Thursday, 28th March, 2024

[Day 1473]

Well, every day has its triumphs and challenges and today was no exception. We knew that the assessor from the NHS ReAblement team was going to make contact and, sure enough, we had a phone call at about 9.30 and by 10.15 up she turned. I recounted to her some of the experiences that we had in had in hospital and at some of my accounts she rolled her eyes as things that should have happened and did not. She assumed that the existing care package was still in place but I informed her that the social worker had informed us that this was voided and a new care package had to be put into place. Then it was explained that it was supposed to work in one particular way but in practice worked in another way. However, the good news is that Meg is continue with the existing care package with the current agency, about which we are happy as Meg (and I) have gone to know and respect the various workers (from about eight) who have turned up to the house regularly. In addition, the care package is to be enhanced by one worker turning up in the evening to help me to get Meg to bed and this is actually what happened. The assessor supervised Meg walking to the stairlift and getting on it and had seen enough to assess Meg’s level of frailty and need. It was a very professional assessment and I felt had been done very well. We had just about come to the end of this when our hairdresser turned up by appointment – I had her appointment put on our planning board but (not for the first time) I forgot to consult it. Sp Meg had a ‘quickie’ hair do and I had my normal and then we set about preparing lunch, which as it was only a quiche that needed heating up in the oven and a few accompaniments was easy enough to organise. After lunch, I encouraged Meg to go and have a doze on our little two seater settee in the Music Lounge and, as good as gold, she had a good doze for the early part of the afternoon but did not sleep for too long which I felt was all to the good.

The afternoon brought its own particular set of challenges. Not having shopped for a couple of weeks I had been living off our stores and reserves but certain reserves such as bread and milk, I badly needed. So I decided to take Meg with me to get some basic shopping done – in future weeks I will have a carer in attendance so that I can do that on my own but today was a bit of an interregnum until the care package started off again. So I trundled Meg out to the car in her transit chair, got her slumped into the seat and made off to the local but smaller Aldi store which I know well. Then I had to get one of those special trolleys, somehow jam Meg’s transit chair into it (and I succeeded in doing it but the wrong way round) Then I had to push Meg in the wheelchair with the supermarket trolley with a mind somewhat of its own but managed to trundle around the store getting most of my regular purchases because I know exactly where things are. Then life became more difficult as I had to leave Meg on one side, get the shopping onto the conveyor belt and thence into my own bags and then load up the trolley with shopping and Meg in tow. The supermarket has installed a ‘scan it yourself’ system which I actively dislike but I think I inadvertently jumped a queue or perhaps other customers saw that I was struggling. As I was getting Meg into the car, the heavens opened with a cloud burst (having been fine earlier in the afternoon) but somehow I got the shopping into the car and then had to cope with Meg. If Meg does not place her feet firmly on the ground, them my pulling her forward onto her feet only propels the wheelchair forward but a kindly gentleman saw that I was struggling and kept the wheelchair steady whilst I bundled Meg in to the car – all in the pouring rain of course. Then I called in at Waitrose, got a copy of my daily newspaper and had to brave the rain again to get Meg into the house via her transit chair. I have to say that we were both a bit exhausted by all of this so I braved the rain to get the shopping indoors, made a swift cup of tea for both (and a dose of chocolate for Meg) and then watched an episode of ‘Yes, Prime Minister‘ to recover a bit from the afternoon.

For tea, I used up a whole pack of mushrooms to have mushrooms on toast with half a tin of mushroom soup and a good sprinkling of garlic. After this, I took Meg down in our main lounge to watch a bit of the news when the doorbell rang promptly at 7.00pm. It was the care worker from the ReAblement team so she and I put Meg to bed using our normal routines. Although I did most of the work, so to speak, I knew the routines and the extra pair of hands was incredibly useful. So we got Meg into bed before 8.00pm and after the excitement of the afternoon, I am pretty convinced that Meg should sleep like a baby (but I will go up to make periodic checks on her that all is OK)