Finding a way back...
Posted: 10 October 2009
Word Count: 2060
Summary: This is a true story. I was convinced by a very good friend to put this up, so here it is.
Two hospital appointments, one Monday afternoon.
According to Irene, my dietician, Iíve lost weight again. Not much, but enough for her to say something. And, if sheís trying to hide the fact that sheís pregnant again, then sheís too late and lost the fight already.
Iím with her for about 20 minutes, at the end of it, she tells me to come back and see her in about a years time. I start to cheer up and that is just the beginningÖ
Well, I just about did it. Having a good shake and putting it away and doing my best not to spill it. I put the white cap back on the urine container and wash my hands. Chore number 2 out of the way.
Number 1 was to get weighed. Iím 72.4 Kgís. Thatís according to the digital screen.
So I go and sit down again.
I look at the other people waiting and there are quite a few.
The Blackwater Suite is quite full, the reception desk has a line of light brown files on top of it and one of these is mine.
James Hewitt, MRN 868224.
My address is on here as well.
Theyíve redecorated in here and a little further along the corridor, thereís more decorating going on.
I am, I note, a little early for my appointment. On the letter, it reads: 15:20. I look at my watch and it tells me itís just after three. I decide to have another mint and as I do that, from somewhere, I hear a voice, ďJames Hewitt?Ē the voice is quite soft, very feminine and I stand up. There in front of me is a tall, dark haired woman in a black and white patterned dress, black tights and shoes, she turns and I get to look at her as she walks in front of me, what I find is that I canít take my eyes off her. Iím staring and Iím getting a little worried.
We go into the consulting room, Iím not sure if she tells me her name, if she does tell me, I donít hear her.
What I hear is: íWould you take a seat?í
I sit down, placing my helmet on the seat to my right. I get comfy, resting my left ankle on my right knee and it feels like Iím in here for a casual chat. The Doctor takes her seat and Iím looking at her again. What I can say here is that she is so pretty. Her dark hair is collar length, her fringe is arranged along the line of her eyebrows and I just have to look at her. Her skin looks slightly tanned, a real gentle colouring and she has a few moles on her face that I simply fall in love with. She starts talking again, now I start to listen, her voice is soft, and she smiles and that sets my heart jumping, she has a gorgeous smile, and a wonderful overbite, then she turns to the computer, and I look at her as if she were undressed and I close my eyes and pretend that didnít happen.
Oh, but I wish.
Why do I feel like this?
She turns from the screen, looks at me, smiles, and turns back again.
Does she know whatĎs happening?
Can she see whatís going on?
My details come up on screen. She runs through the last bloods that were taken, my Potassium levels are steady, Creatinine, which was always too high, is still high, but has remained around the 210 mark, it should be in double figures. From this, she works out that my kidneys are working at about 30% and I believe her. Why wouldnít I?
She would like to do my blood pressure and if she does this right now, I could be in trouble. I say something to slow her down, but sheís standing close to me again, pulling the monitor towards me and this close to her and I want to touch her, I fight that away, rolling up my sleeve, telling myself not to look at her, please Jim, just donítÖ. I donít listen to myself, but then that soft puffing sound as the cuff around my arm tightens, then slowly releases and I realise Iíve been holding my breath, because sheís so close to me, I want to reach out and touch her, that voice of mine seems so loud and I canít, although itís clear that Iím desperate to do just that.
She calls out the reading: 112 over 72. Pretty damned good, Iíd say.
Pushing the monitor away, she goes back to the desk and I think she knows just how close I came to touching her arm, her smile again and Iím pulled in by her eyes, a fabulous bright green and so soft looking, this time I donít look away, but my fingers dance nervously on the arm of the chair.
She then says that sheíd like me to do a blood test, she scrawls on 2 forms and Iím not liking the fact that this is drawing to a close. Make an appointment for 6 months time, she then says.
My heart falls as does my head.
Thatís it then.
I stand up and take the forms from her, picking up my helmet from the chair, I get to walk out that door and almost no chance of ever seeing her again.
I feel awful, like Iím leaving her and thatís just bloody stupid.
The opposite then happens, I feel so happy, I donít know if this is elation, but boy, I feel like Iím so happy, giving blood and being quite chatty, then back to the reception desk and my appointment.
The walk back over the road to where Baby is parked, I smoke, then thinking about what sheíd said about me smoking, a small dig, I suppose but when she did that, she smiled at me again. I wondered if she was normally like this, because in all honesty, Iím not. Today, Now, I am. Iím still happy and I do my silly voice routine while waiting to cross the road, the people heard me and I donít care, silly voice takes over and I just donít care.
Helmet on and key in, me and Baby again. Letís go homeÖ
I fly, or perhaps, we fly, Baby and me. Iím thinking about her and Baby underneath me, her slight rolling motion as we make the turn off all too quickly, a dab of the brakes and Baby settles and Iím on auto pilot, thinking about her. Cruising along the R610, okay, not cruising really, sort of flying again and Iím still thinking and then, back at the flat and the dumbest thing of today suddenly hits me.
What is her name?
I put the kettle on and that doesnít really help.
What is her name?
You know, I have no idea at all.
I have to know her name. It suddenly becomes so important, she has to have a name and I need to know it. Now, Iím beginning to sound so not like the Jim Hewitt that I know so well, Iím someone else and Iím about to lose my last set of wheels and go crazyÖ
But, I have an idea.
Stupid, dumb, whatever. I have to know. I get up on Tuesday morning and the first thing I need apart from my tablet and tea is to know her name. The weather is bloody shocking, but I have wet weather gear, me and Baby can do this. itís not like weíve never done this before, but I need to calm down, Iím getting excited and a little stupid.
All because I need to know.
I set off about 20 passed 1. Itís pissing down but me and Baby get going. I decide to go through town, why I donít really know, safer? Perhaps. But with the amount of water on the roads, it just wonít make any difference.
I park outside CUH, (Cork University Hospital), in the bike bay. This I hope, wonít take long.
Iím drowned, dripping water all over the place and I go back to the Blackwater Suite and start from there. I get redirected to the 2nd floor. I have no idea where that is or how to get there. The Doctor I saw yesterday is not here, thatís okay, I just need her name.
I go back out to where the friends of the hospital meet and ask them, I sound so sweet and polite as I ask and a lady shows me where I can get the lift. Apparently, I need the 2nd floor, 2A and 2B. Along that corridor.
2A and 2B are surgical wards, which I find fairly easily, I turn back and on door number 30, thereís a sign stuck to it.
The Doctorís secretaries.
Mine is Doctor Eustace and his secretary is Robert OíSullivan. I knock and go in. No one at home.
Itís after 2 so I wait, perhaps theyíre at lunch.
A little while later, a woman enters the room. I give her a minute or 2, then I go in. I tell her what Iím looking for, but she says that Robert is at lunch and will be about 10 minutes.
I start laughing, Iím feeling happy again.
I wait, and water is puddling around me. Then a short, fairly young man passes me and goes in. I hear voices and he comes out, a beaming smile on his face.
I ask him for the lady Doctorís name that I saw yesterday, In Dr. Eustaceís clinic. He asks for my name. Then asks me to wait.
At this point, I get a little scared, so I tell him why I would like her name. itís for my journal, I said, I do a daily journal and about the things I do. He smiles at me and probably thinks Iím a little simple, but hey, if it means I get what I want, I can play any fool you like.
I wait by the window, he comes out and says: ĎDoctor Sarah Browne.í With an íeí. Heís very clear about that íeí. I thank him, almost hug him and write her name on the piece of paper I carry.
Then I run off as happy and as crazy as I can be, getting lost in the corridors but all the while Iím saying out loud, ďSarah Browne!Ē and even when I put my helmet on, Iím still saying her name. I go out and itís pissing down, Iím saying her name.
Me and Baby are flying along, in the pouring rain, and by now, Iím singing and itís still her name.
I get soaked through, I get destroyed, I have to go shopping and I stand by the counter with water all around me and as I pay, I almost say her name again.
I get back to the flat and Iím looking like the proverbial drowned rat, but I donít care.
I set out to find out her name. I did that. A twenty six mile round trip in the pouring rain to find a womanís name.
Would I do that again?
You bet your arse I would.
Make no mistake, I do some stupid things but this was not one of them. Call me what you like, call it what you like, but I have not felt like this for so long and as one who genuinely believes in love at first sight, it caught me and that feeling has not gone away, in the years that I have been on my own, perhaps if nothing else, it has shown me that I still have love.
I havenít lost it after all.
Maybe, Iím chasing rainbows, but so what? Let me have my dream and donít rip it to pieces, this is all mine and what an encounter could possibly be. To have someone have me stop like that is just amazing, fantastic and maybe I am so wrong about this, but for a few moments, my heart and my head both agreed and that doesnít happen that often.
Perhaps, in all reality, Iím not as cold as I think.
So, I thank you.
Dr. Sarah Browne. Just look what you did.
(Jim Hewitt, October 2009...)
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