upon Grandad with a stirrup iron but the Boickes set her straight! – and all the smaller tales of life and family in the post office up and down the coast of Queensland. How could you ask for a better Thursday morning than that?
A couple of times, he paused, mid-story, and looked at me with his old and watery eyes, and chuckled ruefully that it was only yesterday that he was feeding me my dinner and now look at him. It was my utter pleasure.
This is the artwork installed just outside the doors to the Coronary Care Unit – I’m sure they’re the hovering relatives anxiously awaiting their turn to visit their loved ones inside!