Once again the enemy is at the gates. More people have been brought into the isolation wards which run the length of our corridor on Victor Synge ward, and the decision has been made to break up the ward and seek higher ground. Paddy, John and Vinny have had the good fortune of being discharged and have already rotated back to the real world. Requiring more care than I do, both Austin and Ed have been kept on the ward, while I have been relocated to the plastics ward – Anne Young – on the floor below. I’m not altogether a huge fan of this change in the status quo, but we have to trust that the people in charge know what they are doing. It isn’t the end of the world – well, not yet. Austin’s only complaint about the food in the hospital was that there was no fruit, and he would quite like an orange. At least this small desire gave me a reason to get up and see him and Ed.

Meanwhile on the floor below things have taken a turn for the hilarious. Down here the ward is made up of younger guys; some broken jaws, fractured heels and the like. Jimmy, Mustafa from Aleppo in Syria, Scot, Mariusz from Krakow, Declan and myself. Declan contracted an exotic disease in his finger from a goldfish. Mariusz cracked open his head off a rock in a mountain-biking accident. Scot leapt from Charlemont LUAS Bridge; only his mobile phone landed in the water for which he was aiming. Mustafa was assaulted for being a foreigner. Jimmy was assaulted by his friend. I had my backside sliced and diced. It didn’t take too long before we were having some craic in the room.

[Mount] Eithne – one of the care assistants – played her part in bringing us together. Nothing quite unites people in a common cause like a common foe. Eithne is a dear, God bless her, but a bit of a weapon when she wants to be. Asking for tea at ten o’clock (the usual time in other wards) was met by a swift tongue-lashing and five o’ the best for not being in our beds. She doesn’t yet realise that this transgression has signed her punishment warrant. Oh we have it in for her now. It looks like this will be a war of attrition.

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