The Herald - The Herald Magazine
Thank goodness my guardian angel has finally turned up
IAM beginning to feel like the character in Stephen King’s Misery. Trapped in a bed, helpless, no strength to escape and writing this on paper in my hand that slides away after every word – but write it I will, even if I can’t get it to you at the moment.
There is a clock on my wall but it’s become meaningless in my present state of “passing out” for hours.
And when I come to at 8pm I was sure it was 8am and I still had the last column writing day. Never mind, I still had time to write and dictate. Except, I didn’t.
The ever-helpful aide decided to take out my mobile and quickly charge my e-cigs. I half saw him push the adaptor for the charger hard and I shouted: “Gently – it has to go in the right way.”
Needless to say, he has probably misaligned all the prongs as it no longer takes any adaptor, nor works.
My phone battery is now on at 15 per cent as it drains away. I have only one e-cig left and no more that can be charged. No one in this bloody place has an iPhone or charger.
If another aide says smugly, “iPhones are merde”, I swear I’ll throttle them with the now unusable iPhone lead.
As it’s 9:30pm I’ve given up and will have to wait til daylight to get the hospital office to get a phone up here and hopefully a technician with an adaptor. But it has to be a Mac charger for my e-cigs to work. Buggered. Buggered. Buggered.
Yes, fags will kill me but I’ll fight until my very last e-cig.
I’ll say this for the French, they have the courage of their convictions: they never, ever admit they’re wrong.
I’ve asked other people. All the others say the same thing. Never, ever heard the words: “I’m sorry”.
They never, ever apologise for anything.
Still waiting for B, the aide, to say it. No. Just looks at it and shrugs.
The physio who broke my phone – TWICE – is the same (I’m now rationing my puffs, so if I get angrier, I’m sorry). See? We do it all the time. They never do.
God, now I’m trying to smoke my pen.
My son is so angry, again, that he’s planning an invasion force for me, whether I like it or not. Never mind, when I’ve finished my last puff I’ll launch an escape bid. But only when I’ve had my last puff.
That’s how desperate we nicotine addicts are: so go kindly on your family. They were caught young before the damage was known, or rather released.
Oh, my guardian angel has finally turned up again. I think he has a dodgy connection too.
I can tell you he’s very tall, very handsome and wears the uniform of the qualified nurse. And, glory be to God, he had a spare every-machine adaptor, including iPhone.
The telephone lived again. Which was when we discovered the charge for the fags was also buggered thanks to B’s stupidity or strength.
I think I’m safe. I have a spare fag charger if Miriam can find it. If.
It’s now 11pm and I’m still writing but tomorrow have given early orders to wake me regardless. I’ll phone Miriam and send her on the hunt – I’ve vague memories of seeing her through one eye briefly today saying she’d come back.
Oh, merde. This is a catalogue of horrors.
My greatest fan, a la Misery, might as well have chopped my legs off.
Without thinking (a common occurrence these days), when the battery was full I pulled out the battery lead. Now it doesn’t work when reconnected and the battery drains away.
My guardian angel has just told me he thinks it’s my battery that’s the problem.
He will try a new lead but it could well mean a new battery. Argh! You know, I don’t care anymore. If it works, it works.
I will try to get a hospital phone activated – a laugh in itself – nothing reactivates itself in less than 24 hours in France.
If I sound as if I have a down on France after the initial 12 years of happy-clappy columns, then I do.
I know it’s not France as such – well, some of it is, as in any other country – but most of it is the seemingly endless parade of injuries and now terminal illness. Plus at the end of it, all this terrible loneliness, immobility and tiredness and what I call the “coma days”.
And most of these lost days can be put down to the poisons which, even when stopped, continue to coast through my body and the medications.
So they are stopping the immunotherapy for two months to give the battered wreck we’ve known as me time to get stronger.
Then more scans and we’ll see if I’ve stayed stable or not.
If not, then I’m rather afraid it’s game over. Believe me, much easier to write than to say.
Pray God, for miracles again, and that I continue to write until the last breath. That, and the poison, and yourself, keep me going. Oh, and the morphine drops.
Anyway, that’s where we are again. Buggered.
God could at least leave me my means of communication, non?
Oh, just one bonus thought: thank God, with my luck with machines, I’m not on life support.
See, it can always be worse. Said through gritted teeth when trying to smile.