Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Debi and her Dad. Part 2

I'm not so stupid.
This time I checked the library before going to dad's flat.
Good move as it turned out cos there he was. Same light summer jacket but at least it's warm and dry today.

He had a new dressing on his head and I found some notes at his flat from the district nurse.
Result? Not quite as it turns out. The dressing on his elbow hadn't been touched. I tried to take it off but bottled out again as it was sticking to the wound.

Bah! Will have to phone them yet again. Knowing how these things go, what's the likelihood of them coming while he's in the library?

There was a letter there saying he has an appointment at a Falls Clinic for an assessment.
Where did that come from?
On the plus side, it said he'd be there for a full day but they'd arranged transport.
On the minus side, there were various aspects that were unclear to me, let alone him.
Will phone them and find out so I can explain it to him and leave an appropriate daft-old-bugger note.
Thing is, my number's on just about everything connected to him, so why didn't anyone phone me to let me know this was being arranged?

On Monday I'd switched his heating on and left a note on the switch.
'It's getting cold. Keep heating on or face the wrath of the daughter.'
It was off today, of course.

A conversation about people going on holiday without insurance:
Dad: Well of course that's really foolish ...
Me: You can bloody talk. Look what happened last time you went away.
Dad: Where?
Me: Portugal.
Dad: Ah yes, I remember. I came home early.
Me: No you didn't. You came home late! Alan (my brother) went to bring you back.
Dad: Really? Why? What was wrong with me?
Me: (Taps chest. Don't want to remind him of that terrible time last year when he was rushed to hospital and had 2 emergency stent operations before anyone so much as got round to contacting me to tell me.)
Dad: What, heart? Nonsense. I've never ever had any problems with my heart.

I got back in time to pick up LG and had a conversation with a woman in a similar position, except her father's in a residential home just up the road.
It seems she and I are a recognised phenomenon.
We even have a name: 'sandwich carers'. Not because we make lunches (though we do) but because we're sandwiched between the needs of children and parents.

In the news this week: people in the 100+ bracket are in the largest growing age category.
Hope society gets its act together to take proper care of our elders before we ourselves become the bread instead of the filling.


Unknown said...

I suspect it's going to be up to us to ensure that we don't become the bread. If our generation don't make a noise now about how our societies care for the elderly we'll only have ourselves to blame when we reach 100+ and aren't properly care for. I suppose it becomes, yet again, of needing to play on peoples' fears in order to make them sit up and notice. ie "if you don't do anything now, Mr Brown, it'll be you, in a few years time..."

Anonymous said...

Mega point absolute vanilla, but in Mr Brown's case he'll have creamed enough away to pay for the best care for himself and family!!!

I do feel for you Debi. My Mum is 83 and by and large is brill for her age. Her main complaint is that she gets out of breath running for the bus and could it be something serious! Although she does suffer from SMS Selective Memory Syndrome, ie she'll take on board what she likes the sound off, but if not it's forgotten about and no amount of explaining, red faced empathising (ok, shouting) on my part will get it home.

Hope you can get something sorted at the hospital and don't get passed from pillar to post.

Debi said...

Update: Just spoke to dad this morning. He's outraged as he has a new appointment letter and it's for the geriatric dept.

He may be 92 but he certainly doesn't relate to the word 'geriatric' ...

Anonymous said...

Well at least he's had a reponse.

Words are only how you define them, i.e. geriatric - person with a lot of life experience, it's just geriatric takes less space on a sign!

Debi said...

Good point, Kath.

But the word has connotations he hates. Neither he nor my mum would ever admit to being middle-aged so suddenly finding himself labeled geriatric has been a shock for him.