I have written quite a few times previously about my parents’ gypsy curse, and if you flick back through my posts about it there are some quite amusing (sort of) incidents of bizarre and unfortunate things happening to them. They tend to have about, oh, one a month or something like that? And they range from the mildly inconvenient to the severely disruptive or expensive.
This week they’ve had one of their more serious and upsetting ones, so of course I had a lovely phone call from my distressed mother about it on Tuesday night. I’m expecting her to ring me about it again in a minute actually, what joy.
A few months ago my Dad got up out of his armchair, walked across the living room, and keeled over backwards onto the dining table having fainted. He bashed his back, but he came round fairly quickly and seemed to be more or less OK afterwards. I think he did see the doctor about it, because Mum felt he was on too high a dose of anti-depressants and that they might have caused it, and the doctor reduced his dose a bit and he seemed to be OK.
Tuesday was a nice sunny day, and as Dad is unemployed (we’re calling him ‘retired’ now, as he’s no longer actually looking for work) and has no commitments, he took his bike out for a ride round at a place called Whipps Cross near where my parents live. I don’t know if he went through choice or because Mum wanted him out of the house for a while, but either way he went.
He rode round for a bit, stopped somewhere, lent his bike against a tree, walked a few steps, and promptly blacked out. And fell. Into a lake.
Now, it’s quite lucky I suppose that he somehow fell (I don’t know how this worked) backwards into the lake, rather than face first. And that he didn’t drown, or fall into moving traffic or anything like that. He doesn’t know how long he was out for, but he woke up in the water and staggered out and was helped by two passers by. He was wet from head to foot, and they wanted to call him an ambulance, but he said no he was feeling better now and dissuaded them.
The silly sod then proceeded to walk the 15 minutes home, pushing his bike, ringing wet, and turned up there shortly afterwards. God knows what he must have looked like. I suppose he didn’t think he had much choice though – Mum couldn’t come to get him, he couldn’t get a taxi as he was wet and had his bike, and he didn’t want an ambulance. So he walked. At least it was a warm day.
Mum made him go to the doctors that afternoon, which in typical male fashion he didn’t want to do, and he’s been referred to a neurological unit for some tests in October. We know he’s got low blood pressure already, and that he’s almost guaranteed to get diabetes at some point. My Gran found out she had diabetes when she passed out in a market at about the age of 60. So I think that’s a fairly likely explanation, but the doctor didn’t agree as his blood tests six months ago didn’t show any signs of diabetes yet. So I don’t know what’s going on really. I would rather it be the blood pressure or diabetes, because at least there are ways of managing that, instead of it being something awful like a brain tumour. I really don’t know what would happen if he died, as Mum can’t really look after herself. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
The doctor said he can still drive but should be ‘very careful’. Mum thought that was retarded, because he’s had no warning at all when he’s passed out these two times, so she worries he’ll just pass out at the wheel and plough into something. She has sort of forbidden him from driving on the motorway at least, but that creates its own set of problems because they were meant to be coming to visit me in a week to stay in the flat above us again. I don’t think they’d be able to get their money back at this short notice if they cancelled, and they’d been looking forward to it. So that’s a problem and I don’t know what’s going to happen about it. I don’t personally think he’ll pass out at the wheel because it’s rare to faint sitting down, but whether Mum will decide to relent and they’ll just come anyway I don’t know.
So yes, the gypsy curse still rages on, and it’s a bit exhausting. In some ways I’d rather they both just got struck by lightning and have done with it, as at least that would be quick.