picture courtesy of www.firstpeople.us
My mother has been with me for five weeks now and it is six weeks since she had the fall. Sadly she is still in a lot of pain. I have taken her twice to our local Accident and Emergency Department (once at the three-week stage and again at the five-week stage) to see if anything else had been overlooked, but each time they confirmed that all else seemed to be in order and that she "just" has cracked ribs which will take many weeks to heal, especially at her age. The trouble is she has also had a flare-up of gastric trouble, because of all the painkillers she is taking, and is not eating, feels nauseous and has terrible indigestion. I did wonder at one point whether some vital abdominal organ had been punctured by a jagged rib, but with six x-rays on her spine/ribs and a further two x-rays on her abdomen, as well as an ultrasound scan, nothing alarming was found, although the utterly charming Italian doctor said to my 90-year-old mum "we are just looking for babies"! She has now been put on the very strong painkiller Tramadol which is helping to blot out the pain by rendering her comatose most of the time. Meanwhile, I run up and down the stairs in my lighthouse-like domicile with cups of tea, meals, snippets of news, a plump of the pillow and the drugs trolley. At least it's keeping me slim!
My other patient, Snoopy the dog, has been on the critical list. In fact on Bank Holiday Monday, when Kay was home for the long weekend, we were 95% on the way to the vet to have him put down. He was not eating, not drinking (which considering he now has kidney failure to add to his woes, it is essential he drinks), he was lying listless on his bed and occasionally trembling, we presumed in pain. The vet had very kindly left his mobile number on his surgery answer-machine - strictly for emergencies - so we texted him for advice and he agreed to come out to the practice to do the deed. However, as one very last resort, I gave Snoopy a canine painkiller and within a hour or so, he had completely rallied round and was looking lively and full of geriatric zest. Since then it has been a bit of a roller-coaster, resembling a Whitehall farce. Because of his incontinence, I have washed his bedding and sofa covers almost on a twice-daily basis, bought toddler nappies for him to wear at night, but having to cut holes in them to accommodate his tail has meant wads of disintegrating nappy lining blowing around the room like tumbleweed in the morning. He has thrown up on carpets, come in from weeing in the garden and then, only once safely inside, absent-mindedly pooed on the kitchen floor and looked so endearingly at me that I could not possible contemplate euthanasia. Talk about crying wolf!
My mother has my bedroom, as it has an en suite bathroom all on one level which she can manage comfortably. She sits in my lounge chair as it is the only one she can get in and out of without too much pain. The dog wees on all the others. I sit and sleep where I can - at one stage on a 1" camping mattress on the kitchen floor so that Snoopy, who has separation anxiety and always has to be in glancing distance of me, had quick access to the garden at night, when he was at his lowest point. I felt like Cinderella sharing quarters with Little Red Riding Hood's wolf. And so you see how enriched my life is, right now, and why I haven't been blogging. Hope things are better in your neck of the woods.