Tuesday, 26th March, 2024

[Day 1471]

So this is the first day after Meg’s discharge from hospital and although I suspected that the day might present a few challenges (for both of us), nonetheless we were both filled with a spirit of optimism. I was very conscious that after practically nine days in hospital Meg would have lost a little bit of muscle tone, not to mention getting the brain and muscles working in tandem with each other. For my part, I knew that I had to adapt some of my pre-hospitalisation techniques somewhat, so it was a learning curve for both us. But we managed the washing and dressing process using the wheelchair more than our standard bathroom chair and then we were prepared for the ‘great descent’ which was the first time that we had used the stairlift to go from the top of the stairs to the bottom (evidently, last night, it was the first time we had gone from the bottom to the top) The stairlift has a hand control but also two remotes, one at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom. In these early stages, I am operating the stairlift solely with the remote control because I did not wish Meg to use the hand control, get it slightly wrong and then panic. The transit downstairs went very smoothly and then it was into Meg’s favourite armchair in our Music Lounge before we had a fairly swift breakfast. As today is a Tuesday, we knew that it was the regular day for the Waitrose crowd to meet up in the cafeteria and it so happened that we all turned up at practically the same moment at 10.30am. Our other two friends, as well as the staff, greeted Meg very warmly and we had our normal coffee and comestibles. I decided to treat myself to a blueberry muffin but the staff insisted on making it gratis for me as it was Meg’s first day out of hospital. A little later one, the partner who generally deals with the flowers, came along with two bunches of roses and two bunches of narcissi which were distributed between us as wonderful little gifts to the regulars. Is it any wonder that we continue to frequent Waitrose when we were treated so well? To the same ‘flower lady’ who I know quite well, I opined that I was desperately waiting for Easter Sunday because on that day, I was going to break my Lenten fast and enjoy once again the things I had eschewed throughout the last six weeks which was chocolate, gambling, fast cars and loose women. I enquired whether on Sunday I could still forego the gambling but whether some fast cars and loose women would be available for me and they told me they would do their best. After a pleasant half hour, Meg started to feel a little wobbly which was not surprising as the changed routine made me forget to give Meg some of her regular morning medication. Once we arrived home, our neighbour was out starting to edge his lawn and he came over for a chat about this and that whilst we enjoyed some pale spring sunshine. I was experimenting a little using one of our recently acquired little transport chairs (actually commodes on wheels but without the commode bit in use) to get Meg in and out of the house. I had put down a rubber mat which helped to secure transit over some of the doorway flanges and then I got Meg onto our our little two seater settee whilst she tucked into tea and biscuits whilst I prepared the lunch. We have been used to a quite remarkably good regime of food whilst in the hospital so the challenge for me is to prepare somewhat smaller but tasty meals for Meg and myself which are are the equal of the hospitals. The Sunday that Meg had her little incident (a sudden drop in blood pressure) I had cooked a ham joint of which half was frozen and the other half available for our lunches, I made some onion gravy into which the ham slices were immersed, rescued some baby spinach from the fridge which was in danger of ‘going off’ and then cooked it, topping it with a poached egg and also our usual baked potato. So all of this worked pretty well.

The afternoon was spent in a very quiet mode but still one that has to be carefully micro-managed. We started off with a nice little period sitting side by side and both more or less dozing on our two seater settee after lunch. Then I negotiated a wobbly spell for Meg after which we watched a couple of ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ on the BBC iPlayer before deciding on a change of venue. I wheeled Meg down into our main lounge (which she has not seen for over 10 days now) and decided to watch the YouTube offerings that were available to us. Whilst I blogged, Meg was listening to a series called, I think, the world’s finest operatic arias and this was a source of mutual enjoyment for the two of us. I reflected that Meg and I have not to get cross with each other but to work as a team to work out solutions to little problems and, of course, pragmatism reigns supreme. But so far, we have had a pretty successful day and we will shortly have a tea which I suspect will entail something with custard, a bit of news, a bit of Politics on the Sky News Politics Hub programme and thence to get Meg to bed after that. Meg and I have scoped what we are going to do tomorrow morning and the first day without carers has actually worked out pretty well for both of us.