Saturday, 1 December 2007

The Other Side of the NHS - And a Small Confession

Just looking at Rosie's comment below it struck me that I've been too one-sided in my criticism of the NHS. As she says, the parts of it that involve personal commitment are quite exceptional. We're seeing this part right now. The Neuro Critical Care Unit at the Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital is full of dedicated, patient and caring people who also happen to be superbly trained. Professor Cruickshank's team of consultants - and particularly the Prof himself - are painstaking about giving us clear, understandable information, and the attention and respect Tom's receiving are faultless.

It occurs to me that I need to come clean about Tom's age. Eva and I have been touched and greatly comforted by the daily flow of good wishes, prayers and healing energy that comes in via this blog. I can't thank you enough for that. But then Eva pointed out that you may be under the impression that he's a little boy.

So now I feel a fraud.

Tom's 24. He's foul-mouthed and irreverent, and therefore incredibly funny. He's also one of the sweetest-natured guys you'll ever meet. He lives half a mile away with his partner Laura. One thing I'm looking forward to is the return of a series of sounds that always make us laugh: A car drives up outside. The kitchen door opens. The fridge door opens. We hear rummaging. The fridge door closes. The kitchen door closes. That would be Tom popping in to see us then.

(In fairness, once the comedic effect has settled, he comes and sits in the living room with us until he's digested whatever he's stolen).

Tom's still unconscious, but responding now to requests to squeeze our hands, nod or shake his head. The strongest response so far came when Laura mentioned Jessica Alba. Tom's eyes opened noticeably. Laura commented that she should be offended that JA was granted more reaction than she was, but under the circumstances she'd let him off - as long as she could be involved too. Tom's eyes came fully open, he turned his head and squeezed Laura's hand. We both got the distinct of Joey in Friends nodding and muttering "Coo-ool!"

That's my boy, and he's on his way back.

4 comments: said...

Oh Jem,

such good news on a bleak Saturday morning!

They say you have the kids you deserve, Tom is no exception.

Bless you and your family,


Caroline said...

Regarding your age, I really didn't think Tom was under 20...
Nevertheless, I'm glad he's responding well!
This good news makes my day o.k.

Rosie said...

That's such good news! Thanks for updating us. I'm so glad you're getting the wonderful side of the health service now. Hope my comment didn't come across as reproachful, I'm not in the health service, so I have no axe to grind.
And you've told us about your talented sons before, so I realised Tom must be grown up. But he's your son, however old he is. When your kids have a problem, I think every parent still wants to be able to make it better for them, however old they are. Well, I do anyway.
And the fridge rustling story made me smile, too - my son's 20 now and when he arrives back from uni, we have exactly the same effect - through the door, into the fridge - "what have we got to eat, mother?".
Here's hoping you have Tom back doing just that before too long, take care.

Rosie said...

Hoping that the silence from you does not mean bad news and that things are still improving.
All good wishes for you and your family for the coming season and for the future.