About 10 years ago Dad (Steve and I call him RB) needed a heart bypass. RB being RB, it ended up being a quadruple bypass – he never does anything in half measures. A bit like his telephone conversations really, which as some of you will know can last a day.
After his 79th birthday in February (2010) he was a bit low and took to his bed, telling my brother Steve and I that he was only fit for the knackers yard and was seriously thinking of retiring. (Mind you, he’s been telling us this same bloody (sorry) story for the last 10 years!!!). However, a trip to the vet confirmed that he needed some more work on the old ticker.
A thick fug of depression descended and all was gloom and doom. We noted he’d not been this fed up since Carol Vorderman had left Countdown.
A stent was required, to help the blood flow through his arteries, along with the Southern Comfort, Bells and the Antiquary, to name but a few. Fair enough, he’d given up on the 80+ fags a day and his pipe (I still remember the smell of St Bruno) a long time ago but these things do catch up with you in the end.
Come the morning of the procedure and RB was not his usual robust self, he only took the mickey out of me two or three times – a sure sign that he wasn’t quite himself. I got him to Wythenshawe Hospital for 7.15am, he was still rather quiet and subdued. I booked him in, walked him up to ward F2 and left him in the capable hands of the Doctors and Nurses for his angioplasty procedure. They told me to call back for an update at 1:30pm, so I spent the next few hours doing several laps of the hospital, inside and out, with the odd pit stop for coffee or tea etc. and my usual feeble attempt at the Telegraph crossword puzzle. “The trawlerman’s after deducting expenses (3, 6). Net profit”
Anyway, come 12:30 I phoned the ward and was told RB had had his procedure and all was well and I should pick him up at 3:00. Long hours passed until 3:00 and I entered his room with some trepidation, I expected to find RB conked out from the anesthetic and several tubes plugged into him. Instead, he was sat in a chair with a smile on his face. Hooray!
Turns out all had gone well and he was feeling fine. (Phew!) A Nurse came into the room to tell RB what he should and shouldn’t do over the next few days. Of course he ignored all that and started to chat her up! “Go home, rest and take it easy for a week”, she said. He thanked all the Doctors and Nurses and I took him home.
Driving him to his house, he started to tell me where both Steve and I were going wrong with the business and how we were generally a pair of turkeys (one of his favourite expressions). Being the number one Bernina dealer in Europe, phones that never stop ringing and websites bringing in sales from around the world cuts no ice with RB.
I phoned him the next morning to check if he was ok, of course he should have been in bed resting. “Bloody (sorry) Doctors receptionists” he said. “I’ve just cycled up to the surgery so they can remove the thing from me arm where they inserted the wire for my procedure”. Of course RB expected everyone to drop everything and sort him out straight away. He was back to his cantakerous best – and long may it continue!
(number one son)