Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Yamba - Day 5

It might seem to readers of "Travels With Pete & Sue" that reporting on our time at Yamba is like recounting paradise. Today was a day which redressed that.

Sue has been feeling increasingly light headed for the past week. Since we arrived at Yamba, each day has been a little worse. At times, she has had to sit and wait it out but by last night, it was becoming chronic. This morning, things were worse again and nausea was now added to the mix. With things clearly deteriorating and in the light of other events planned for the day, I sought a doctor's appointment for her, believing the problem was a middle ear infection which was a secondary development from the bronchitis and sinus infection which had floored her two weeks earlier.

Finding a doctor proved problematic ... well, not so much finding one but getting past their receptionists. The first told me that her man was a locum and therefore didn't take appointments (what?) and the second reported that her man was only working half a day tomorrow but I could ring at 8:00am and compete with others for an appointment. I needed to be prepared for the fact that appointments were set aside for locals.

Frustrated, I resorted to taking Sue to outpatients at Maclean Hospital. They were unhappy that the doctors in Yamba were more hypocrite than Hippocratic but never the less did their very best. The hospital has relatively new facilities - very few scuff marks on the walls or door jams from wheel chairs and trolleys - and looked well resourced  in everything but doctors. The one doctor on duty was dealing with five patients inside the ER and five outside and it was remarkable we were able to leave inside two hours. The diagnosis was in concord with Dr Langston and Sue left with strong antibiotics and stimitil for the nausea.

Gibbens and Thomas clans
Despite feeling like an end-stage drunk but with more money in her pocket, Sue insisted on fulfilling a commitment to a family reunion which she had organised with Brian Thomas, the youngest of three cousins Sue and her siblings had grown up with on the Lower Clarence. Brian had bumped into us several times at Yamba and after apologising profusely, the pair of them hatched a plan for a lunch at the Pacific Hotel during which the families could get together. The common link was Brian's dad - David - being the brother of Sue's mother - Joy. Brian's sisters, Anne and Karen, were both there, as well as their parents, David and Marcia. It was all very friendly and pleasant, chatting and eating in the glass protected sunshine of the dining room and a group photograph was produced at the end as well as plans for future meetings. Karen, for instance, comes to Tamworth most years for horse events so Sue issued an invitation to stay with us.

All of this happened in the context of Sue feeling dreadful and deteriorating so we didn't stay anywhere near as long as either of us would have liked and instead made our apologies. By the time I got Sue home, she collapsed on the bed, a victim of her middle ear and the stimitil, which not only settles the stomach but also induces sleep. She slept the afternoon away

It was the intention that we host the Gibbens mob during the evening but this was also abandoned and instead I made Sue pasta with a tomato based sauce. She took her medication, ate half of the meal and went back to sleep. I watched the deciding State of Origin game, by myself, with the volume reduced to virtual silence. I missed my sons enthusiasm and noise. It had all the appeal of eating soggy cardboard and pretending it was mudcake. In between tries, I visited Sue by stealth to assure myself she was okay. In the end, I stayed sitting beside her for so long, just watching her breath and wishing my super powers included making troubles absent themselves from the ones I love, that I missed Cronk's field goal. I met the news with an appropriate shrug. There are somethings more important than football.

One day, I might say the same of cricket ... but that day seems a fair way off yet.

Better luck tomorrow ... maybe.

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