Many people comment on my compassionate, caring nature … it is, essentially, who I am.
Thus, it was without hesitation that I asked one of my friends “Is there anything I can do to help?” when she rang to advise me she had been injured in a car accident.
Of course, it was also a part of my nature and without hesitation that I laughed uncontrollably, complete with snorting, when I contacted her this morning to see how she was and she told me it took her an hour and a half to get up off the couch.
It’s a coping mechanism for me, when faced with situations of great stress and when my good friends are incapacitated. Also, it took her an hour and a half to get up off the couch; that’s funny right there.
A quick chat to Grumpy Pants and the day and kids sorted and I made the nearly-two-hour trip to spend the day with her, caring for her and looking after her wellbeing. Grumpy sent me with some meals for her and I was to be there to help her get up and down, to go to the loo, make sure she had her pain meds, food, water and the rest of it.
It was also a really great opportunity for me to be away from home, from the kids, from work and presented a few moments of sitting and relaxing.
She slept a lot, given her trauma and the medication she was on.
I grabbed a book and lay next to her, in the semi-dark, read and relaxed.
Although traumatic and stressful, it was also in part a bit of a break for me.
I relished the few moments I had, which I haven’t had for such a long time and have needed so desperately.
We chat, we laughed (it didn’t hurt her to laugh, which was probably a good thing, as that would have made me laugh even more) and listened to each others frustrations.
“I need to go to the toilet,” she tells me at one point, as I lay in repose.
“That sucks,” I reply.
“Oh,” I continue. “You need me to give you a hand. Right. Sorry.”
I help her up and secretly and silently worry about her. Bruising is coming out and it’s not looking very pretty at all, although the colours are amazing.
We spend more hours resting and some moments of tears and sadness and help going to the loo.
I clean her feet, which are badly bruised and still covered with blood from the incidents of the day before. I was the compression bandages and towels.
Or, I think I do. When I go to hand them out, they are still dry and the washing powder is still powdery. I have words to the washing machine, fiddle with a few buttons and turn it on again.
Some time later I remember to hang the washing out again, only to find it has not washed. Again.
I am confused and I stare at the machine before working out that the problem lay with the user and not the machine itself.
I laugh again; at my own incompetence and in relief that I don’t have to tell her her washing machine is fucked on top of everything else she has going on right now.
Her kids arrive home, and we make the decision for the lot of them to come to my house for a few days.
I hang the washing, which has eventually washed, now the machine was treated correctly.
I can’t leave her, but I also have to go home. It’s the only solution we can come up with.
A call to home to organise beds, sofa beds and the evening meal and we set off home, arriving only moments before Monkey Boy is delivered home after his four days of beach holiday he had with a friend.
She is in good hands.