I can sleep through almost anything. It is a great gift I have and one which has been admired by varying people throughout my lifetime. So, being woken by Spot at 1:30am (yes, in the morning) was not a good sign. Firstly, things were not good, secondly, I did so with disturbing ease. This means, somewhere deep, deep in my sub-conscious I knew there was something SERIOUSLY wrong. You can read Spot's version of events here.
Suffice to say, when he headed off with the ambulance crew to the local A&E, though I went to bed I did not sleep very well. There was the combination of fear, adrenaline (which is brown) and concern that, despite having my phone and the landline handset right next to my left ear, I would sleep through the phone if it rang.
So, Friday was a bit odd. Phoned Spot's work to let them know he wouldn't be coming in. They were shocked (not as much as I was love!). He phoned and let me know which ward he was in (cardiac care!) and gave me strict instructions to carry on as normal. Given how 'normal' life is in the Gerbil household, that gave plenty of flexibility.
A haircut was booked, and there is something unnerving about waiting for a phone call at anytime while discussing first homes, the weather and the forthcoming local gala.
At some point in the morning, I had contacted Laura (my soon-to-be boss), as there was a final prep meeting for those of us heading to Malawi - I may not have made it. She was sooo supportive. Yes, she was heading into the hospital to do the rounds, but visited Spot too. I was very impressed.
When I went into see Spot, there was a trashy romance novel on the table. That was all the 'literature' which was available in CCU. We had a discussion about getting a better range of fiction for the ward at some time in the future. I think I would have struggled to read that more than he did (I had brought Game of Thrones with me for him).
The medical staff I met were lovely. Genuinely caring, informative and just, professional. I know this shouldn't come as a surprise, but this has been a hospital which has had a bit of a kicking from the local press - but you never hear the good stories.
There is something surreal about being talked through what's going on by Dr Noh - who was lovely, but I expected him to tell Spot 'no, I expect you to die, Mr Gerbil!'. Then a Peter Capaldi look-a-like also came in (that was one of those moments of 'I know you from somewhere', then the realisation of no, you just look like a famous person).
After 2.5 hours of visiting, I headed off to Airside Kirk for the stuff I needed to do there. Nothing I could do at the hospital, so might as well get on with life. It was actually a good laugh and I feel part of the group. The danger, though everyone would have so understood was I would 'remain' an outsider if I had not got there. As the law of sods would be, Spot phoned just as dinner was about to be served, but picking him up from the hospital was more of a priority.
It was good to have him home. It was one hell of a scare and did, in a very real way, highlighted just how important pastoral care for the nearest and dearest is. In some ways, it was worse - just waiting and being in a position where there was nothing which I could do. Spot was getting tests and a whole host of nurses running after him, while I waited for the phone to ring. Not a lesson I wanted to learn first hand, but certainly one I will be very much bearing in mind.
And am I still going to Malawi on Thursday? Yes. There's a whole load of reasons why I have to go, but mainly life goes on (not to say that it would probably distress Spot if he 'stopped' me going). I know we have been looked after, on many, many levels so far, so I'll trust that God will continue his care.