I walked every street in Woy Woy

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Walk #4

(Walked 1st of April 2005, April Fool's Day)

Don't remember much of this walk. It was a pretty miserable time. I took a few photos to send to Gran and that's about it.

Purple flowering tree
(Big version)

My Gran had a pretty big stroke in mid March and I'd spent most of my time since shuffling from the medications cupboard to my inbox, emailing my relatives and on the phone with them. Gran was like most stroke victims, barely conscious, not taking much in. I was stuck over here in Woy Woy (she was in Perth) with the doctor still saying I was too sick myself to fly over and if I risked it my germs would kill Gran anyways. She died in her sleep on the 29th of March, when I was at the doctor again being told I was still too sick to fly.

Death and guilt

Got Gran a big sheaf of native flowers. Banksia flowers and kangaroo paws and that sort of thing. She had a bunch of dried natives in her living room for as log as I can remember. Though presumably not the same bunch all those years.

Sobbed like a baby in the florist. I expect they're used to that sort of thing. Florist Lady was most helpful and very good at interpreting words snuffled into a damp tissue.

The funeral's Friday. I'm not going. Yes, I want to. I can't go for the same reason the doctor's been on about every visit in the last three weeks. I'm not on death's door but I'm too bloody sick to spend 5 hours in a metal tube in the sky breathing in the germs of 400 other peeps.

I don't feel as sick as all that. I feel like I've got my usual ailments and the flu (which I have) but it's a low grade flu that feels like it'll be gone tomorrow. But on the other hand, I've had it for more than [five] weeks now and every time I've been back to the doctor he's started in with the "in your current condition...blah blah technical mumbo jumbo...depressed immune system...blah blah blah...period of several weeks...possible pneumonia or bird flu if you go ... blah blah blah".

That's where the guilt comes in. I rang Gran's place the day she had the stroke (the 14th, her 91st birthday) and Jean answered and told me she was in hospital and I've been sitting here ever since trying to get well enough to 1) have enough voice to talk to her on the phone, 2) get over there to see her without killing her by breathing on her and then, 3) try to get over there before she died once it was obvious she didn't have long anyway.

She died Tuesday morning while I was at the doctor. She'd been recovering then she started to go downhill rapidly on Sunday night. The doctors called in all my aunts and uncles and asked them if they wanted a no resusitation order on her. They said she'd probably just fall asleep and not wake up and have a painless death. As she'd just turned 91, loathed causing a fuss and had cancer & a dicky heart as well, a no resusitation order was the way to go. I've got no problem with the decision.

So with the downturn in her condition the balance tipped and it became a good idea to visit even with the germs. But then she died before I could even book a ticket. And now I'm swinging back and forward like a pendulum between relief I didn't kill her with my evil germs and guilt that I didn't get there in time.

And, just to add the confusion and general crappiness, there's also some anger.

My aunt Jean is a sensible no-nonsense person. With minutes of getting back from the hospital the day Gran had the stroke, she emailed the news to all the far-flung members of the family, including me. She'd already rung everyone in Perth from the hospital, including my parents. Everyone knew what had happened and that it was pretty severe.

But then there's absolutely no word from my parents about it. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Not a squeak. Not one iota. Then I find out yesterday my mother has had a go at another aunt for keeping me up-to-date with news about Gran. Yep, you read that right. She's angry with my aunt that she (my aunt) gave me news about my dying grandmother. Jesus Fucking Christ. Where do you start with how wrong that is? I'm not even going to try.

Next walk


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty bush


3:39 PM  
Blogger Spike said...


4:12 PM  

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