No sense, No Feeling

Last night, my father was rushed to hospital.

He is a sensitive sort of bloke, you see, and likes pottering about on the decking, hanging tubes of nuts around the place for the birds. He is keen to see them happy and full and the result is that we now have blue tits which resemble tennis balls and coal tits with serious aerodynamic issues. Rather unfortunately, due to the near constant rain we had all summer, the timber has become coated in a slick layer of moss and algae so when it gets wet, it’s like having our own skating rink.
You can see where I’m going with this.
As he plummeted downwards, he skilfully brought the back of his skull into forcible contact with a wooden chair hard enough to make him forget he had a cup of tea awaiting his attention. That’s pretty hard. He loves tea even more than I do.

He staggered into the kitchen where I was faffing about with raisins.
“I fell over.” He announced vaguely.
“Really? Are you okay?” I asked unsympathetically, my mind devoted wholly to my raisin based task.
“I hit my head on the chair. I feel really weird.”
I looked at him. “Maybe you should sit down.”
Mammy came in. She looked at him. “You’re bleeding.” She observed.
He touched the back of his head with a tentative finger. “Yes I am.” He agreed and sat down. “Cor, I don’t half feel weird.”

This is the point at which I decided I didn’t want to faff about with raisins any more and went to sit in the other room with my head between my knees.

We have a strict hierarchy when it comes to medical disaster in our house. If Strider is present, she takes charge. She was quite keen to be a paramedic in her youth and has all sorts of fancy St John’s Ambulance qualifications. Plus she gives blood so knows the best kinds of biscuits to eat in an emergency.
If Strider is not available, Mammy takes over. This is not always a good thing as her first reaction is either “What are you doing down there?” “If you get blood on the furnishings, I’ll kill you,” or “Stop moaning. You’ve got another one haven’t you?”
If Strider and Mammy are not available, He Who Knows Everything and I will mutely beg the other to take over the situation. He usually wins this because he has no morals and doesn’t care if people think he is a bad husband/father. My contribution will be smiling in a comforting manner with my eyes shut or, if I can get away with it, calling encouragement from the next room. If things get really bad, I will re-lace my shoes. Comfortingly, mind.

Mammy got him a tea towel to mop up the blood. “Sit there. Don’t move. Don’t get any on the chair. I’m going to ring the doctor.”
She rang the doctor who recommended He Who Knows Everything be taken to hospital immediately. She called me back into the kitchen.
“I’m taking your dad to Wexford. Don’t forget to take the pork out of the oven at ten past, alright?”
Aware of how serious a head injury can be, I attempted to be calm and supportive daughter to a Mammy in crisis. I failed.

I began pulling a chair out so I could sit down. At this, I also failed.

Still being pretty clear on which direction the floor lay in, I decided that the best course of action would be to have a bit of a lie down on it. Gravity, which was clearly feeling sorry for me, lent a hand.

There was a muttered oath and a hand slapping my face.

I opened my eyes to find Mammy shaking her head at me, clearly disappointed that her youngest was such a big girl’s blouse.
“You,” *gesticulating finger* “stay there. Make sure he,” *gesticulating finger* “doesn’t move. I’m going to put something warmer on. That hospital is freezing.”

While Mammy got changed, I lay helpfully on the floor offering comforting words to my father. At this, I failed.

“Will you stop rushing about quite so much?” my Dad said weakly upon her return, “I’ll be fine in ten minutes.”
“I don’t think you will Jon,” She replied serenely, “I can see your skull. Now go and get in the car. And don’t get blood on it.”

Anyway. Mammy got him to the hospital. He isn’t dead. He’s got six stitches in his scalp instead. I’ve got a bottle of Cognac (for the Christmas cake) that I managed not to pour straight down my throat. Instead I sat on the sofa eating honey, from the jar, with a spoon. But strictly in a medicinal way you understand.

Happy endings all around, then.

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