medical leave day 7: afraid of the wound beneath.

so we see the surgeon again tomorrow.

and – if all goes well, he’ll remove the white gauze and steri-strips (as we believe they’re called) and the wound will be revealed.

we’re terrified.

our throat is still agony (and voice-less) and it feels like swallowing razor blades (especially when taking the mammoth 14 x calcium pills a day) and we’re dizzy and everything takes so long (yeah, we get it “slow down” “no rush” – You try being on medical leave – as the americans say “it sucks.”) and we are famous (or at least perhaps, on reflection, irritating, hmmm?) for multi-tasking and Right Now We Can’t.

thank god for Judi Dench.

many have said this, of course, particularly directors-of-movies and those-that-have-run-the-national-theatre (england/national).

her audiobook (although confusingly read by Samantha Bond who is also lovely but not yet a Dame – as far as we know – or a National Treasure) has kept us company through the slow hours of recovery from illness. she’s a joy. rather tart (brisk/no nonsense) at times. and very, very english.

we’ve been thinking (never a good idea at the best of times) about Being English (although as we’ve shared before, we have the bloods of three warring nations running through our veins so the British never saw US as particularly PLU – people like us – for those not up on their U and Non-U Nancy Mitford era slang).

but we did grow up there.

and we’ve been away for a decade (in the USA in case you’re new to teamgloria – both Coasts – five years each).

and we are the product of the English Boarding School System (Latin, Prep, giggling behind long freshly-washed hair, slightly sturdy knees in hockey socks, a School Spirit, nuisance-order-conduct-marks-as-punishment, Ancient History and a quite shocking view of the world via colonial lens from several Masters-in-Gowns – not the modern ones like the groovy art teacher with-a-beard – shocking.)

but we went-on-a-Scholarship (yeah, poor, but Very Bright) so don’t come from that world (but we can fake it deliciously when needed as you can imagine, darlings).

are we meant to stay here?

or go back?/

not today obviously. we can barely walk around the block without stopping twice on a wooden bench and leaning on our companion of the visiting schedule at the time.

you see – like Judi – we’d love to be a Dame.

eventually.

and age gracefully in our garden tending the roses with a large brimmed hat, a delightful smock (probably vintage Laura Ashley pattern), lots of jolly tea parties with rip-roaring naughty stories (yes, William, you’ll definitely be there for those), playing Mozart on our full-size grand late into the night (ladies of a certain age in the British Isles do this, you see), re-reading all the greats, occasionally receiving our agent and accepting a speaking engagement with our literary fans at Claridges or a tea at Foyles (That would be Lovely)……you get the picture.

but what about the rain?

tis true. that was always depressing. and we don’t even eat Victoria Sponge cake so the tea parties might disappoint the vicar.

perhaps (team gloria stretches out of the impending depression of post-general-anasthetic-into the light once more) we’ll do all this back on the Other Coast, in the Canyon, like Christopher.

then all our friends from the Eastern Seaboard can fly to escape the harsh cruel winters/summers and william can come for the summer (and Write His Novel) – and George can drive down (or we’ll send our driver) and AH isn’t far and Maria lives at lake-that-isn-t-silver and our english friends can have the guest house for weeks on end and write and paint (or be frivolous as they wish) and we can swim and have tea parties while wearing Large Jackie O Glasses and generally act a lot like Anita Loos.

ok. we’re back on track. melancholy (as Bryon said – no? the British Disease) is a natural component of post-surgical-experience.

we hate it.

it’s hard being sick.

and we miss you out there.

especially when we have to go out with our wound showing and our neck exposed.

is this what it means to be vulnerable?

shudder.

still – yesterday was splendid in terms of our three visitors. here’s a few teasing shots of our day with a tiny bit of commentary.

we still can’t talk on the phone and we didn’t sleep much so wrote a lot of old-fashioned thank you cards last night (william – thank you also for the new card it arrived yesterday!)

R brought baby S to visit (and a beam-of-sunshine came earlier and walked us around the block and read to us which was delicious). R read BEAUTIFULLY from Armistead Maupin (a theme of our medical leave if you recall).

K came (in a very crisp check shirt post-work and smart trousers) to walk us in the evening and treat us to supper and tried to be polite as our eyes watered every time we took a bite and was very patient at our whispering (note to self – whispering is inaudible outside the apartment). Then he also read Armistead (it’s a ripping tale).

and finally – sleep not descending – we wrote the cards (see earlier picture) and watched a double feature…

can we admit that we’re still rather disappointed that the Day Job has not even sent a card?

and we’re also surprised that people are sending emails and getting what appears to be irritated that we’re not responding. and don’t get us started on the People That Call and get surprised we’re not Picking Up (did they not get we just had Our Throat Slit and Can’t BLOODY TALK?!)

curious.

we’re sick, people.

get over it.

if you know us in RL do send a postcard. naturally we’re scrapbooking this entire experience and our post lady is bringing up all parcels to our apartment as we left a note in our mailbox downstairs and she’s awfully nice so the post is a welcome distraction each day.

that’s the main thing we miss from England.

the thwack of the post as it hits the horsehair mat.

especially as – many moons ago – S and I used to throw down a movie script just to imagine what it would sound like coming through the door – (although, in those days, he was an actor and we didn’t know we’d become a suit in the sniper fire of midtown manhattan)…….but you never know what we’re going to become NEXT.

something’s HAPPENING.

we can Feel Life Change inside us.

8 thoughts on “medical leave day 7: afraid of the wound beneath.

  1. Cheltenham lady says:

    When is is that we’re supposed to “close your eyes and think of England, Darling”? (or was it the Empire?) …… comfort in all sorts of trying circumstances, it would seem ……. you are one brave cookie – as we say over here, brave to be letting it all hang out, the pain, the day job’s disappointing self absorption, the intimate (and therefor brave) details of this s l o w transition back to health. Just remember the progress isn’t necessarily linear — the expectation that it will be can frustrate.
    Tons of love and giggles and so looking forward to laying eyes on you, magnificent cicatrix and all.

  2. Jérôme says:

    It is funny, in a kind of way, how such a schock – for mind and body – bring us to our roots.
    Is the day job worth your sadness and expectations about them?
    Please, don’t be afraid of being vulnerable (or showing your vulnerable side), your friends are here and their to protect you, arn’t they?
    They’re taking care of you.

  3. Maureen says:

    Dear one
    So wonderful to hear your voice coming through on your lovely blog. You sound in full recovery mode and i know how deeply grateful you are to be on the other side of this surgery. I shall send you a post card from Mexico early next week. Much healing love and of course silence is golden. XoMo

  4. William Godwin says:

    Darling, I am so sorry it is hurting and good luck for tomorrow. I suggest you use your English side when seeing the surgeon.

    Love all coastal and big hat and summer joy options.

    Thwack! Xx

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