Remembering how my Dad made me laugh has prompted me to repost this anecdote from November 2007. I miss him.
Dad had to go into hospital yesterday, just for the day, to have a transfusion because he is anaemic. Now Dad has smoked since he was twelve years old, no amount of cajoling, pressure or anything else, from anyone including doctors, will convince him to give up and he wasn’t looking forward to being hooked up to a drip for umpteen hours without being able to have a fag!
He rang me at 5 p.m. to tell me he had just come home, so I went to see him.
“How did you get on today at the hospital Dad?” I asked
“I was asleep most of the day because I was bored and I couldn’t have a cigarette” he told me.
“So you didn’t have a cigarette all day?” I said “That’s good, perhaps you can give up?”
I knew what the answer would be, and I can’t repeat it here, and what he told me next had me laughing so much I could hardly breathe, you couldn’t make it up honestly! Here’s what happened……
Dad had been hooked up to a drip and a BP monitor all day and a couple of times during the day he had asked the nurses if they could unhook him from the drip so he could go outside for a cigarette, but of course they refused which is why he was asleep most of the day because it takes the craving away. At 4.30 p.m ish he awoke and noticed that the drip had finished so he called the nurse over to ask if she would unhook him as he needed the toilet. She said she couldn’t do that as she needed to put some saline through but she could unhook him from the BP monitor and would walk him to the toilet carrying the drip whilst he leaned on his stick (he needs a hip replacement remember). Whilst Dad did need the toilet, what he really wanted was to then be able to go outside for a smoke – this had scuppered his plan!
Once in the toilet the nurse hooked the drip bag on the coat hook on the door and told Dad to pull the help-cord when he was finished so she could help him back to his bed. As soon as she’d gone Dad lit up a cigarette having realised that this was probably the only toilet in the entire hospital not displaying No Smoking signs. After the initial rush of the nicotine he undid his trousers and tried to sit on the toilet but, because of his hip and the toilet being so low, he couldn’t get down that far, eventually in desperation he just fell on the toilet and finished his cigarette.
When he’d finished his cigarette and his ablutions he found that he had no support apart from his stick to heave himself off the seat, and he remonstrated with himself for smoking and getting himself into such a predicament. Eventually he noticed a sort of bar swinging from the ceiling but being unsure as to its purpose he gave it a couple of tugs before he felt confident enough that it would support his weight. Once assured, he tried to pull himself up using the bar and his walking stick for support. Alas it wasn’t working. He then decided if he held onto the bar and jerked himself up he could get himself into a standing position – it worked, but unfortunately as he stood his pants dropped to his ankles! By this time he said he was breathless and couldn’t do anything apart from lean on his stick and hang on to the pole. After what seemed like an eternity he managed to pull his pants up with his stick and get them fastened and holding the drip bag aloft he ventured out of the cubicle leaning heavily on his stick.
Scanning the room for the help-cord he realised that it was over the other side of the room and his hip was hurting so much he couldn’t face the trek so he began trying to hook the cord with his stick. He got the cord swinging and as it ‘flirted’ wildly by he made a grab for it managing to catch and pull it at the same time. All this for a cigarette he remonstrated with himself, but it had taken him so long that all tell-tale signs smoke and smell-wise had dissipated, thankfully.
Within a few minutes the nurse had come to help him back to his bed.
“Are you OK Mr D, you’ve been a long time” she asked.
“Don’t ask, luv, just don’t ask” he replied.