has it been a whole YEAR?
since we had our throat slit and tobias-and-his-sisters were removed?
We recall the 4am wake-up call and standing outside in the dark shivering from fear and seeing the cheery presence of Cheltenham-Lady walking down the street as if she had just gone to the second-hand bookshop in Norfolk and found a delicious first edition and wanted to show us – she was brilliant – we tried to talk in the Taxi and stay bright and not fall apart and she kept us going – right to the bit at the hospital when they were going to check us in and we’d not known about American things like having-someone-as-an-emergency contact (we have one now) or someone who could make decisions should something awful happen (um, still working on that one) so that was all a bit scary.
The robe was nice – sort of lavender with Very Clever sensors and electrical circuits clipped to our vital organs and a heat pad to keep us warm while they Took Us Down (where exactly is that?).
William had sent us a 1970s Ladybird (yes, that English children’s classic line) book to explain what might Happen.
It wasn’t Exactly like that (the scrubs were blue as we recall, and the operating Theater – love that they call it that – was a Very High Tech “space” full of flashing lights and whirring noises and Many People) but it did help to be a bit prepared. Actually, to be Completely Honest for a second, nothing could have prepared us...and maybe that’s for the Best. Here is our hospital bed that we lay in for a day or so.
Usually we make-the-bed but we didn’t have the strength and besides – if you can picture this – it was right before we got Discharged (and had to have a Strong conversation with the Very Young resident – in mime and pencil-on-paper – because we could not speak due to the operation which got Awfully Close to our vocal chords and the Very Tight bandages around our neck) and we were standing holding the tubes still linking us to the drip (on a Not Attractive silver wheel-y pedestal) holding our (forbidden) smartphone device to take a picture.
We almost forgot we had this one – yes, these are the pumps on the legs that keep one’s blood flowing during HOURS of lying and the oxygen tube stuck up one’s nostrils (not nice) and the drip (saline by this point we believe as our brain had come back nicely – or not-so-nicely – more Dear gods What Just Happened??) in our arm.
Why thank you – yes – that was a nice light tan on the left knee (not just on the left knee, but obviously that’s all that’s showing here) – we’d just been in L.A – Quite Freaked out the week or so before. MC came the next day to visit with a lukewarm milky beverage and a copy of the FT Weekend (we weren’t working, promise, we just like the magazine and the lunch-with-column and the interview with writers about why-they-write).
Then Bf came to get us in his Car (we were very grateful and gosh Manhattan was a shock after the relative solitude of a hospital room) and stayed and made us laugh inside our OUCH bandages, and brought his dog who comforted us with her Huge Eyes. Sob.
Well – we stayed at home for almost a month.
Lovely people who lived not-too-far-away came to visit.
So Many Lovely people sent flowers.
...and we spent Many Hours lying on the sofa looking at them...
Listening to Lots of mix-tapes that delicious people sent to us – for every mood and hour and feeling (dear gods, there were Lots of Feelings during this medical leave).
And Many splendid people sent books and parcels and we started to unwind our poor stressed head for the first time in what felt like a decade.
We spent HOURS in bed – sleeplessness being a Distinct Feature of medical leave #sigh. Thank goodness for excellent cotton sheets, silk dressing gowns and Pots of Tea on a Tray.
We had never spent so much time in the bathroom (nausea – we won’t go into this in any detail whatsoever but it was horrid) and here we are – a year on – with a scar on the neck.
We were Most Grateful to T who peered at it and said (in her sparkly Fashion/British voice) "I rather like it."
The pearls help.
"There are a lot of glorious people, places & things that help me get through my day – they make my life great – and so I call them “team gloria” (although they don’t usually know that). So I thought I’d start documenting them, and looking out for new people, places & things on a daily basis, and sharing them with you (whomever you are – do say hello). Oh, and tell me who your team Gloria is. :) "
She's a writer, photographer, and jet-setting fashionista- who understands the importance of a shimmering chandelier and a good cup of tea. You can get to know her (and see more of her gorgeous photos) by visiting Teamgloria in Manhattan. Yes darlings, that Manhattan. -Ed.