Hospital Reading

My husband is back in the hospital again — he’s had an infection and an open wound in his stomach since his surgery this summer and it’s just not healing properly, so they’re finally doing tests on him and have him in an isolation room (I have to wear a gown and gloves when I visit) because he’s got a rare hard to vanquish infection that they don’t want spreading in the hospital. He’s not feeling too bad, given the circumstances, and the room is spacious (and private, hoorah!) and even cosy in a brand new part of the hospital and it was fun to spend the day together, sitting on his bed with our hospital gowns, watching tv and talking. He’ll probably be having another surgery tomorrow for an abscess somewhere in his stomach area and we’re still not sure how big it will be or how quickly it will heal. (Something of a concern since we’ve already given our notice on the apartment!)

I started reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett yesterday (it’s the perfect book to go to after Trollope, similar British comfort blend but less of a struggle) and have been snickering on the inside ever since. I’m very glad to have found something so light-hearted and just plain fun at this time. I took it with me to Florida this April but was too busy swanning around with Proust and Virginia Woolf to really get the humour at the time. But I started thinking of some of the jokes again and thought I’d give it another go. Quite glad I did. Growing up in an extremist christian home (where of course the book of Revelation and ‘end times’ were discussed in minute detail) means I can thoroughly enjoy two such talented and playful authors make gentle fun of everything I grew up hearing about. And yes, I was reading the book with surgical rubber gloves on, which is an odd sensation (mostly clammy) and not one I recommend.

I’m quite tired now, as I wasn’t able to sleep well last night (my husband and I are very rarely apart, so when he’s in the hospital I generally have to fall asleep with a movie on), so now it’s time for a cup of hot chocolate and perhaps Sense & Sensibility. The snow has begun to fall here again and everyday I keep hoping my Persephone book from my Secret Santa will have arrived, I’ve plugged in the Christmas tree, but this is not my favourite time of year to be at the hospital. (I can’t even go book shopping to let off stress since we need to save money for our move and just visiting at the hospital is expensive, with parking and meals.) Thanks in advance to all of you whom I have never meet, in this community we create together, for taking the time to care. I don’t know when I’ll be online again, but the support you’ve given in the past means a lot to me.

21 thoughts on “Hospital Reading

  1. Karenlibrarian says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband being back in the hospital, I can’t imagine how stressful that must be. And they’re charging you for parking??? That’s terrible. But it’s pretty amazing that your post still made me laugh — the idea of you swanning around Florida with Proust and Woolf . . . not your usual vacation reads! LOL! I did attempt to read An American Tragedy on the beach last summer. I was not successful. I hope you get your SS Persephone soon!

  2. Chrissy says:

    I’m another you haven’t met, sending good wishes for you both.
    Reading is such a blessing and how lovely that you can find fun and solace with each other’s company and wonderful books.

  3. Penny says:

    I’m so sorry to hear your husband’s back in hospital. I hope they get it all sorted out very soon.
    How do people who don’t love books manage in these sorts of circumstances, I wonder? Books have seen me through many of life’s great traumas (including a husband leaving me!) and I feel sorry for those who don’t have their solace and their ability to transport you to another world.
    My offspring have nabbed my copy of Good Omens, but I’ll get it back soon…
    Remember that all of us who love you and your blog are thinking about you and hoping that you’ll be able to have a happy Christmas after all. (And that the Persephone book comes soon!)

    • Rachel says:

      Oh no Carolyn, your poor husband! What a nasty thing to happen. I am thinking of you both and hoping very much that he heals up quickly and that you are settled in your new home by Christmas.

      We are all here supporting you, never fear! x

  4. Claire - The Captive Reader says:

    So sorry to hear that he’s back in hospital. I had an abscess in my abdomen last year which had to be drained for four days and it was no fun at all. I can’t even imagine how much more stressful this would be. Very happy to hear that at least you’ve found suitable reading material to see you through this stressful situation.

  5. Joan Kyler says:

    I’m relatively new to your blog, but have been enjoying your posts. I wish you and your husband the best and your husband a speedy recovery.

  6. Melissa says:

    There are few things worse than sitting with a loved one in the hospital at Christmas time. But if there’s anything that can provide comfort it is Gaiman, Pratchett and Austen. Happy reading and hopefully a speedy recovery for your husband.

  7. litlove says:

    I came straight over once I’d read your comment on my blog. My heart goes out to you – what a dreadful time of year to have to be hospital visiting, and how awful that you have to be hospital visiting at all. I have my fingers crossed that your husband makes a full and speedy recovery and that you can both be home together very, very soon. Have you read E. F. Benson’s novels about Mapp and Lucia? They are wonderful comfort reads, as are The Diaries of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield. Those are the books that have seen me through some tough moments. But I’m really glad you’ve got something there making you laugh.

  8. Jenny says:

    Oh, I’m sorry y’all are going through that. My family had a year a few years back where we were in and out of hospital waiting rooms every few weeks — it’s no fun. I’m glad you at least have a good book to take you through it. *hug*

  9. Iris says:

    I’m sorry to hear you and your husband have been going through so many things lately. I do hope things look up soon.

    (I find it hard to sleep without my boyfriend as well, I need to either fall asleep reading or watch comforting movies – I understand).

  10. Nymeth says:

    I’m so so sorry to hear about your husband, Carolyn. You’ll both be in my thoughts. I really hope he gets well soon.

    Good Omens is a perfect book to read during a stressful period – I’m glad it’s been bringing you some comfort and distraction!

  11. Claire (Paperback Reader) says:

    I’m so sorry your husband is back in hospital! I wish his speedy & successful recovery & recuperation.

    I’m sorry too that your Persephone Secret Sabta gift has yet to arrive & even more sorry that it has been delayed 😦 You could so he doing with that comfort just now but Good Omens will help in meantime.

  12. Erin says:

    Good wishes and healing thoughts to you and your husband. I hope things clear up quickly and you can be home together again. Good Omens is a delight. I hope it gets you through this tough stretch.

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