Towards the end of January 2017, delightful assistant no.1 was on track to check into the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, near Glasgow. Having suffered for many years with arthritis in her right knee, her leg had become very bent and painful. A total knee replacement had been advised and a date made for the the surgery.
Two days before she was due to go into the Golden Jubilee, her chauffeur took her and her spouse off for an outing before the big procedure. Since the weather forecast looked promising to the north, they left behind the thick fog of Perthshire and scooted off into the bright sunshine of Aberdeenshire.
They arrived in the small town of Ballater at the right time for a spot of luncheon at The Bothy on the main street.
After queueing for a table, they ordered some food and sat down with hot drinks, glad to be in out of the cold.
Delightful assistant no.1 fancied the roast beef sandwiches, her spouse went for a brie and cranberry toastie and their chauffeur opted for a cheese and tomato toastie. The meals, which were accompanied by salad items, were pleasingly colourful.
They all enjoyed their food, but unfortunately had no room for any of the enticing sweet treats showing themselves off through a glass-fronted cabinet.
Outside, the air was extremely chilly, but not wanting to miss the chance of fresh air and sunshine, the well-filled threesome decided on a short walk.
Feeling chilled to the bone, they tried to hurry along. This unfortunately had a disastrous consequence for one of their little team. Delightful assistant no.1, walking a few steps behind her spouse at one point, somehow took a tumble and ended up on the ground. Kind onlookers clustered round to help her up, but she was badly shaken and feeling pained in the ribs. Carefully inserting her into the car, the rather sober trio made their way home and got her into the house as gently as possible.
Her condition worsened as the day wore on and she ended up being taken by ambulance to Perth Royal Infirmary’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. Her spouse and chauffeur followed on a little later in their car, driving slowly through extremely thick fog. The unusually adverse weather conditions had the benefit of teaching the chauffeur how to find and use her fog lights, but it wasn’t the most relaxing of journeys.
They discovered their dear one perched in a wheelchair in A&E, waiting to be seen by a medic. Saturday nights are notoriously busy times in A&E and the staff were run off their feet. It was some time before delightful assistant no.1 was seen but, following examination by a doctor, she was eventually taken away for chest and face x-rays. The scans, when they were analysed, luckily showed nothing broken and she was sent on her way with a bundle of strong painkillers.
When Monday morning came round it was time to head off to Clydebank for her next hospital visit, this time for the much-anticipated knee replacement operation. The poor delightful assistant wasn’t in the best of states, but her rib pain had eased a bit and the chaps at the Golden Jubilee declared her fit enough for the operation.
She underwent surgery the following day and was moved into a high dependency unit afterwards. When they were permitted to visit, delightful assistant no.2, their chauffeur and the chauffeur’s sister sped off to Clydebank to see how the invalid was doing. They found her tired and rather sore, but glad to see familiar faces, and grateful for the companionship of Sandy, her faithful little rescue donkey. (Finding him sodden and full of sand on a beach a few years ago, she took him home and washed the sand out of him, and the two have been firm friends ever since).
Regular visits were made by delightful assistant no.2 and their chauffeur over the following days. During these times, while delightful assistant no.1 was being given her lunch in her room, the visitors usually ate lunch in the hospital canteen, which provided a surprisingly cheap and varied menu of hot and cold food. On a couple of occasions, when they fancied something a little more upmarket, they took a wander into the adjoining hotel bar area.
One day they arrived on the ward to find the patient not only awake and clothed, but walking slowly along a corridor with two sticks. They couldn’t have been more pleased.
Ten days after admission, complete with brand new knee, delightful assistant no.1 was released from hospital and taken home for further recovery.
If things go according to plan she should be walking more confidently in a few months’ time, possibly without any sticks at all, and with considerably less pain than she’s currently experiencing. An 80 year old limb takes time to mend, but with grit and determination, a positive attitude and the will to succeed great things are possible. Delightful assistant no.1 is very much looking forward to being out and about again, having more gentle adventures in the Scottish countryside, and enjoying the warmer weather when it comes.