Saturday, April 23, 2016
Bring Me No Flowers
Here's one thing I've learned about certain (maybe all) NHS hospitals: They don't allow flowers.
Isn't it a tradition, a requirement even, to bring people flowers when they're in the hospital? I always thought so. But Dave's coworkers wanted to send him something, and they clued me in to the flower prohibition -- so they asked what they should send instead.
I talked to one of Dave's nurses and she confirmed that although cut flowers are prohibited, a plant in a pot is OK. That seemed strange to me, but I figured maybe they were trying to avoid the profusion of vases and messy water spillage that bouquets would bring.
So I told Dave's coworkers to send a plant, and yesterday, Dave got a beautiful live anthurium in a ridiculously large box. We unpacked it and put it on his bedside table, where he was able to enjoy it for about two hours before a different nurse came in and said plants weren't allowed either -- for infection control reasons.
So I brought the plant home. Sigh.
Hopefully it won't matter much, because Dave may soon be joining us here at home. Yesterday the doctors decided to keep him another night, even though he feels much better, has no temperature, is becoming an increasingly curmudgeonly patient and seems to be eating and drinking relatively normally. (For someone who's just lying in bed all day.) Apparently they're concerned about a protein level in his blood test that indicates his body is still under some stress -- even though his white blood cells are normal.
My hunch is that a cost-conscious American hospital would have kicked him out days ago. The British appear to be more civilized about this kind of thing.
We watched "Auntie Mame" on DVD over the last two nights, each of us with a pair of headphones plugged into my laptop with a cable splitter I checked out from the school library. I plan to stop by the hospital again today after French class -- which apparently really does begin this week.
(Photo: Despite the tiny sign on the fence reading "Please Do Not Feed the Pigeons," someone always feeds the pigeons on this street corner near our house.)