Wednesday, 8th May, 2024

[Day 1514]

Today has turned out to be an interesting day. This is the day when our domestic help calls around and she can always be relied upon to lift our spirits and to lend a helping hand, when asked. I had resolved that after we had breakfasted this morning, we would repeat the pattern of the last couple of days and venture forth in our external transit wheelchair, brought inside the house for the purpose. Meg had had a bit of a disturbed night last night but I managed to make her comfortable after which she seemed to sleep more soundly but still seemed quite sleepy this morning. The doctor after he had called had prescribed some antibiotics but the pharmacy are having problems in supplying these – which may or not be a Brexit related problem. Pushing Meg in her conveyance down the hill is not really problematic apart from the odd one or two steeper uphill sections but I timed myself today and found that it only took me 21 minutes from leaving the house to arriving in Waitrose. We did not expect to see any of our friends today but nonetheless we had a pleasant coffee and apple pie between us before it was time for a quick purchase and then the journey back home again. One would have thought that the journey home, largely uphill, would have been a lot more difficult and would take considerably longer. But for reasons I cannot fully explain, the journey back does not seem particularly arduous and it only took me a minute longer to get back than it took to get me down in the first place. Whilst I was in Waitrose, I got a call on my mobile from the extremely helpful physio who knows Meg well and who said that she was going to call around tomorrow in the late morning. But as Meg’s condition seems to have deteriorated so some extra solutions seem to have been forthcoming to cope with attendant problems.Once we got home, we turned on ‘Questions to the Prime Minister’ which is a regular commitment on Wednesdays. The Labour party pulled off a bit of a parliamentary trick because there had been another defection of a Tory MP to the Labour ranks, this time the MP for Dover. But the announcement was timed for about one minute before the PM was due to answer questions and so when Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, announced that there had been two defections within two weeks the rest of the Tory benches were left scanning their own benches and the Labour benches to see who the defector happened to be. There has been a variety of reaction to Natalie Elphicke’s defection to the Labour Party on both sides of the political spectrum as she is on the extreme right of the Conservative party. Normally, the MPs who defect are at least ‘centrists’ but to have a confirmed right-winger join the Labour Party is causing eyebrows to be raised in both the Labour as well as the Tory party. After the normal knock-about stuff of PMQ’s with planted questions, prepared responses and the like, we pressed on with getting some lunch prepared. But just before lunch, we had a late morning visit from one of Meg’s carers who she knows quite well, a lady from Peru. We worked out that the physiotherapist who had called yesterday had recommended to social services that the number of visits a day be increased from three to four (getting up, going to bed, and toilet assistance at the end of the morning and in the mid-afternoon) and this new arrangement had been put into effect immediately which was very good news for us. After we had had our lunch, I got Meg to doze for about half an hour and then a nurse called around who had been detailed to take some blood samples from Meg. The doctor had evidently ordered a full array of tests because I think that eventually up to eight samples were taken although the nurse had some difficulty taking the samples. Just before she left, the ‘afternoon’ carer showed up and this likeable lad was skilled in the use of the Sara Stedy, We had three attempts to get Meg to stand upright but she does not now possess the body strength to stand up so that the technology can be used as intended. This does not mean that all is lost, though, as I have a grab belt (which I could not immediately locate) and I think that putting this on Meg and exerting some upward pressure by one carer whilst the other carer folds the leaves of the Sara Stedy into place might just do the trick. The young male carer and I put Meg to sleep on the settee in our normal lounge and she seems to have fallen into a sleep again which must be to the good. Perhaps the exertions of trying to use the Stedy had all proved a little too much for her.Tonight, the extremely experienced carer who helps to put Meg to bed in the evening said we would devote a little time to seeing how we could use the Sara Stedy this evening and then, of course, I should have the help and assistance of the physiotherapist who is due to call around tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the day of the funeral of Meg’s cousin who died recently at the age of 88. As of two weeks ago, we fully intended to make ever effort to attend her funeral but the way that things have developed in the last few days, this is now almost completely out of the question. If Meg cannot stand even holding onto an open car door, then there is no way I am going to manage to get into a crematorium and thence to the reception afterwards, not to mention the strain of the journey. So this will, regretfully, have to be given a miss. In a similar vein, I had booked a couple of tickets for a concert late on Saturday afternoon but this, too, is now out of the question so I will just have to find some other entertainments for my birthday on Saturday.