When I get back from Mother’s I am always in several minds; relief to be home and guilt at leaving her make uncomfortable partners. I also need to reflect on how things have been, as when I am there I seldom have much opportunity.
It wasn’t great timing coming home on Friday afternoon. For starters it was very hot and I had left Not Cat’s pillow that I can chill in the freezer in London. He had the ice blocks for my food instead, wrapped in towel underneath the shredded paper in his pet caddy. Probably a bit bumpy, but I didn’t want him overheating. That happened to Cat once on the relatively short journey to the cattery and it was very frightening.
My rhubarb survived without its cold companion. The mushrooms looked decidedly sorry for them selves and the hummus fizzed.
But the main reason I felt bad leaving was because of Mother.
When I arrived on Tuesday I saw her foot was swollen. I asked the carers about it. Neither knew how long it had been swollen. A District Nurse had been in the morning to do the dressing on her heel (it’s the same foot) and not said anything. I asked the carers to make a note so that the DN would look at it when she came on Thursday as I was likely to be already away on the boat, chugging along to the pump out, a journey that was more than necessary. But I’ll spare you the details.
A week ago, after a discussion with the GP, Mother’s nightly dose of Mirtazapine was halved. She had been sleeping late in the morning and very drowsy. On Monday night she was very unsettled and the carers blamed the reduced dose. They asked me repeatedly what I was going to do. In turn, I repeated what the GP had advised; we needed to wait at least a week to see how it panned out. This response was met with pursed lips and shaking heads.
On Tuesday night, Mother went to sleep in seconds. She had been delighted to see Not Cat. I don’t think she realises he’s mine, but she knows he’s not Cat, and points at him excitedly with lots of “Look, darling! Look! A little dog!” When he goes up to her and rubs her hand she beams. Just watching him soothes her More than ever I feel that there should be animals in every facility for the elderly. In fact one of the best ideas I’ve come up with is for a care home combined with a donkey sanctuary. In the hospital where Mother has had her three incarcerations this year, even PAT dogs are not allowed. The reason is Health and Safety, yet I know my mother’s health is improved by the presence of animals.
The guest room was booked on Wednesday night, so I tried out the new Aerobed which I inflated in Mother’s sitting room. The bed is fantastically comfortable. The problem was getting the chance to be in it. Continue reading