Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Good Grief

It's been a long and hectic couple of months.

Dad isn't very well at all. He had a heart attack, had a collagen stent fitted and spent over two months in hospital recovering.

Badly.

He became what is euphemistically referred to as "altered". This translated into essentially senile and it was very upsetting watch.

He was transferred from the heart ward to an elderly care ward from one hospital to another and then yoyo'ed back and forth from ward to ward in the second hospital.

There were some nightmare patients. One, Brian, refused to accept that he couldn't walk and would repeatedly roar for help long after he had been told that he couldn't get out of his chair.

Dad, lairly himself, would threaten violence every time something happened to make Brian cry out. That didn't make him popular with the other patients.

The predominantly Filipino staff were brilliant and had dog's abuse to put up with. How they kept on smiling was beyond me. They are heroes. Honestly.

After being treated for infection after infection (acquired in hospital, but frankly, self inflicted), he was allowed out a couple of weeks ago with a series of tablets in little compartmentalised boxes.

He has a personal carer visiting him once a day and whose presence he resents every time, a nurse visits occasionally, MwK visits at least once a day, most of the time twice a day and I try to visit on the weekends when I'm not tied up with stuff like Elderly Uncle, bills and life in general.

Kid Brother has been on holiday for three weeks (spending all that time incommunicado) and even on his return didn't contact anyone straight away as he was feeling tired.

The poor love.

I'm knackered. I have no weekend to myself, so all the housework (laundry etc) has to be done in the evenings.

The cheapest National Express tickets are at awkward times (I really don't enjoy getting home in the early hours of Monday morning after four hours stuck on an overheated, stinking coach) but they're cheap.

I'm skint. I am bobbing along the bottom of my £1000 overdraft and I'm still in debit after my wages are paid in to my bank account.

MwK has done a huge amount to Dad's house including repainting the kitchen, back living room and all the paintwork. I painted the small hall.

He sanded and varnished two of the rooms left empty by the Stinky Old Bat, has acted as Point Man for all of Dad's friends who want to visit and went to work as well.

Dad had severe mobility problems before his heart attack and is now housebound. He now has a little key safe by the front door so that he doesn't have to get up to open the front door to callers.

Whilst in hospital he acquired bed sores after refusing to get out of bed for gentle exercise and now complains bitterly to anyone who will listen about the pains in his feet. All the while doing nothing to help himself.

He can cook a pot of porridge in the mornings and, later, cook sausage and mash. But only if someone has peeled and cut up the spuds for him.

He is too weak and lethargic even to go outside for a little potter in the garden.

All the while he'll complain about how MwK is doing nothing to help him and how he's a waste of space.

I've tried telling him that without MwK he'd still be in hospital or, worse in a nursing home, but Dad isn't having any of it.

Elderly Uncle has deteriorated and is having trouble swallowing. He's effectively palsied into a near foetal position and his chest bubbles when he coughs but he's still here. Or rather, he's still a two hour train and bus journey away.

In short, it's been grim, it is grim and the situation is likely to remain grim for the forseeable future.