David Burge Updates

David Burge updates his journey with leukemia

Alternators and the New Year

with 2 comments

On the way to the doctor’s appointment this afternoon, I noticed that the battery light was showing in the car. It wasn’t just the battery light, the handbrake light was on too. Then the dashboard went out completely but the car still drove. Then the car engine stopped! Fortunately we were heading off the motorway at the time. All green traffic lights, no cars in the way and a downhill slope allowed us to coast to a petrol station. Some of the attendants helped push the car out of the way. One of them kindly rang for a taxi and we promised to return after the appointment to deal with the car.

The doctor’s appointment went fine. Dave had a blood test and I collected his prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy. We caught a taxi back to the car. Jim (Dave’s Dad) kindly collected Dave as we knew it was going to be a while: Dave was already feeling tired. The AA (similar to AAA) came within the hour: I was sure that it was going to be something very expensive, complete dashboard failure… but it was the alternator. So it was a tow truck to get home and we will get the car towed to our usual mechanic after the holidays. I got home in time for dinner kindly prepared by Glenise (Dave’s Mum) and the older children.

While I was waiting for most of the afternoon …

I was thinking how useful it is to carry a little cash for such emergencies (which we did have). I was reminded of when Dave first went to the emergency eye clinic and we had Ruth with us. It was an all day event: GP to eye clinic and then on to Middlemore. I had cash with me and was able to buy nibbles from a vending machine for Ruth which I s–l–o–w–l–y fed to her to help pass the time. She would not sleep :-/. Every time she cried with tiredness people would appear to check if she was OK. You won’t believe how oppressive it is at hospitals with a small, loud child. Everyone assumes that you are hitting your child if they are crying. One person asked me if the small round blister on her foot (probably caused by a shoe) was a burn – was she thinking that I was putting cigarettes on my child’s foot? I know they must see some terrible things. Ruth is a determined and loud little girl, not unlike her mother at that age. But I am getting sidetracked: I had bought dinner for her, but Ruth and I left the hospital about 10 pm and the cafe was shut. The vending machines were not, and cash was more than useful.

I was reminded how much politeness can mean to people. When life is difficult, one rude word can be the straw that breaks the camel back. Today the garage staff were wonderful and helpful. The taxi service wonderful. The AA mechanic was polite and when I explained Dave’s illness, why Dave had gone home and why it was necessary to give a different cell phone number to the towing company than the one I had called from, a simple “I’m sorry” was appreciated. His parting comment that he wished us the best for the New Year and a successful bone marrow transplant. In contrast, I was in a department store a few days ago and I mentioned Dave’s illness and the store manager said, “Well, we all have our stories”. I am not exactly sure what he meant. Perhaps he is having a hard time himself but his tone suggested that he was not really interested or that he thought I was making things up. Either way I think a better policy is to take people at face value. It would have been better for him to feign interest. By the way, I wasn’t asking him to change store policy, he had already agreed to the exchange of goods. Just say, “I’m sorry to hear that”.

I was also thinking about hope. But I will leave that for another post.

Happy New Year to you all. Both Dave and I hope to see you all this time next year 🙂


Written by admin

December 31, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Posted in from Tarnya

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. God is so good to provide an off ramp, green lights, a downhill slope, and friendly petrol station attendants for you. He didn’t stop the problem, but gave you a way to deal with it. Just like life.

    Hope today has been a good day for each of you in the Burge family. We pray for you everyday.

    Much love -Rhonda for the guys, too.

    Rhonda Walsh

    January 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

  2. Being a parent, I don’t automatically assume if a child is crying the parents are hitting them 🙂 I wonder how many people do?

    As for peoples’ reactions in stores etc? In the words of The Doors, “people are strange”.

    My latest is here http://wp.me/pKoTn-4x , i mention David briefly.



    January 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: