Our elderly relatives – friends of the family really, but the closest friends any family ever had – have been ill on and off for the past couple of years now. Uncle B. had some kind of fluctuation in his chronic, semi-dormant anaemia – I don’t pretend to understand the details – that nobody could diagnose. It coincided with the onset of arthritis in his legs, making it seem like all one weird illness.
We were just coming out of the worry of that – B. was bulking himself up on Complan, taking up Skype at the age of 80, and looking generally like a new man – when Auntie J. did something horrific to her knee, misjudging a drop of some twelve or fourteen inches and thinking it was four or six. Again, we worried (mostly from a distance, sometimes over Skype) as J. gradually regained her health.
Just this week we’ve had a call from my Mum and Dad: B. has had a stroke. But some kind of tiny stroke: unable to speak at midnight one morning, he was back talking again in the afternoon. Maybe he’ll be home by the time I finally publish this. Maybe it wasn’t a stroke. Maybe it’ll all be OK by Christmas.