Wednesday, 1st May, 2024

[Day 1507]

One of my favourite and, no doubt, incredibly trite expressions is that ‘tomorrow is another day’ and I certainly feel better this morning than I thought I would last night. But after Meg was safely in bed and asleep, I engaged in a long Skype call to my University of Winchester friend – we exchange notes about the conditions of our respective wives and provide each other with shoulders to cry upon. But for both of us, it is a source of comfort that there is someone who is always prepared to listen to one’s tales of woe. I also received a text from one of my nieces who had been following news about Meg’s condition and would dearly like to offer some help and support if only she did not happen to be 160 miles away. This morning, two of our usual carers turned up and I left even more of the task of getting Meg up and ready to them as I was a little short of time. We had two visits planned for the morning, one from the Eucharistic minister who calls around once per week and the other from our hairdresser who must have coming to us for the best part of fifteen years. Very fortunately for us, our hairdresser is well acquainted with Meg’s condition so we cut our coat according to our cloth. We decided, on this occasion, not to bother with a normal hair wash but Meg had a trim and a tidy-up, as did I, which we both judged would be easier whilst we had Meg sitting in her transit chair. So this broke up the morning somewhat, as did two telephone calls. One was from the manager of the care agency as evidently some of the reports that are fed back from the care workers had indicated that I might be under a certain degree of stress and needed support on my own account. Later on in the morning, he sent me a spreadsheet indicating that he had got some workers allocated who could help to provide a little extra assistance during the course of the day so that we are not left alone all day from about 8.30 in the morning until 8.00 at night. This is excellent news insofar as it goes but it requires Social Services to authorise it in terms of a budget, the trouble being that I cannot get any response from Social Services despite sending messages and it now being three days since I first requested a response from them. The second telephone call was far less satisfactory and was from the Occupational Therapy team who were responding to extra calls for assistance coming at them from myself, the lead person in the Falls Response Team and the manager of the care agency itself. But the response I got from the team was not what I wanted to hear. I desperately needed the OT team to pay a visit and see what extra equipment, perhaps in the form of hoists, could be a necessary aid to help me to maintain Meg in her own home. But then we got into the kind of bureaucratic nightmare which must have bedevilled social care for years. The OT team suggested that there was a problem because as Worcestershire Council were providing most of the funding (with contributions to myself) the NHS ReAblement team should be contacted for them to make an assessment and for them to pass a report to Social Services – in the meanwhile, here was a telephone number for me to call myself. I did refuse to accept this telephone number and eventually the person at the other end of the phone indicated that they would make the call themselves but I think we are in a kind of no-mans land at the moment, not really knowing where the front line actually is (reminiscent of the first World War) but I think we are in a position where a request may have been passed to the ReAblement team for them to make an assessment and then we have to wait for other not transparent processes to take place before any practical help actually appears. Having said all of that, I was in a position where I managed to get Meg to the dinner table unaided (an improvement on yesterday) and thence to her sofa in the Music Lounge where she is having a bit of an after dinner nap.

Today is the day before the elections that are to be held tomorrow and so is the last day of campaigning. Even tomorrow, it is not likely that many results will be forthcoming as some Councils will not start to conduct their counts until Friday (no doubt to avoid overtime payments and thus to save money) But there may well be some exit polls that will point the way ahead and the real day of drama, if any there be, will dribble out on Friday and the results of the election of mayors not until Saturday afternoon. We are expecting the visit of one of the specialist nurses (Admiral nurses) who care for Meg and we are keenly awaiting her visit as we have quite a lot of things to discuss since our last visit. Tomorrow is our ‘green and brown bin’ emptying day so I have to ensure that these are more or less full and then dragged to the kerbside edge read for emptying at a really early hour tomorrow morning. I took the opportunity to throw away a lot of accumulated newspapers and whilst I was at it, in a burst of energy, I disposed of some of the weeds along the curtilage of our roadways which were proving to be an eyesore. I have some particularly good green grippy gloves which are excellent for the purpose of large weed removal. But as soon as we have some fine afternoons, it is my intention to have Meg outside in the wheelchair whilst I do a more thorough job of the weeding. Meg and I amused ourselves this afternoon by looking at past episodes of ‘Have I Got News for You?’ followed by ‘BlackAdder‘ which is suitably inane to keep us entertained until the more serious business of watching the news programmes in the early evening.