Given that, heading off to Hawke’s Bay a few weeks ago to spend time with my Dad while he had a hip op; I should not have said, half in jest and half in fear: “I’ll be spending a lot of time visiting in hospital and I better not get swine flu.”
Dad came through the operation with flying colours, not bad for a lad of 82, but then he is fit, likes to exercise and does look after himself.
He sure had the nurses charmed – amusing them with his gentle cheekiness, sincere curiosity and original take on the world.
I swear I could see tears in the eyes of several nurses as we left the ward and I’m sure a couple of them looked a little disappointed when I said I was taking him to stay at his girlfriend’s place for a week.
“Girlfriend” is perhaps a little misleading – she’s only several years younger than my father, but I reckon GF sounds cool and it’s fun to see people’s imagination run wild. It’s great promotion for a mature man, as well.
After loading the car up with hospital hire equipment vital for the old boy’s recuperation, we headed off to Taradale to deliver the patient to GF’s place, where he was to convalesce in a peaceful rural setting for a week.
He might have charmed the nurses but the GF was harder to impress. “Where’s your tooth!” she demanded, as he flashed her a smile from the door, leaning on his crutches.
In the lad’s haste to get out of the place, he’d left his dental plate on the bathroom shelf. So, back to the Hawke’s Bay Memorial Hospital I go, to retrieve said dental fixture, unaware that someone had been admitted to the place that day in critical condition with swine flu. The things we do for family.
But friends and neighbours, there’s no need to worry – we’re fine. We’re displaying none of the symptoms of any kind of flu – no body aches, headaches or fever – and hopefully this is our one and only brush with the latest pandemic sweeping the world.
Here’s hoping my exposure to the site of a swine flu victim has built up my immunity and I’m sure the gorgeous Hawke’s Bay merlot I drank while visiting the area would have helped too.