Valentine’s Day, 2007

*Still catching up with posts!*

Thank you to everyone who wished us a Happy Valentine’s day! It seems like ages ago now. I spent Valentine’s Day this year hanging out with Jac in hospital – it was the day following her gall bladder removal surgery. It was a shame we were in hospital, of course – it’s certainly not the most romantic or comfortable of settings, but it was nice that we spent the day together anyway.

Jac’s mum and I got to the hospital just after 10am. Jac had rung me the night before as soon as she was out of surgical recovery and settled in her room – she told me, still sounding groggy, that she’d been informed she would need a second procedure to remove the stones from her bile duct, but she wasn’t sure when exactly it would be, nor how long she would have to stay in hospital. She asked me to bring her more clothes, books and food.

As I expected, when we saw her Jac was stiff and sore, and already feeling impatient, frustrated and bored – she’s not the kind of person who likes to sit still or be stuck indoors, and she finds it overwhelmingly intolerable when she has little choice in the matter! She had a drain sticking out from her side like an unwanted appendage – a tube through which blood was dripping into a container. We gawked at her jar of stones, amazed yet horrified yet fascinated yet repulsed yet impressed. She lifted her shirt so we could see her wound dressings, which looked somewhat bloody and gory at this stage. After all this, we watched as she eagerly dug into the bag of fruit I’d brought her – she devoured a bunch of grapes and sank her teeth into a plum with great satisfaction. She then explained why she was so hungry.

The day before, as Jac and I waited for her to be admitted, she had been given the appropriate form to fill out to order her dinner for that evening. I had watched while Jac made her selections and ticked the relevant boxes. She was advised not to order anything that was served hot for her first meal post-surgery, unless she was prepared to wait until it was cold before consuming it. The thought of stone cold vegetable soup wasn’t particularly appealing to Jac, and so she ordered a chicken sandwich, a medium-sized salad and a fruit salad. She wasn’t sure how hungry she would be following surgery, but as it turned out, having fasted since 10am*, she was absolutely starving by the time she was out of recovery and dinner was served that evening.

When the meal was placed before her, Jac took one look and could see it wasn’t what she’d ordered – and it wasn’t even close. The dessert was ice cream, for example, with no sign of fruit. Jac told the patients’ assistant who had delivered the meal, “That’s not mine

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