She was better than I dared hope, and her surprised reaction, her face breaking into a delighted smile when she saw me, was worth millions. I had brought three bottles of her favourite fruit juice, M&S’ Kale and Mango. It looks like water from a particularly scummy pond, but tastes like heaven.
By the time I left, shortly after four this afternoon, there was very little of the 750ml left in the first bottle. If you can drink a bottle a day I said, and she refrained from telling me I was being bossy, it should keep you hydrated and ward off UTIs. They are the things we have to watch out for, they’ll make you fall. And you feel dreadful, she added, showing me that what I told her was nothing she didn’t know already.
It was extremely difficult to broach the carer conversation. But about an hour before I left I managed it. I had been speaking to one of the community nursing team, repeating my fear that Aunt will develop pressure sores on her heels. She raised the subject of carers. I explained how Aunt and I had both been less than impressed by some of Mother’s carers. I gave examples. The nurse tutted and said she saw what I meant.
Anyway, I don’t need carers, said Aunt. Back to square one. Except this time I talked about her having carers to support Linda, carers who Linda could supervise in the first instance, so that they know where the boundaries are. Linda spends much of the time when she is not with Aunt worrying about her. It’s stressful to put it mildly. I reminded Aunt how she had spent all her time worrying about Mother when she was her primary carer, the toll it had taken on her. Aunt nodded and looked thoughtful. By having carers she could ease some of those anxieties for Linda.
And I found the essential oil diffuser, so we spent the afternoon in a scented cloud of lavender. Another treasure was the electronic photo frame I gave her years ago. I had assumed it was broken, but when I plugged it in we saw pictures of Uncle Bill’s grandchildren, Aunt’s great nieces and nephews. A bit more rummaging and I found a whole collection of USBs Uncle Bill had sent her. I may have to put some of MasterB on a USB as well. She has lots of him on her tablet, but I shouldn’t like him to be eclipsed. Last night I missed the weight of him on my feet, which is where he likes to sleep, but he’ll have been happier at home, and anyway pets aren’t allowed on the coach.
It was definitely a journey worth making, and now i have discovered the joys of coach travel, it’s an option I may well choose again, though I am wondering if I could get the train to Cambridge and then pick up the coach from there. I might even be able to read my book instead of carrying it back and forth with only a few pages read before bed.