Well well well, it appears I am a bit of a drama queen indeedy. Just as we were getting ready for a multitude of festive frolicking and much fun and feasting my wee appendix decided to put a little bit of a dampener on things! On the morning of the annual community Christmas party, as I was preparing a rather lovely avocado, chicken and mango salad with pomegranate no less, I was decidedly floored by a sharp breathtaking pain and series of sea-sick like dizzy turns. Crawling along the floor wondering if maybe I had gas (really!) I was quickly transported by the Dutchie to Torridon Medical Practice (after calling our wonderful neighbour Russ – who might have been in the middle of something fairly important…sorry Russ, who then ran up the hill to get Aart, who ran down the hill- apparently not quite as quickly as the pup to me). I was transported almost instantly to the hospital and spent Christmas eve recovering from an urgent appendectomy. Blimey!
We had a fully booked restaurant for Christmas eve, which had to be cancelled – such a shame and we couldn’t have been sorrier! The understanding from those of you we had to cancel was very kind- and the organisation from Chris and Marianne to let everyone know in time (to defrost some sausages??) was much appreciated too. Our long awaited family Christmas day with my brother and his gorgeous fiancee and teenage children along with our mum (who has had her share of health worries this year!) was not looking very promising.
Again, friends dearest organised things back here and Nicky, Adrian and Chris puled out all stops to find some accommodation for the family so I had a bit more space, and they a bit more comfort to recover. A snug wee cottage was arranged and they all settled in to wait.
I was operated on early morning on Christmas eve, and realistically it looked as if I would be out on the 27th… however with the magic of Christmas, a wee sprinkling of good will and a dusting of luck (and my veryy good behaviour in hospital) the Santa Surgeons let me out at 3 pm on Christmas Day – HO HO HO
Arriving home to see my amazing, mad, unique family all waiting for me around a table spread with goodies that my brother (and his trusty sidekicks Ryan & Josh) had prepped, organised and led the team in cooking for my arrival (this after driving for 2 days solid, and his own spinal and leg issues- hero). A magical night of a warm family – and one that has never taken an easy path, but when together are somehow just fit. I didn’t manage to eat much but have never enjoyed sparkling water and carrot, cinnamon and orange soup so much (recipe well and truly stolen Craig, thanks)
We decided to go ahead and have a Christmas gathering with our friends as well, they have been so good to us and thanks to the lads most of the hard work was done anyway so Boxing Day evening was spent around a wee wood-burning stove with merry folk all in silly hats… tucking in and feasting. I have to say that without the appendicitis it would have been a magical time… but the surgery, drama, and I have to admit pain and discomfort has made this years festivities quite different altogether for me. I wasn’t in charge (booo), I had to accept help (booo), I couldn’t eat much (booo) nor drink (booo) but the family pulled it off, the friends made it even warmer and the realisation that being with people who care about each other, and the pulling together in times of need and the joking banter of people who know you (yes, it’s very very funny that I have to get appendicitis to get off cooking) made this Christmas perfect.
Now however I need to rest! And listen to the sounds of computer games, guitar and teenage moods as they grump about being bored, the adults are getting sluggish with too much food and cheer, the dog is still trying to shred wrapping paper all over the floor…… ahhh perfect.