Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024

[Day 1528]

Last night turned out to be a fairly horrendous evening which had some implications for today. The carers put Meg to bed by 7.30, and she should have been ready to sleep not having had a sleep during the day, as I would normally have liked. But Meg got increasingly agitated and I used every trick in my limited armoury to try to make her calm. Trying to climb out of the bed, albeit the bed had been put into lowest position, could still have ended up with Meg on the floor which was an outcome I desired to avoid. Eventually., after two hours and twenty minutes, it looked as though Meg had finally drifted off to sleep. My sister had given me a FaceTime call just at the point where the care workers had arrived so I said I would return her call at 8.00pm which in my mind became 9.00pm and then 10.00pm but, in the event, I thought I would leave it until the following day. Today, I got up rather late being well nigh exhausted what with the shenanigans all day not to mention all evening but the care workers arrived on time and did their job efficiently, even though Meg was still very sleepy when they arrived. Fortunately, today was one of those days when it seemed to be raining most of the day so there was no question that Meg and I would attempt a trip out today. But we knew that our domestic help would arrive to do her stuff as is normal each Wednesday. Together, we had a look at the little systems I had installed and refined them further. In particular, we took a piece of furniture which we had intended to be a tea trolley but instead rather looked like the kind of trolley that gets trundled around hospital wards when the drugs round occurs. On this we have all the toiletries and other requisites required for Meg’s care so this was a useful re-purposing of something we already had in our possession. When the carers called around to make their midday call, I was amazed to suddenly find them in the room. They had turned up and could not get anyone to respond to the doorbell. Our domestic help had let them in but I was so dog tired with what happened yesterday a certain amount of running around to help our domestic help this morning that I had fallen fast asleep on the chair. Just as our domestic help was on the pont of leaving, a parcel turned up via Amazon or eBay which might prove tremendously useful in our new situation. This was a Chinese made camp bed which appears quite sturdy with eight feet but which concertinas together to fold away into a much smaller space when not required. By the time I have put my temporary folding foam mattress on top of this and I have Meg’s hospital bed put to its lowest position, then the two sleeping surfaces are within about an inch of each other. This means that I can continue to get a comfortable nights sleep but if Meg get’s distressed in the middle of the night, then I am only an arm’s length away. There is also the additional and unintended bonus that if Meg were to attempt to get out of bed or even to fall out of bed then one of the sides of the bed will not now be available to her. Of course, tonight’s sleep will be proof of the pudding but so far I think the improvements we have made to Meg’s new sleeping quarters and with a slight rearrangement of some of our furniture, then our new little systems look ready to settle down.

After I made some lunch for myself, Meg was in quite a sleepy state so I took the opportunity to make a lightning visit down to Waitrose to collect our daily newspaper. One of the Asian partners who knows me well and who is well aware of Meg’s frail condition gave me a hug and a kiss and pressed two bunches of flowers into my hands -one for Meg and the other for myself. Then in the mid afternoon, we were rather fixated on the evidence to the Post Office statutory enquiry of Paula Vennels (previous CEO of the Post Office) On one stage in this ‘show’, we had tears as well as the by now customary litany of arguing that they could not remember a relevant email which was now displayed to the rest of us. But then I received a very long and welcome phone call from one of my (female) ex-University of Winchester colleagues who reads this blog daily and is a tremendous source of advice and practical help which she gave to me at the time of my colon cancer episode some six years ago now and is now being repeated for Meg. My friend has very direct experience of nursing both her mother and her sister so she absolutely knows what she is talking about. She is currently experiencing some of the traumas associated with selling her house in Oxfordshire which is going slowly and seems to be generating some of the kinds of problems with estate agents which one could well do without.

Very late on this afternoon, there was very well informed speculation (broken by Beth Rigby on Sky News who often has a fast track on breaking political news) that there will be a general election to be held on July 4th. The microphones are being assembled in front of 10 Downing Street and Rishi Sunak has now condirmed that he is going to make a bold dash for a very thin opportunity to resurrect the fortunes of the Conservative party by going to the country on July 4th. There are one or two smidgeons of comfort for the Tory party (inflation dropping, Rwanda legislation passed) that Rishi Sunak thinks the gamble may be worth. However, the Tories are 20 points behind in the opinion polls but there is always the thought that they think that things might be even worse in a few months time so who not go the country now. Many Tory MPs are nervous of the prospect of a July election but, in general terms, the opposition parties will be delighted. the Labour party in particular is well geared up to an election and the situation in Scotland with the collapse in the SNP) is looking more favourable to them