02 May 2013

Things that go bump in the night

I've been away from home for nearly two weeks, staying with my Mother  It's been a hectic two weeks. We were finally at the point where we could put her house on the market to start the long process of her moving back to London to be closer to me. I've been doing all sorts of jobs like weeding the garden for the umpteenth hundredth time, creosoting the fence and shed, washing net curtains, washing down paintwork, getting three agents to value the house and then picking one to proceed with the sale. Then we had to engage a firm to do the necessary Energy Performance Rating. So it's been one long round of hard work, organisation, paying out money and waiting for people to arrive. The house sale went online last Friday, will be in the local newspapers later this week and is already being sent out to prospective buyers in leaflet format. We had our first viewers visit on Sunday. There came a time in both our minds when we wondered if we were doing the right thing. My mother will be ninety this summer, so I do worry that this comes a bit late in her life to cope with a big move, selling a 4-bedroom house and massively downsizing to a warden-assisted one-bedroom retirement flat, thus having to dispose of extraneous furniture and a lifetime of memories. Even though I promised to do as much if not everything I could to take the load off her.

As if fate were reassuring us, albeit in a rather drastic fashion, I was awoken from a very heavy deep sleep (all this physical work has exhausted me at the end of each day) at 2am on Sunday night by my mother calling out to me. I staggered out of bed to find her slumped on the floor in the hallway splattered with blood. It appeared she had turned over in her sleep, was too close to the edge anyway and she had fallen out of bed onto the floor. In the process, she had bashed her face on the corner of the bedside table and couldn't get up again, because she has scoliosis - a back deformed by arthritis. She had shuffled on her bottom across her bedroom and out onto the landing to get to my room. Blood from her gashed face dripped down her nightdress. I  fetched a stool and managed to haul her into a sitting position up onto that and then to stand her up and assist her back to bed.  I got her to lie in the very middle of her double bed and surrounded her with a wall of pillows to stop her falling out again. We both slept fitfully in our separate rooms after that. I was due to return home on Monday but agreed to stay a few more days as, although nothing seemed broken, she was now in even more back pain than usual. She has never fallen out of bed in her life and cannot fathom why she has now, but I guess maybe the stress of the move had made her sleep in more turmoil than usual. However, one thing is clear, the move makes even more sense now. If anything happens in the future, she would be living 5 minutes away from me,  as opposed to the 2 hours she does now, with a warden on call if she fell.  A strange thing is fate.

5 comments:

Irene said...

It's very obvious that you are doing the right thing. I hope the house sells quickly, but can she not move before it sells? It seems such a worry to have to wait until it does. Good luck!

Kelloggs Ville said...

Gosh what a strain. Had similar todo with our aunt in Adelaide having a fall just as all the move turmoil etc was happening. Difficult times.

Elizabeth said...

You and your mother are certainly doing the right thing. I have just returned from NZ where I helped my 93 year old mother settle in a rest home. She had resolutely refused to move from her house until now and I thought she might live there until she was 100. But once you are over 90 one small incident can cause a quick downward spiral and suddenly my mother needed help for almost everything. I wish your mother all the best and long happy years as an almost neighbour.

Nota Bene said...

Definitetly the right move...hope she is OK

nuttycow said...

Oh gosh - your poor mother. Glad it wasn't more serious. Love to all.