Doc didn't c me bt saw nurse insted, they already given me usual injection 4 bloodclots - 1 that have been havin al wk, but he asked em giv me notha 1 much stronga! So just had that, gdnite mum + sleep wel, love Middle Son X.
I deciphered my 23 year old son's text speak with a frown instead of my usual wry smile. It was 10.30, on a Saturday evening, in the third week of March and I was concerned about my middle son, who had been admitted to the trauma unit of the local hospital almost a week ago. I wondered what the stronger injection could be. Perhaps one of the hospital doctors had finally taken the initiative to administer some treatment for the suspected blood clot in my son's right calf, instead of waiting for the results of an ultrasound scan, which wouldn't take place until Monday. There was no doubt that my middle son's pain had worsened since the scan had been requested on Friday morning, so it would surely have been a logical step to take.
Half an hour later, I lay in bed on my back, my novel discarded on the bedside table, staring at a 3 stranded cobweb, which had formed between the ceiling and the light shade. I mulled over the events of the past few weeks, not yet ready to turn out the light and settle down to sleep. 4 weeks previously, my 84 year old father had been admitted into hospital, at short notice, to have his right hip replaced. I had travelled up to my parents' house, in the Midlands, the day before he was admitted, so that I could look after my mother whilst my father was away. She was unable to manage alone due to her failing sight and occasional confusion.
After the operation, my father had suffered from low blood pressure and his wound had been slow to heal, so he had spent 3 weeks in hospital altogether. The Saturday before my father's discharge, my husband had travelled up to my parents' house to stay the night and at 6.40 am on the Sunday morning, our peaceful sleep had suddenly been disturbed by a telephone call from our middle son, to let us know that he was in A & E, awaiting an x-ray, because of a suspected broken leg. By mid afternoon, one of the hospital doctors had decided that Middle Son needed to have an operation the following day and would have to stay in hospital for at least a week. Shortly after hearing the news, my husband had left for the hospital, whilst I had remained with my mother, so my only contact with my son, over the next few days, had been by text.
My father had been discharged from hospital the next day and, after a kind offer from Student Son to take over my duties at my parents' house for a few days, I had finally been able to visit my middle son on the Wednesday after his admission into hospital. In fact, after visiting my son and seeing his x-ray, I had felt much worse. I had realised that my family hadn't fully disclosed the extent of the damage to my middle son's leg and it had occurred to me, for the first time, that he might not regain full use of it. I had become even more upset the following evening, when my son had found himself inexplicably suffering increasing and unbearable pain in his broken leg.
I returned to the present once more, my gaze falling upon my bag, packed and ready by the side of the bed, in case I needed to stay with my parents for a further week, after our Mother's Day visit, the next day. I hoped that it wouldn't be necessary, but I needed to assess the situation, once we arrived and to check with my student son, to see how well my parents had coped whilst he had been staying with them. I sighed, reaching out for my book, once more, succeeding, this time, in concentrating upon the plot long enough for my eyelids to grow heavy with sleep.
Mother's Day was a rather odd occasion, in the circumstances. I saw none of my sons in the morning. My eldest son and his girlfriend had visited the previous day, as my husband and I were anticipating a hectic Mother's Day visiting our relatives in different parts of the country. We intended to have lunch with my mother-in-law and my husband's family, in Staffordshire and then an evening meal with my parents in the West Midlands. My husband rang the hospital before we set off to enquire about Middle Son's condition and the Sister confirmed that the stronger injections being administered to him were clot busting injections, so we felt relieved that some action was finally being taken to try and deal with the problem in his calf.
We spent a couple of hours with my husband's family and then continued to my parents' house, as planned. My father was feeling very relieved to be without pain for the first time in 2 1/2 years. His wound had almost healed and he had managed a visit to the local supermarket without any major problem. Student Son reported that he felt that my mother and father were managing well and would be able to cope by themselves. When I told my parents that I was willing to stay another week, if they needed me, I could see that my mother would have preferred me to stay, although she stipulated that I should return home, so that I could be near to my middle son.
After a hurried meal, with my parents, I helped to load Student Son's belongings into the car with a heavy heart. I had decided to return home, but it had been a very difficult decision to make. I knew that my mother had become used to having me around and that she would miss my company and support. When everything was packed away in the car, we said our goodbyes, the slamming of the car doors confirming the finality of my decision. When we reached the main road, I leaned out of the window and caught one last glimpse of my parents framed in their front doorway, illuminated by the light behind them. I raised my hand as we headed off into the night, weeping silently under cover of the darkness, because of the decision I'd had to make.