I’ve written about being in hospital with a gammy knee before. I probably mentioned it, but I ended up in a room on my own. As I was mainly confined to bed, I didn’t really get an opportunity to meet and talk to many other patients. I did however, have a pair of regular visitors.
In my ward there were girls who were around my age who had a habit of wandering around chatting to people. Their names were Claire and Ruth, and I said that they chatted to people I mean Claire chatted to everyone. Red headed Ruth mainly stood there staring at you, while her blonde friend got all of your attention as she was also quite attractive. I would also like to point out that I was sixteen at the time. Even I noticed these things.
They would pop around to my room at least a couple of times a day telling me everything about all the other patients in the ward. I can’t remember exactly why Claire was in hospital, but I’m certain that Ruth was in for gall stones, as she had to drag a machine with drip bag around with her. It didn’t really help Ruth’s attempt at invisibility that it also beeped every so often for her to give herself another dosage of whatever she was on.
While not listening to one of Claire’s monologues, we would generally play a little bit on my SNES. My mother did bring it across from home, or else I would have lost what little sanity I had left. Even though they weren’t any good at the games I did think that it was better than getting them to help me with my pure maths.
This continued on for the first four or five days of my hospital visit, until Claire was released. Ruth still came around to visit, but it was quieter. To a certain extent, Claire was the glue which bound the three of us together, and without her neither Ruth nor I quite knew what to do. Somehow, we ended up both doing school work in my room for a couple of hours at a time. What can I say, I’ve always been a ladies man.
On the second day of quiet time, I was given a wheelchair with orders to get myself moving a bit. I found sitting in it was more comfortable than lying in bed, and there was also the possibility of someone popping in and pushing me around a bit.
Anyway, with my new wheels I hatched a plan for the next time Ruth came in to visit. A little while later Ruth came in to say hello, and do some going over of a history text book, when I suggested that we went out for a little walk. After a token amount of grumbling she was convinced to show me the ward.
The plan was for me to push myself, but very quickly on I started getting tired and Ruth thought that she could wheel me around. The one issue was that she still had her machine connected and she couldn’t man handle both me and it around. I quickly came up with the solution of me holding onto the machine while she pushed my wheelchair.
It took us a couple of goes to get started, thanks to tubes and whatnot getting in the way. But once we got the hang of things it seemed to work well, we just had to make sure that I moved the machine to how Ruth moved so that we didn’t stretch anything.
So once a day, the pair of us would go for a little walk. For anyone else looking at us we must have looked like a right pair. We could only go about ten paces when Ruth’s machine would beep and she would have to stop for her to give herself another dose of whatever it was that she was on. We would go as far as the TV room on one end, and to the main lift shaft on the other.
When it was time for me to go home, I did manage to get myself to Ruth’s bed to say goodbye. Unfortunately, she was off somewhere else at the time. A little part of me was sad that I didn’t get the opportunity of wishing her well, but the rest of me was very happy to be getting out of the hospital.
The funny thing is that it wouldn’t be the last time I saw Ruth, but that is a story for another time.