Blog 15: Recovery

It wasn’t until we arrived at Taipei Airport that I realised just how very ill Bill was.  Watching him, as he got out of the cab, supported by Clive, all I could think to myself was: He’s a dead man walking.  My beautiful husband is a dead man walking.  I wasn’t the only one thinking that way. Everybody thought that Bill was on the verge of death.  In the hotel room, there had been strength, but now, nothing.  As friends shuffled him the long way down to the airport lounge, you could see that he was only just managing to keep himself upright, that all he wanted to do was to lie himself down and die. And, once in the waiting lounge, he sat slumped and bent and in a dead sleep, not only for the two hours that we were waiting to board, but for seven of the nine hours that we were in flight.

Every now and again, the China Airways flight attendant would ask me:

“Is he all right?”

“Yes,” I would answer.  “He’s just exhausted.”

But, throughout the flight, I wondered how we were going to get Bill off the plane.  It was 2009, the year of the great Swine Flu epidemic and airports everywhere weren’t letting anybody through who looked at all sick.

Then, quite unexpectedly, Bill started to wake up a bit.  He began making some intelligent responses to my questions.

“I think she’s bringing breakfast,” I said. “Do you want to eat breakfast?”

“What is it?” he asked.

“I think it’s rice,” I answered.  “Do you want some rice?”

“All right,” he said.  “I’ll have some.”

Half way through eating the rice, Bill dropped his fork and looked at me.

“Oh,” he said, shaking his head.  “I’ve done the wrong thing.  Now, I’ll have to go and apologise to all those people.”

By the time we got off the plane, Bill was walking upright and with purpose, telling me where to stand to get the luggage off the carousel and where to go to get a taxi.  He was his old self again.

When he went to sleep early that night in his own bed, he slept for thirteen hours straight before he woke up.

  1. Sonia Hendy

    There’s no place like home. I think the reality of this being the last trip you would take together must have set in at this stage. I remember being quite distressed when Ed had his first heart attack at 49 wondering what was ahead for us and it was quite scary.

    February 4th, 2013 // Reply
    • Fay

      Thankfully for both of us, Ed recovered and went on to run half marathons.

      February 8th, 2013 // Reply
  2. David

    He slept for 13 hours straight! How long did you manage? Must have been exhausting for you as well. Travel like that can get to you. Sometimes I don’t get affected that much but often just the airplane bit can do it.

    February 4th, 2013 // Reply
  3. Fay

    I think that I’ve heard that travelling from East to West is worse for jet lag, so that could have been one of the reasons why Bill suffered so badly after the trip from Vancouver to Taipei. But the main reason for his “brain slip”, of course, was that his brain was not working properly anyway.

    February 8th, 2013 // Reply
  4. Harold and Nola

    See? That’s what Bill was all about: thinking of others. Never mind him being so ill and feeling so dreadful, he still needed to go and apologise to all those people for his ‘wrong behaviour’. look, horrific and all as it is, we have to smile.
    Good old Bill!

    March 16th, 2013 // Reply

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