I’m a little late with my ordinary moment this week.
Last Thursday afternoon S got the kind of out-of-the-blue phone call that is the stuff of nightmares. It was a surgeon phoning to get consent for them to perform life-saving surgery on S’s father as he was too unwell to provide consent himself (S is recorded as next of kin in his hospital notes). This was the first we knew that he was even in hospital, let alone critically ill.
The surgeon phoned later to say the surgery had gone as well as could be expected but he would be in a medically-induced coma until Friday afternoon.
My father-in-law lives 5 hours away so we decided not to go up until Saturday morning as we would be useless at the hospital anyway until he was awake.
We eventually arrived Saturday afternoon. He was awake but confused, with wires, drips and tubes everywhere. He was well enough to be transferred to HDU but was still in ITU as he was waiting for a bed. I only stayed for a five minutes with little T as he was clinging to me, clearly frightened by the environment and seeing Grandpa looking and acting a little strange. Plus it was supposed to be only two visitors per bed, so I left S and his brother with their Dad and took T out into the waiting room.
T visibly relaxed once we were out of the ITU. He was giggling non-stop, running backwards and forwards, playing with the magazines and trying to escape every time someone opened one of the locked doors leading back into ITU or out to the corridor. The waiting room was full of the friends and relatives of some of the sickest people in the hospital, but seeing such a happy, playful little boy seemed to bring a little light into some of their darkest moments and they were all laughing at his cheeky antics.
After a while though, I thought they would probably appreciate it if I took my little live-wire elsewhere to play. We went out into the corridor and T started exploring. He growled at the portable x-ray machine we passed and was a little scared of the loud buzzing noise coming from the vending machine. We played hide and seek round the doors and I chased him up and down the empty corridors. It just felt so normal in such an unusual situation.
So here are some pictures of my precious little light in the darkness, making an extraordinary moment feel so ordinary.