My mother-in-law has been sprung from hospital where she’s been since Christmas. She’s had a number of falls mainly because she refuses to use her walking stick or her walking frame. She doesn’t like the necklace that’ll summon help either – she dangles it over her bedside lamp where its neither use nor ornament. The falls in turn led to her taking to her bed and not taking her various medications – “Well I don’t need them, do I? I’m in my night dress.”
“Yes, Mam you do.”
“But I only take my tablets during the day.”
“It’s day time whether you’re dressed or not. Remember what the nurse said?”
“Humph. To full of her own importance that one. And another thing. You can take that dratted noise away.”
“That phone. I don’t like it ringing and its too complicated, all those buttons.”
“But if you’re in your bedroom you won’t be able to answer the phone when it rings in the living room.”
This was met by silence.
“Mam, we get ever so worried when you don’t pick up the phone. Anything could have happened.”
“I’ll be perfectly alright.”
“But we don’t know that do we?”
As there is no answer to that we let the conversation drop but forgot to remove the phone when we left having got things organised for her post hospital life, not that it’ll make any difference. She won’t answer it.
So the carers are in place…again. My sister-in-law is going to meet them on Tuesday. There’s food in the fridge for the carers to prepare in date order from left to right across the fridge and there’s a walking stick in every room – holding the walls up. For some reason best known to themselves the hospital which doesn’t offer chiropody to its elderly patients even when its clear that its required (that’s a whole different saga) has chosen to send another walker and another one appears to have arrived to form a herd of the things – so that’s three frames neatly located in three different rooms gathering dust – “These frames are too wide. Besides they make furrows in the carpet. Just like rotators they are.”
I think she meant rotivators. Oddly enough I haven’t noticed any frame users ploughing up the pavements let alone the Axminster but what do I know? “Mam, the doctors said that you needed to use the frame or stick to help you keep your balance.”
“He was on work experience,” My mother-in-law waved a regal hand, “He wasn’t old enough to be a real doctor but I’ll say this for him he had very nice manners. Besides I shall be staying in bed.”
“You can’t do that. The doctors said you’ve got to keep moving. Remember what they said about thrombosis and bed sores. That nurse said there was no reason why we shouldn’t take you out for a drive and a nice cup of tea if you were well wrapped up. Wouldn’t you like to go out, even for a little while?”
“No. And as for wasting money drinking from public cups – I don’t know what they teach them these days.”
“I think, generally speaking, that cafes wash their cups between customers and I think we can run to a cup of tea and a slice of cake.”
“I can’t eat cake. I’m diabetic.”
Best not to mention the large tin of chocolate Tunnock bars I found in the kitchen then.