Friday, 11 April 2008

Get Well Soon Badger!

Little Badger is all wheezy and has spent the night in hospital having oxygen and things to help her breathe.  She is all the way down in Surrey so Ms M and I can't visit, and Frank is most disappointed not to be able to go and see her.

I'm quite glad she was down in the town though in some ways - it's a good hour and a bit round trip to get to A&E in an ambulance out here.  There is a helicopter during the day but at night you're in the back of a 4x4, though I suspect Ms M and I would have whisked Badger to the hospital much sooner if she had been here.  I certainly wouldn't have waited til her peak flow was only 70!  (For those who don't have Asthma, it's advisable to phone an ambulance for anything less than 50% of your top flow - in my case that's anything under 250).

We shall have to be sure to take better care of her when she returns.  It's a tricky thing, knowing how best to care for a Badger.  Mostly they care quite well for themselves, but from time to time they need a bit of looking after.  I spoke to the head nurse on Badger's ward this morning and asked if Badger had mentioned that she has tourettes and is Aspie ... she thought she hadn't, but was very understanding about why Badger might not have and also glad that I had told her.  

Mostly Badger's little ways and misunderstandings simply make us laugh and smile - a recent classic being that Badger thought Ms M had said she would prefer her chicken inbred ... she was most relieved to find that she was talking about a sandwich - but sometimes I do worry about the potential less sitcom-like consequences of little confusions. 

Badger isn't unique in needing a bit of looking after - I think most of us are similarly able to manage 90 - 95% of our lives perfectly well and a bit flumoxed by the other bit. And I'm sure I'm not unique in wondering where the line is between helping and interfering!

The book I'm working on a the moment deals quite a lot with this - a very western problem around the illusion of individualism. We are encouraged to be 'independent' and to mind our own business, being needy is an insult and self-containment is a goal. And yet it's all bollocks. Anyone who uses a supermarket is dependent upon millions of people involved in the processes that put those products on the shelves. 

The subject-object-verb nature of our own language shapes our world into one in which the individual person is central and we do things to each other.  The anthropologist I'm working with on the book is married to a wonderful woman who's first language is Japanese.  She speaks in generalities, often skipping a subject altogether.  It can occasionally be confusing (my friend often finds himself having to directly ask for the name of the person being discussed!) but it does lead to an entirely different understanding of the meaning of being.  Apparently there are some cultures in which there is literally no way of saying "The doctor does xyz to the patient", and instead they would say that the doctor and the sick person were working together to increase wellness.

So, I hope when Badger reads this she is feeling better and on the mend, we are looking forward to having her home safe!


sheepish said...

Hope Badger is back on form soon, its not TB is it? No not a very funny joke considering what the "nice" people in England do to Badgers that may or may not have TB.
A thought provoking post aswell.

Stray said...

Thanks sheepish! She has a computer by her bed so she might be able to get your well wishing directly.

She has herself suggested that it might be TB ... at any rate it looks like she's going to be there all weekend, poor Badger.


uphilldowndale said...

Get well soon Badger
it's not nice being away from home, when your ill. I was once very sick when I was staying in a tribal long house in Borneo, the village headman said the problem was that 'my spirit was restless' it seemed to sum up the situation perfectly and his next comment, that if I was no better the next day 'they would send for the witch doctor' was a good incentive to get better sooner rather than later

Random Reflections said...

Poor old badger! Get well soon.

Stray, your book sounds really interesting. I hope your book will be widely available, as I am sure it would make a fascinating read.

Misssy M said...

Poor Badger. I hope she feels better soon and that Frank doesn't have to go on his own to the pub too long.

Stray said...

Eek uhdd! Yes, that would be quite a good motivator!

I think Badger is quite strongly motivated by the arterial blood tests they have to do to check her o2 levels - ouch!

rr - not sure quite how widely yet but almost certainly available as a download anyway, so I'm sure you'll get to plough through it if you like. It's not nearly as heavy as it sounds - Badger has done lots of illustration for it and it feels quite fun despite the span of the content!

Misssy M - I shall have to ask young Frank where he got to yesterday evening ... apparently he also keeps appearing in the next door neighbour's bed, even though they don't have a cat flap.

Little Badger is still rather unwell and they're keeping her in all weekend it seems. We've had a couple of strange sounding conversations through an oxygen mask, I think I shall put young frank on the phone later as he was shouting outside Badger's bedroom door all morning.

austin said...

Just sending a get well soon wish.

My grandmother suffered dreadfully from Asthma and I feel for any one who wheezes!!

I suppose strengthening empathy is our best guage of when to interfere or not. It is a subtle thing and a lifetime of listening may still mean that you don't get it right but you can get closer.

drastic said...

Get well soon Badger, you need to get home to your family.I hope it will be soon

Queen Vixen said...

Scary stuff not being able to breathe. Hope she gets well soon and gets back home safe and sound.

Badger said...


Thank you for all your lovely messages, i read them from my hospital bed on the computers. Which I managed to break twice by trying to be too techie with them. The system could not handle window "pop ups" and the system crashed every time. Stray would have made a much sturdy system for them I am sure. I was let out at 7pm this evening on the promise that if I am bad in the night I call 999 straight away. But, I can breathe! So long as I do everything nice and slowly, which is hard for a scurrying Badger. I will be home with in the nest next week but in the mean time Katy from the Potting shed will be looking after me.

Beanz said...

Oh my goodness poor badger! Hpe you are feeling better and better.

Böbø said...

Awww Stray, you write so beautifully and lovingly.

Glad you're breathing again Badger: horrid horrid horrid thing to happen.

By the way, though from a Eurocentric view World War Two began in September 1939 (with the might of the German Wehrmarcht invading my Dad's humble market town). There are those that claim it began in July 1937 when the Japanese invaded China. Just in case you're at a loss for conversation the next time you're confined to hospital.

Miss Tickle said...

Stray, Stray,
I love what you say.

Also, I will buy your book by the drove. If one can do such a thing.