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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

An Utterley Pants Day!

Its been such a horrible day and right now I feel pretty low and depressed and that's putting it mildly! I don't really feel I've been on holiday this past few days at all to be honest.

I was woken at 2am by my Mother who was hysterical – Father wasn't well and she was having a job to get him back into bed – I don't know how or why he got out, but he was. I felt I just couldn't go out – I felt incapable of leaving the house at that time. It may sound mean, but I just couldn't. It wasn't a life and death situation after all, otherwise I would have gone without question. Mother had the option of calling an emergency team, but chose not to after getting him back into bed and into a fairly reasonable position. I won't go into the gory details of why he wasn't well, but the drug he is newly on called Clopidogrel, had made him bleed.

I lay there feeling guilty about not going out and basically didn't really sleep, so might as well have gone anyway. I phoned my Mother at 6.20am who had just rung the emergency team because this was the THIRD time he had got out of bed, but this time she couldn't get him back. He was sitting on the floor next to the bed. The falls team she normally rings were not able to come out and she was asked to ring the paramedics, who came out pretty quickly.

I jumped in the shower, chucked some gear in a bag and flew over to Holme. Three paramedics were still there when I arrived. An electrician rang me to say he was coming out to look at the dodgy double socket. I could tell from this moment on, it was going to be a full on, stressful and rubbish day. The paramedics were nicely lecturing my Mother about how it was time she looked after herself and how could she possibly continue to care for Father etc etc. All his obs were fine and I think the paramedics also thought the bleeding could have been due to the drug which is a side effect in some cases, but obviously they couldn't be sure. They also told us the hospital was in black alert and that there only two beds available earlier this morning in the entire hospital – what a crazy situation! They asked us to phone Father's GP to get someone to come out, which Mother did. The paramedics got a few home truths from me, which made Mother furious.

Anyway, long story short, after they left we then attended to Father. He was exhausted and looked really pale, which is hardly surprising after a night of no sleep, Mother didn't look much better either. I made him eat a banana first of all, to give him some energy. He was cold – washed his top half and put on my new thermal birthday vest, shirt and thick jumper. Then he had breakfast which Mother made and I helped him with. Then he fell asleep poor man, he was exhausted.

The rest of the morning consisted of helping Mother to tidy up from all that went on. Dealing with the electrician who was brilliant (Lighthouse Contract Ltd from Hunstanton). Then we got a phone call from the fire service (who I had contacted earlier this week) who then came out to fit two smoke alarms. Mother wrote the shopping list and I went to Hunstanton to do her shopping (didn't see any point in doing on-line shopping whilst I was there!). Then went into Hughes Electrical to order a Dimplex heater for her. Returned home to find the Community Matron attending, who didn't really help that much to be honest, apart from advising to leave off the Clopidogrel for a few days and then continue with it again, then stop again if today's side effects returned. I spoke to Father's GP on the phone afterwards about the situation.

Next job – rang the Incontinence Team in Norwich to order more pads for Father, as Mother was almost out and had failed to tell me this until today. I did give her the number to ring ages ago, but she has lost it, as she does with most things in her non-organised filing system. I then had a phone call from an Admiralty nurse from Chatterton House (don't ask me what an Admiralty nurse is, I have no idea). They came out to see my parents a few weeks back and Mother had obviously given them my number and wanted to chat with me, to see how things were. The lady was quite taken back when I told her Father had had a stroke a couple of weeks ago and all of this morning's shenanigans. 'What are you doing tomorrow Penny?' she said. "Having a day off" I replied. Think she wanted to meet up to chat with me – it wouldn't have made any difference to the situation at all and I couldn't take any more. She is coming out later in the week to chat with Mother about the whole situation.

At 3pm I left the house for a short walk before I went crazy. Why had a Pallas's Warbler turned up at Burnham Overy Staithe and when I go out, I find nothing – I give up. A single bl**dy blackbird  was all I kicked up, along the whole length of Gypsy Lane at Titchwell! Went up to Choseley Drying Barns, nothing. Went back to parents. Father still asleep. I crashed out on his bed and also had a snooze. Assisted Father with personal stuff and then washed his bottom half, soaked feet in bowl and shaved him and dressed bottom half in night attire ready for later. Helped him with his tea. I heated up some soup for me and 2 slices of bread. Lucy rang and then Vivien rang later to get updates.

Watched a bit of Autumn Watch, but got very bored watching bl**dy stags and deer's, so switched off. Mother went to put the stray cat in the shed (where it sleeps at night) and it decided to bolt off up the road. Just to explain about the cat – another crazy thing that goes on in the Clarke household – Mother adores this cat and makes hot water bottles for its bed in the shed every night and won't go to bed herself until the cat is in her house, at which point she carries the cat to the shed where it stays all night until she lets it out until the morning (no I'm not joking). She doesn't let it stay in the house as is worried it will make a mess etc. I knew Mother wouldn't go to bed tonight until she had got the cat, so I wasn't having it playing us up. I slipped out of the front door with torch in hand to catch the cat. It could see me coming after it and decided to play games - under a hedge, in someone's garden, ran a bit further into another garden, along a public path between houses – I kept with it, determined not be beaten. It stopped momentarily and was unexpectedly grabbed and hugged tightly just in case it had any bright ideas of escaping, whilst I walked all the way back to the shed with it and plonked it crossly in its spoilt rug/bottle bed!!!! There was I, thinking Mother would be pleased and I got told off - UNBELIEVABLE!!! Why you ask? 'Has the cat been for a wee she said'? 'Yes' I lied!! So Mother was then happy that I had got the cat!

Back in the house, I got Father into bed at about 8.45pm and into a comfortable position. I don't know how my Mother gets him into bed herself – he's a sturdy, heavy man to move into side lying by yourself, even for me. I gave him a lecture about not getting out of bed until 7.30am tomorrow and then reassured him, said good night and left. This situation at home is only going to get worse, something needs sorting soon!!! Mother agrees he will have to into a home if she can't transfer him any longer with the sturn, but its heartbreaking as none of us want him in a residential home. I would look after him myself if I could, but its not possible. Difficult times indeed.


  1. Penny, hugs from afar...
    found these for you:

    West Norfolk use Admiral nurses to assess what care someone with dementia and their live-in carer [ie: your Mum] need by way of support.
    This takes you to a pdf that explains the reasons behind their thinking

    They are mistakenly know and referred to as Admiralty Nurses...
    if you look that up you get nothing.
    Keep on truckin'

  2. And buy that bear... it needs a new home....
    you can see it in the eyes!!