Fading

These two creatures – one human, one feline, are probably the only living beings keeping me tethered to the world at the moment.  And one of them is fading from view and fast.  Last Monday I met Nobby at his front door. He stumbled towards me into my arms. I could not support him.  He was too heavy.  I held him while he fell as gently as possible to the floor then I turned him over into what I vaguely remembered was the recovery position. He lay there barely conscious as I ran across the sitting room and, with trembling hands dialled 999.  I was speaking to the operator  when Nobby made his ‘miraculous’ recovery’.  He staggered in.  He was weak and pallid but he pulled the receiver from my hands and spoke to the operator himself.  He told her that he was not ill (even though he very clearly was) and that he did not need an ambulance (even though he very clearly did). He put the ‘phone down and leaned back into his chair, all colour drained from his face.

I was besieged by a mixture of emotions.  I had hesitated.  I had not known what to do.  Had I overreacted?  Would the staff at the ambulance station right there and then be having a laugh at the melodramatic, hysterical timewaster they’d just been forced to devote valuable time to.  How should I have responded?  I have had (admittedly very limited) first aid training and I never envisaged myself behaving as I did when faced with the situation I had just been confronted with.  You imagine yourself to be cool, calm, focused, but I simply panicked.  ‘Get help, get help,’ said the voice in my head.  And so, acting purely on instinct, I called an ambulance.  I surrendered to my own hysteria.  I acted like a drama queen, or like one of those time-wasters so despised by members of the emergency services everywhere.

I am so angry with myself.

Nobby is 92, btw

He is holding on and is a million times more courageous than me.

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