On the second day of January this year I had a kidney operation which resulted in me having to wear a catheter bag until the week before last when part of my prostate gland was shaved away. That operation meant that I would be able to pass urine without any day or night artificial aid, but it didn’t go to plan.
For the last ten nights I’ve been getting up every two hours to pee. ‘Oh for the bag’ I said once to myself, silently, before thinking clearly. Last night was different, suddenly I was aware of how lucky I am. Yes, lucky!
As I say, last night was my Damascus moment. I went to bed at 23:30 only to get up an hour later, wide awake. I made a coffee, fully aware of how caffeine can affect sleep, but with or without that dreaded substance, sleep escaped me. I watched some boxing then footage from the Lions tour to Australia in 2001 when Martin Johnson captained the team, drifting in and out of sleep with the laptop balanced on my lap and me stretched out in my reclining chair.
It was just gone three o’clock in the morning when it happened.
‘What a lucky person I am’ I realised for the very first time in this equation between regulated sleep versus independence. I can go to bed or get up whenever I like. If I’m in writing mode (which I should be) I can write, or if I’m being lazy (which I am) I can watch some sport, or perhaps read. I’m retired! I’ve had retired independence for five years without appreciating the freedom it gives me.
As I write this account, my French Bulldog—Leo, is at the far end of the sofa snoring merrily away, unmindful that those walks he takes when half asleep that I watch from the dizzy heights of emancipation are taken by an unshackled canine whose liberty was secured at birth.
And I thought I was more intelligent than him. I wasn’t was I?
© 2020, Daniel Kemp All rights reserved.