So, er, what a few days. I have five quiet minutes to scribble an update here, so here is where my family are at:

Kind of okay, today.

After Mum was taken in unexpectedly on Thursday morning, the two of us did what we could to be with Dad and ensure he was looked after; there was just no way for him to be left alone while so unwell. They finally diagnosed his stomach bug that afternoon and prescribed some anti-biotics – so, as Friday rolled through, he seemed to be making progress in some small way at last. I told Melly to sit tight and not come down; Mum too was making slow but sure improvement.

That evening, we popped out together for half an hour to get cat food and one or two other things we don’t understand and, when we returned, found Dad looking worried and feeling unwell again.

“I’ve just had a call from the blood lab” he said. “They’re sending a doctor round now; I need to go back to hospital…”

We prepared and waiting and eventually opened the door to the doctor on call that night. A while later, we were wheeling my heartbreakingly frail father into A&E.;

The bottom line, in short, is that he was subsequently diagnosed with a combination of very serious stuff – combination being the real point. It took them a couple of hours of testing and hooking him up to things and going through a bound tome of medical records that looked like the Book Of Kells, but eventually faces were grave enough to usher us into a side room. It was very gently done, but we were Given The Talk.

How much do I say about seeing Dad like that?

Nothing really here; you get the point. We had to leave him and go home to try for some sleep. We had to leave him.


Walking in again the next morning we knew two things – Dad was in a serious way and Mum didn’t know. What we didn’t know was how far Dad had come or not during the night.

Y’know, there’s plenty of story here to go into at another time but, again, maybe not now. Amazed to say that as Saturday wore on, Dad’s vitals began to do the distinctly unexpected – rally. Bloody rally. The senior doctor on Friday night had said to us: “I love it when my patients prove me wrong, but…” and 24hrs later, Dad was adding another ‘but’ to her statement. I honestly quite can’t believe it. But, almost can – my Dad is my Dad everywhere. Seeing him then, that lunchtime, he was still thanking the medical staff and, I began to suspect, warming hearts a little on a frazzled ward. That’s him, in that situation.

We spent much of that day at the hospital, of course. By the time Melly had joined us, we’d actually managed to grab a kip on the sofa at home, as ward infections were barring us from seeing Dad much. But before we came home that tea time, we’d managed to do the one thing I’d most prayed for – get Mum down to see Dad. Touching, and kind of funny. Oh my lord, my blummen’ parents. Having them both in the same hospital does start to feel like a Carry On farce…


Since then. Well, Dad is still in a very bad way. No one is talking about what to do, medium term – and by that I mean anything after next week. It is hour by hour, day by day. I’m running Momo at half speed and not travelling out of town at the moment. But Dad’s vitals are on a very slow climb in the right direction. After three days.

Thing is, farce fans, we had some more news about Mum yesterday. Looking very much herself – thankfully enough for me to be facetious to her again, though this admittedly needs little more than a pulse showing on her ECG – and bored daft, she was not let out yesterday as planned. And here are her consultant’s words:

“Well, Mrs Peach, we hardly want to let you out of here if you’re cooking up a heart attack.”


So we have both parents in there for indeterminate lengths of stay. ..Now, do I add here or leave it ’till later? Their elderly cat doesn’t half look dicky at home too…

Anyway, there we are. On call. But okay. Today. Strangely grateful for how things have fallen to help us deal with things so far. And grateful too for the wider family’s kindness. ..That’s you guys.

Caroline is making for London today, to hand in an essay. I’m trying to get a presentation out of the way and Melissa is getting some more things down to Mum. Each day, we’re waiting for a call and hoping for progress.

Let you know when we know more.


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