2007 — 29 October: lovely bright Monday

Time now (11:11) and breakfast is a distant memory. In fact, a hot lunch is already cooling its heels (assuming faggots in onion gravy have heels) in my hot bag downstairs as I type. Having woken shortly after six, and given up trying to doze off shortly before seven, I gave up, got up, and attended to the car's registration and insurance. I need to become its registered keeper (done) and insured as its principal driver (done). Neither of these rôles can be managed by Christa any more, of course. Both organisations were extremely understanding and helpful after brief but determined battles with their respective voicemail systems.1 Let's hope the postal system behaves itself.

Had my first call to Her shortly after 08:00 after I'd first checked out today's plans and arrangements with two of the staff nurses. Any decision to transfer Her to the hospice awaits both a meeting this morning (which may have occurred by now) and availability of a bed in the place. She is currently classed as needing a high degree of care, which could mean I don't get Her home for a while. She is adamant that I do not miss the driving lesson scheduled for this afternoon. The hospital are aware of this and completely sympathetic to it.

My second call was a bit unsettling. The consultant asked Her how She felt2 and what She wanted. Given the problems with the pressure relief valve and the way it works, what She really wants is for them now to try the riskier, more major, surgery (which is entirely characteristic of Her, I might add). She is very reluctant to concede any kind of victory to this ghastly disease. You cannot (and I will not) blame my gal for trying.

The GP,3 back from France now that half-term is over, popped in with a small pot of honey for Her, and to see how I was. I had an intense chat with her, followed by another call to my Best Gal. (Of course, I forgot to ask for another sick note, but that can wait...) I've told Christa I'd honestly hate to see and remember Her last days being spent in a haze of drugs and pain from (uncertain) recovery from major surgery when we might instead be able to spend some final quiet time of reasonable quality together in the peace of the hospice environment. She agrees. And in his latest note Big Bro has obviously just separately reached essentially the same conclusion, which pleases me.

I've written a note to the consultant and spoken to one of the Registrars, too, to convey our thanks for the effort and care with which they've been treating Her in the face of this appalling disease.

And for the afternoon?

First the official driving instruction. (90 minutes that felt much like a Driving Test as he assessed my progress.) He says my co-pilot is doing a grand job, and is now talking of a licence before Christmas. Next target: manoeuvring.

Do you know what? Driving to and from the General in the dark an hour or so later (thanks a bunch, Greenwich Mean Time) is actually less stressful than in daylight providing you already know where you're going (it seems to me). Of course, that may be the same reasoning that had me abseiling off4 a disused viaduct in Wormleighton one night quite fearlessly. But sadly, my Best Gal was still in some distress and discomfort when I saw Her this evening, which is horrible to see, let alone report. It's been the same all day, so it's no wonder She was grumpy; I would have been too. She'll be requesting sedatives tonight. She also says for me to say "Hi" to everyone. This is a loathsome, wretched disease, and we have both had enough of it.



1  Give me a human being every time.
2  From what She said to me, I strongly suspect a phrase along the lines of "How the f*** do you think I feel?" may have crossed Her mind, though I'm sure it never came out aloud. I know how to interpret one of Her looks, of course.
3  She sounded most impressed to hear of my driving myself to the General, as she describes the traffic as a nightmare. What can I say?
4  On a particularly fatuous IBM team-building exercise back in 1988 when that Corporation still thought those things worked. Or, at least, still wasted money on them.