....up and down, that’s how it goes.
A bit more up than down just now, although I have long lost count of the number of times I’ve wailed :
“Will this nightmare never end?”
Every time I think, “yessss, we’re getting there!” something new and unexpected happens. Would you believe me when I tell you that Beloved took to falling out of his bed every night for about a week? I am glad to say he’s decided to stop and stay in bed rather than go-crawl-about on the floor, running into the dog sleeping on her bed along the way and settling down for a little cuddle, before having another go at heaving himself up by painfully and laboriously clinging to any piece of furniture he was finding himself next to. He insisted that he’d fallen on his head once or twice; I should have believed him right away, he was silly enough for that to be true. On one occasion he went to bed with a bit of food stuck in a molar, he said; nothing would dislodge it, not flossing, sucking nor poking with a toothpick. But falling out of bed did it, he said; it was the first thing he noticed on landing on the floor.
Falling out of bed he hurt himself, scraping the skin on his shoulders, his neck (aha, he must have landed on his head!) and arms. creating small wounds, which bled and necessitated visits by district nurses to patch him up. District nurses are confident, capable, competent and friendly in a matter-of-fact way people; I am very grateful for their services. Unfortunately, they also tend to boss you around and refer you to all sorts of other services. We are now well and truly part of the ranks of the great unwashed, needy and vulnerable, who are considered to require the aid of untold agencies and their representatives. The trouble is, they all need to ‘assess’ us and our case and that takes time. Form-filling is a tedious occupation - more so for the ‘filled-in’ than the 'filler-inner’ - but it obviously pays their rent. I shouldn’t say that, they are all so earnest and well-meaning and I should just be thankful and shut up but I’ve always hated being patronised. But the young tend to do that, don’t they? So does anyone in the field of social care. I can only assume that most of their ‘clients’ are beyond working things out for themselves.
There’s another reason I should be grateful just now. Yesterday week ago I took a bad tumble on a mossy and damp part of the drive and really badly hurt myself all down my right side, ribs, shoulder, leg and ankle. Bruised ribs and a swollen leg don’t make for agility or even basic mobility. I could barely care for myself, much less Beloved. Isn’t it always so, once you’re in deep doodoo, something happens and the doodoo becomes a giant midden! The pain is less now but I still can’t walk Millie. You should see me getting in and out of the bath! Bare bottom on Beloved’s newly acquired bath board, gently swinging first one leg then the other up and over, feet anchored on the bath mat and, ‘Houston, we have lift-off!’ Except lift-off is perhaps too strong a word for my slow ascent to verticality (? is that a word?).
We now have a piece of paper stuck to the front door, inviting all and sundry to Ring the bell and come in. Door open. It takes ages for me to get to the front door or the landline phone so callers of either description might as well make use of this policy. Just as well we have few axe murderers in Valley’s End. And nobody carries a gun around with them either.
The first district nurse who called on Beloved after I had hurt myself commiserated by saying :”At least you don’t have the time to sit down for long,” implying that limping around on a stick was a better remedy for my aches and bruises and swollen knee than putting my feet up in relative comfort.
Ah well, there’s compassion in the world after all.
The only creature benefitting from all this is Millie; she’s never had so much exercise. Her social life is increasing faster than mine is decreasing, and that’s saying something, since mine has already dwindled to nil. Millie has acquired lots of new best friends, all willing to take the ‘poor dog’ walkies.
And Beloved is getting better too.