Remember how last week I was all bawling my eyes out cos I slipped down the stairs, and then I was like “this is how I am going to die, alone and old”? No? Well it definitely stuck in my mind, and seems especially stupid and/or poignant today. Oma had a stroke on Saturday night. When Mum rang me today on my cellie I was like “oh man, I so can’t be assed answering this” cos I thought she’d be hassling me to write her a brochure, but I decided the grumpy answerphone message would be even worse, so I answered and found out that Oma was in hospital and that they didn’t know how long it’d been between the stroke and when she finally managed to push her panic button. Mum had slept about three hours and she wanted us to go to the hospital to see Oma.
I hate hospitals. That’s a dumb thing to say, because of course, I don’t think that there’s anyone who actually likes them. But the idea of death, or mortality, or any kind of situation that I can’t do anything to fix scares the crap out of me. I feel really fucking useless and I don’t know what to say. I fall to pieces. It all seems like foreshadowing to me. That said, it was easier to go there with Anji and Karen by my side, except when we got to Oma’s ward, she was asleep, and neither my mother or my aunt was there, so we didn’t know what to do. We found some seats further down the corridor and I suggested that maybe we should go and get coffee while we waited for my dad to text me back and/or for Oma to wake up. When we were strolling out through the maze of hospitalness, our aunt drove up, so that was good. We went to The Ballroom, and when we got back up, Oma was awake.
She was struggling to talk, only managing about two words at a time, and what with her being deaf, and also us not speaking Dutch, it was really hard – at one stage we could see that she was close to tears with frustration. but she was glad to see us and seemed to perk up some. She was covered in bruises from falling over though, and so battered. Oma’s always been tiny, but she seemed even smaller. So fragile. I just made stupid jokes. The old lady in the bed opposite us lent us her chair because she said no one would be coming to visit her and I wanted to cry some more. They don’t know if Oma’s speech is going to be permanently affected, and obviously she can’t go on living by herself anymore. I haven’t even called my mother to see how she’s doing, although Anji talked to her.
I don’t want to get old.