Chapter 9: Fletchers Dilemma
The plastic surgeon Major Wilson DSO MD performed his successful surgery on Fletchers right leg a fortnight later, when the medical team decided that he would be strong enough to undergo the operation.
It would now be left up to the QARANC Physiotherapy department to work with Fletch and try to teach him to walk on his badly injured right leg again, but for the next few days he was resting in his hospital bed from the trauma of his previous operation.
He had just received a letter from his parents in their home town of Winchester informing Fletch that they would be visiting him in hospital the following weekend and would be travelling up by car and bringing his current girlfriend, Ebony Rimmer with them to visit him.
Unfortunately although Ebony was 25 years old and a very pretty girl, she was always talking about the pair of them getting married soon, and that was the last thing on Fletch’s mind, he had too many things he wanted to do with his life right at this moment in time, and that most certainty didn’t include marriage in any shape or form.
Fletch was now in two minds whether or not to write to his parent to tell them to come and visit him alone, but he knew that the letter probably wouldn’t reach them in time before they were due to set off for Aldershot on the following Saturday morning, and he didn’t like the idea of talking to them on the telephone for hours on end, so he decided to say nothing and grin and bear it.
Anyway right now he had other things on his mind, and just couldn’t stop thinking about Bomber’s beautiful sexy young wife, and how much he was looking forward to her next visit again, although he knew this was wrong, Bomber being his best pal an all.
Over the next few days, time seemed to drag by for Fletch, but to his pleasant surprise Bomber’s wife Julie came to see him again during the Friday evening visiting hour. God he thought, he’d forgotten just how beautiful she really was when she pulled up a chair and sat down beside his bed.
Her soft long blond hair flowed over her right shoulder toughing the top of her deep red low cut dress. Fletch was captivated by her beauty and he found it impossible not to keep looking longingly into her deep blue eyes, Oh! how he just wanted to reach over and pull her towards him so he could kiss her on her soft wet ruby red lips, but somehow he managed to control himself as she started to make conversation with him.
“Did your operation go well Fletch”, I’m sure with a lot of hard work on your part you will be able to walk on it properly again soon”, she said softly.
Struggling to find the right words Fletch suddenly blurted out “Yer..... I’m sure I will with your help Julie”. and realising just what he said he suddenly changed it to, “ No...No.. I mean with you and Bomber’s help Julie.”
She gently laughed and said, “I’m sure Bill and I will always be there if you need any support Fletch, it’s the very least we could do for saving his life.”
“I’m hoping to get outside for some fresh air, when the Physiotherapy people eventually manage to get me a pair of crutches to stand up on Julie, God knows when that will be but I hope it sooner rather than later,” remarked Fletch.
“ If you would like me to take you out for a little run round the countryside in my car when you’re feeling up to it Fletch I’m sure Bill won’t mind, and anyway it will give you a change of scenery, I would think anything’s better than looking at four bare hospital walls all day long and I bet you would enjoy it.”
If only you knew how much!, thought Fletch, but for the time being he just nodded in agreement. The visiting hour always seemed to fly by when Julie came to visit, and Fletch was really disappointed when the nurse rang the hospital visitors bell, but Julie agreed to visit him again soon, so for the time being Fletch said farewell to her and was satisfied with that.
The staff nurse ushered all the visitors into Ward B3 the following Saturday afternoon and Fletcher’s girlfriend Ebony rushed to his bedside and kissed him on the lips.
“I’ve really missed you darling!, it’s been so long since we saw each other last, I do hope you can come home soon,” she said sadly, whilst cupping his head in one hand, and running her fingers through his thick brown hair with the other, which was slowly beginning to annoy Fletch, so he blurted out angrily, “ Oh!..... stop bloody fussing woman,” and Ebony quickly pulled away in surprise.
“Oh!.... I’m so sorry love, but I’m just sick of being stuck in here all day long, ” said Fletch. trying to make amends for losing his temper.
“Apart from the boredom, Jack how did the operation go son,?” said his father in anticipation. The sound of his father’s voice managed to cool down Fletch’s frustration at being cooped up in Ward B3 all day long, and as soon as he started to relax he found himself deep in conversation with his father about his future prospects.
His mother Eva, had brought him some of his home made favourite cookies along with a huge bunch of red and yellow roses which had been picked straight from his father’s garden, and she spent most of the hospital visit arranging the flowers in a multi coloured vase which she’d brought from home.
The hospital visit was soon over, and Fletch’s mother kissed him goodbye, leaving a large pink lipstick mark on his left cheek which made the family all start to laugh, and they promised to visit him again before his final release from hospital.
Fletch was pleasantly surprised that his girlfriend Ebony had not once mentioned marriage again, perhaps his father had told her not to mention it, he thought to himself, anyway he was relieved that he didn’t have to admit that he didn’t want to marry her.
On the Monday morning the patients in Ward B3 were all woken up at 0600hrs by the junior night nurses, and given their daily dose of pills, antibiotic injections and for those patients who couldn’t walk to the ablutions, a bed bath was the order of the day. Fletch always found it highly amusing watching the young nurses franticly running around like headless chickens, trying to make sure everything was in order just before the Matron, Lieutenant Colonel Janet Eastfield came round on her daily ward visit.
The Matron Lt Colonel Eastfield who stood about 5 feet 4 inches tall and was a little on the plump side to say the very least, although only very small she was feared by everyone in the nursing profession, even Fletcher’s surgeon, Major Wilson DSO MD use to jump to attention every time the Matron passed by.
All the ward sisters followed her around the wards like little lost puppies hanging on to her every word, and the staff nurses all stood to attention at the end of each patients bed looking like smartly dressed tin soldiers, with the patient’s medical history attached to a clip board in their right hand ready to pass it to her if she requested it.
For some unknown reason the Matron had a soft spot for Fletch and made a point every morning of talking to him, although Fletch enjoyed taking the Mickey out of her she simply loved it, and this was the only time a grin came across her hard weathered face.
The doctors and nurses however just couldn’t believe how Fletch managed to get away with some of the things he said to her, which on occasion was a little on the rude side, but Fletch looked forward to her daily rounds and the banter he shared with her to help him take the boredom of the hospital routine away.
His plastic Surgeon Major Wilson DSO MD came to examine Fletch straight after lunch and told him he was pleased with the healing process on Fletchers right leg, further stating that physiotherapy would now be in order and could start immediately, which pleased Fletch enormously.
“Does that mean I can start walking on a pair of crutches then doc,” enquired Fletch. “Well one step at a time, so to speak Corporal Fletcher”, replied Major Wilson, as he turned away towards the ward entrance to inform the ward sister of his decision.
As instructed two nurses from the QARANC Hospital Physiotherapy Department turned up an hour later to access Fletchers right leg capabilities, and put him through his paces. Although he found the physiotherapy quite painful and demanding at first, Fletch was only too pleased to be able to take the dressing off his leg and sit in a chair at the side of his bed in relative comfort.