Onwards and onwards with Hastings Battleaxe

I realise that in the last post I left things hanging a bit with poor Philosopher still in the Conquest Hospital.  Well, he has been home for ten days now, and Nurse Battleaxe is on duty. It is going to be a very long, slow recovery for him.  The hot sunny weather almost makes things worse – oh to be out and about, enjoying ourselves…  Hell, Battleaxe, you have only been doing this for ten days…

Philsopher’s first outing to the Country Park. He looks quite cheerful but we could only walk a few yards…

Philosopher’s discharge from hospital was a complete surprise.  One minute I thought he was in there for several more days and the next minute they were sending him home at 6pm that very evening. Of course, I had procrastinated about getting the downstairs bedroom ready for him because had vaguely assumed there was plenty of time. Rushed about in a complete frenzy making up the bed and cleaning the bathroom. Normally, Philosopher always puts the duvets in their covers… who on earth dreamt that getting a huge duvet into a huge cover could be that difficult?  Why don’t they make it easier? Our kind neighbour Kelvin came to the hospital with me to collect him – was afraid I would not be able to get him in/out of the car or up the steps to the house.

Having him home is of course a great relief, but at the same time it feels like a massive responsibility. He still has a section of open wound, so the district nurses come every other day to dress it, and I can do it if it needs it in the meantime.  He is still weak, gets very tired, and has difficulty eating enough to keep him going. I would feel better if our local GP surgery was not such a shambles… they sent everyone a text the other day saying there were so many people off with Covid that they could only deal with the most urgent cases. So, it feels like there is nobody around to give us advice. The district nurses that come are pleasant, and seem to know their business, but their expertise seems confined to wounds. They zip one dressing off and stick another on and are off again…. and we have a different one every time.  Rationally, I know there are plenty of expert people I can talk to… and I do, and  they all say the same thing… be patient, it is going to take time, it has been a massive shock for both of you, get him to eat little and often, get him to eat lots of protein yada yada… well, just let them try. I even leave him midnight feasts by his bed at night in case he wakes up in the night hungry. Most nights he eats something. He is still partial to a Mars Bar…

Philosopher tries to keep positive, but I know he feels low a good deal of the time – of course he does…  Nurse Battleaxe is very efficient at the medical things – dressings, injections, unmentionables… but am very short on the bedside manner, and there are constant chores to do – and I always hate house stuff at the best of times. It makes me realise how hard it must be for the countless women – and I know plenty, who look after their sick husbands year after year, often with no hope of them recovering…

Now come on.  Have been out on my own two days so far this week. Once to have lunch with writer friend Jill down in the Old Town, which was lovely, and once to do some recruitment interviews for the Friends of the Conquest Hospital. Blimey, it comes to something when doing recruitment interviews counts as a great day out – but it did!  I also logged onto the WI Zoom Crime Book Club – that was interesting, because we had a guest writer, Rebecca Bradley, the author of a number of crime novels. She started with self-publishing, but is currently published by an outfit called Joffe Books.  I was telling her about my attempt to write a who-dunnit based round a WI, and she said I really must get on with it, as that genre is so very popular right now (because of those books by Richard Osman I suppose. I did read one – it was total rubbish). Anyway, Joffe Books would be interested in my stuff if it was any good. So I could be working on that.  Jill belongs to a critiquing group for people who are writing novels – she says I should join. Trouble is, I fear they will mostly be into Literary Fiction, and murder in the craft cupboard at the village hall in Compton Pauncefoot might not count.

Have taken Philosopher out a couple of times, once to the Country Park, and down to the sea-front, but he finds it very tiring.  We’ve also had a few visits from friends and neighbours…. have done some gardening… Digby is feeling better…

But, every time you switch on the telly, there is the war in Ukraine and the rocketing cost of living. Battleaxe and Philosopher are fortunate to be financially secure, but even so, belts will need to be tightened.  Urgh, it is all so grim.

My old friend Sue T from Birmingham has just been on the phone. Good to talk.

Rock-A-Nore this morning. Bit of a boring photo, but such wonderful blue sky


  1. Susannah Farley-Green
    March 24, 2022 / 6:12 pm

    Hi Steph
    I am pleased to hear that Nick is out of hospital; I can empathise with you about the challenges and concerns of looking after a sick partner at home. The responsibility can feel enormous and, as you said, without much, if any, back up from GP services at the moment. I am not sure what is wrong with Nick or if he is due to have more treatment in the future but there are some good online and telephone support services for quite a few medical conditions which I have found helpful for myself in a support role.
    Your comment about the trials and tribulations of putting on a duvet cover in a hurry made me laugh. I always swear a lot if I have to do this on my own because it just isn’t that simple and I often get into a terrible tangle.
    Bruce and I have just returned from a couple of night at our favourite place, 4 Canon Lane in Chichester, where you and Nick also stayed fairly recently. We were lucky enough to get Room 2 again with its wonderful views of the Bishop’s Garden and the cathedral. I absolutely love it there and wish I could transplant the view to St Leonards. The peregrine falcon next on the cathedral tower is attracting much interest as the parents are building their nest again for new chicks. Apparently they have been nesting there for 20 years now.
    Good luck with the nursing duties and I hope life gets easier for you both soon.
    Best Wishes xx

    • March 27, 2022 / 3:07 pm

      Thanks so much Susannah. Hopefully, once Nick recovers from this op that will be it – no cancer or anything like that, just unexplained problem with his colon… I envy you going to Chichester. We hope to be back at 4 Canon Lane soon!

  2. Jill Fricker
    March 26, 2022 / 10:17 pm

    Of course we’d love another murder mystery in the critiquing group, Steph! Anything goes, I promise.

    It was great to see you; let’s get another lunch in soon. Hope Nick’s recovery continues – it’s a long journey for you both. Nick’s lucky to have you – but you need support too.

    Stay strong – lots of love XX

    • March 27, 2022 / 3:04 pm

      Thanks so much Jill! Look forward to seeing you shortly.

  3. Val
    March 28, 2022 / 8:07 pm

    Dear Steph, I am relieved for your sake that Philosopher is home, but I totally understand all the responsibility part of it. Be easy on yourself. I’m sure he’ll get his strength back now the spring is here.

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